I’ve had some recurring questions lately so I figured it was time to take to the blog and answer them.
First question: Why Nigerian Dwarfs?
Nigerian Dwarfs are both a mini goat and a dairy breed. They are friendly, mellow goats known for easy births. They are easy keepers with few health problems and they are not hard on fences. They produce large amounts of mild-flavored milk with a high butterfat content making them good home dairy goats. And they are cute cute cute!
Next question: Why get boys?
We are starting our herd with two wethers (neutered males) and a doe. Goats are herd animals, and fare much better when living in a group, so we knew we needed to start with more than one goat. It’s also important for dairy does to be bred annually, and to start them as soon as possible. When we breed our doe next year, she could produce up to 4 kids! That means with just one doe, our herd could more than double in one year. We’re going to be breeding purebred Nigerians and will hopefully be selling some of the kids, but still, you can see where this is going: goats taking over the world. So we decided that rather than get two does right off the bat, we’d get some boys and one doe. The other VERY important reason why we decided to get wethers: poison oak abatement. Here at the ranch we have A LOT of P.O. It’s everywhere. And guess what these little guys love to eat?
Not only do they love it, but browsing on shrubs and vines is an essential part of a goat’s rumination. It’s actually not good for them to just eat hay or grass, they need variety. And P.O. grows most aggressively in the spring, which is when our little doe will be kidding and milking, and therefore on a special dairy diet. So we’ll need the boys to do the P.O. work while she is doing her dairy work. In other words, ALL of our goats will be earning their keep!
So there you have it. Next question?