La Feria News

Nigerian Dwarf Goats

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One of the most useful animals to have on a homestead is the goat; however, not all breeds of goats are the same. Some breeds are known as dairy goats; they will produce a lot of milk but not a lot of meat. Some breeds are known as meat goats; they will produce a lot of meat but not a lot of milk.

Here on a homestead we need one breed that provides both milk and meat for the family. Dual purpose breeds instead produce a moderate amount of both. One of the dual purpose breeds we raise at Grace Heritage Ranch is the Nigerian Dwarf Goat.

Nigerian Dwarf Goats have been in America for a long time. They were first imported to the U.S. from Africa between the 1930s and 1950s.
They are a small, hardy goat with newborns weighing only about 2 pounds and growing to about 75 pounds as an adult. These “knee-high” goats do not require as much space as the larger dairy and meat goats, thus making the care for them practical for small farms.

Because their temperament is very gentle and calm, even breeding bucks are easy to handle. Their sweet disposition is why some people keep them as pets, and the Nigerian Dwarf Goats are often the goat of choice in petting zoos.

Although today the Nigerian Dwarf Goat is used primarily as a dairy goat, it’s still a dual purpose breed. An adult can produce a reasonable amount of meat for a family. Lactating does can give over a quart of milk a day and can be milked for up to 10 months. These goats are known for their high butterfat content milk (5% to 6%). This makes it good not only for drinking, but also excellent for making cheeses, butter, and soap.

To learn even more about homesteading, join us at Grace Heritage Ranch for our Saturday morning tours. We are located just 30 minutes northeast of Harlingen, TX near Santa Monica. Please visit us at www.GraceHeritageRanch.com or www.Facebook.com/VisitGHR. For a recorded message, please call 1-855-447-8687. We offer both public and private tours.

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