Top 9 Reasons Why You DON’T Want Nigerian Dwarf Goats

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Top 9 reasons why you DON'T want Nigerian Dwarf Goats

Top 9 Reasons Why You DON’T Want Nigerian Dwarf Goats

Before you start shooting the messenger and accuse me of wrecking your homesteading dream or saying I’m a goat-hater, let me explain myself.
I love goats. More importantly, I love Nigerian Dwarf Goats. I own Nigerian Dwarf Goats, and I will probably own them the rest of my life.
But, BUT (add more buts if needed), there are many people adding NDG’s to their homesteads or backyards because they are the ‘it’ livestock, without giving it any thought or prior goat experience. In addition, many of these unwanted goats end up homeless and in rescue because the previous owners didn’t know what to expect going in.
There are several reasons why you DON’T want Nigerian Dwarf Goats, here are my Top 9 Reasons.

#1 Reason Why You DON’T Want Nigerian Dwarf Goats: Space

Although Nigerian Dwarf Goats are one of the smallest breeds, (standing at just 22″ shoulder height) they still require ample space.
The minimum square footage recommended for goats is 250 sq ft per goat, this is the minimum recommendation.
They will also need shelter, a milking station, birthing station, place to store the hay, and play area.
If you don’t have the adequate space, consider getting a smaller livestock like chickens or rabbits.

Males and Females

Male and female goats should not be kept together.

  • You can not control breeding or know when to expect kids.
  • The bucks will continue to try to mate with pregnant does, thus injuring the does and risk losing the pregnancy.
  • Bucks can become aggressive and they are very stinky (very).
  • You will need separate living quarters for bucks and does, and they each need a goat companion.
  • That is a minimum of four goats if you want both male and female, for a total of 1000 sq ft minimum.

#2 Reason Why You DON’T Want Nigerian Dwarf Goats: Laws

Laws, they are a wonderful thing, aren’t they? Well, they can be. But sometimes for the person trying to become self-sufficient, not so much.
Make sure you check with your Homeowners Association and County/City Laws before you bring home goats.
This is not a situation where you want to ask for forgiveness later instead of permission now.
Adapting to a new home can be stressful on the goats and the family members. You want to minimize rehoming the goats so check the laws first.

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#3 Reason Why You DON’T Want Nigerian Dwarf Goats: Heat Cycles

Most goat breeds only come into heat one season a year, generally in the fall season.
Nigerian Dwarf Goats come into heat every month.
Meaning you will have a goat in heat, wanting a mate every month throughout the year.
Goats in heat are loud (see “noise” below), can be aggressive, want attention, try to escape, personality changes, and they will try to mate anything and everything.
Males and females should not be kept together (see “Space” above).

#4 Reason Why You DON’T Want Nigerian Dwarf Goats: Milk Production

Nigerian Dwarf Goats have the highest level of butterfat content of all the other milking breeds.
The high butterfat lends to it’s a rich, creamy and sweet taste that people love.
However, they are not heavy producers.
A doe in milk could yield one quart per day (sometimes more).
You have to milk the goats at least twice per day unless you keep a kid on them.
If you desire gallon(s) of milk, you will want a larger goat breed, like Nubian’s.

#5 Reason Why You DON’T Want Nigerian Dwarf Goats: Fencing

Goats are jumpers and climbers. If you do not have proper fencing, you can say goodbye to your goats.
We have 6 ft fencing and have come home more than once to our neighbors kindly bringing our girls home.
Generally, our fence was sufficient to keep them on our property, but when something spooks them- watch out.
They become half goat, half jumping bean. Thank God we have great neighbors.

#6 Reason Why You DON’T Want Nigerian Dwarf Goats: Landscaping

Goats do not graze and they won’t replace your lawnmower. They will, however, eat everything else in sight.
They will eat your: gardens, trees, bushes, flowers, siding on your house, shoes (we still can’t find the other flip-flop), and anything else they can get their mouths on.
So if you plan on keeping your goats in the same area as your prized petunias, I would strongly reconsider.

Many plants are toxic to goats, click here to see the full list to make sure you don’t have any of the listed items on your property before getting goats.

#7 Reason Why You DON’T Want Nigerian Dwarf Goats: Time

Goats are loving animals. They crave attention and interaction. They also require care like: feeding, trimming hooves, oral care, brushing, worming, giving treats, milking, supplements, vet checks, and special care during pregnancy and birthing.

If you don’t have a lot of free time to spend with them, you may want to look into livestock that requires less hands-on.

#8 Reason Why You DON’T Want Nigerian Dwarf Goats: You Can Only Get One

Goats (all goats) are herd animals. Which means you can’t have just one.
That doesn’t mean you can place a goat with a horse or a dog and it will be okay, they need another goat companion.
A single goat will get bored and lonely, very lonely. Yes, even if you love it, hug it and call it George. It needs a goat buddy.
You can place two does together, a doe and a wether (a neutered male), two bucks together, a buck and a wether, or two wethers.

#9 Reason Why You DON’T Want Nigerian Dwarf Goats: Noise

Oh, my goaty’ goodness are they loud.
Most of the time you wouldn’t even know you have goats, but when they want something (generally your attention) or they are in heat? WOWZA.
I once had a neighbor across the street call and ask if one of our daughters were injured. They sound like screaming girls.
Their bleating is like none other.
Because we live in a development with relatively close neighbors, we needed to stay outside with them during every heat cycle from sun up to sun down to keep the noise at bay and the cops from visiting us.
They are loud.
If you have the acreage, this should not be a problem for you. But if you live in a community like me? Bring a good book and a chair because you will be pulling noise control once a month.

#10 Bonus Reason- More for Me

I do adore Nigerian Dwarf Goats, and in my opinion, the good far outweighs the bad.
But, they are a huge responsibility and one that deserves a great deal of consideration before jumping right in.
It’s okay if goats aren’t right for you, you can still be a homesteader, you can still be self-sufficient.
Owning goats don’t define your independence- but they do add a nice touch.

Ready To Start Your Goat Herd? 

If you’re ready to get your goat on, you’re going to need some names! We have a GREAT list of goat names for you to choose from here. 

Top 9 reasons why you don't want Nigerian Dwarf Goats.

If you’re ready to add Nigerian Dwarf Goats to your farm or homestead, read my article about 6 mistakes to avoid when buying goats.

 

70 Comments

  1. Melinda Gillen on February 11, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    We just this week experienced the aggressive behavior of Hobart the Nigerian Dwarf Goat. Our Pygmy and an Alpine kid this week. I was not expecting either to kid as the Pygmy constantly looks pregnant. Hobart did everything he could to keep the mothers from tending to their babies. Thank goodness we rescued the moms and babies. The babies were stepped on and still wet. What a mess. I was not aware of the buck Nigerian Dwarfs temper until reading your blog. Thank you!

    • Shannon Ligon on April 27, 2019 at 11:13 pm

      I’ve got 3 NDG. triplets all boys /whether. We call them the “stooges”. Everything you said… true! Loud. Demanding and absolutely funny as hell. Love them to death but boy are they a hand full!

      • Peggy Henry on August 4, 2019 at 8:58 pm

        I just purchased my first Nigerian goats( I raised and showed dairy goats from 1974 until 2014. I have one doe that came bred but is losing hair on her back and rump. She does not have lice and I have minerials and baking soda free choice. I feed her goat chow and first cutting hay. She in in with two other does neither which have this condition. Is there something I am missing.

        • Amber Bradshaw on August 15, 2019 at 11:02 am

          Hi Peggy and sorry for the delayed response. I personally don’t have experience with this so I wanted to ask a team of experts (fellow experienced farmers) for this advice. I am going to copy their responses below.

          “Could be either sarcoptic or chorioptic mange. Is she losing hair on her hocks too? I dealt with this for years until I finally realized it is NOT contagious but inherited. I bred the doe with it and it was passed on to almost all her kids. Very sad to realize years later. Many goat owners will argue but it’s worth looking into. Sorry to say but it’s incredibly hard to get rid of, if not impossible. Forgive me but if this is what she has it would be best to retire her so the gene is not passed on. She can still be an amazing pet. This is just my opinion and def not trying to start a goat war. Cheri-”

          ” It’s probably either mites or a mineral deficiency. Hard to tell without pics. If its mineral then my guess would be a zinc deficiency, could be copper deficiency (accompanied by a ‘fishtail’, the hair on their tail splits and looks like a fishtail). If it’s mites then that can be treated naturally with sulfur – there is a product called NuStock which is sulfur and oil which is supposed to be great. Clove EO is supposed to be good too. If it’s serious then you can give an injection (sub Q) ivermectin or dectomax – 1cc per 100 lbs of weight and then repeat in 7 days and again another 7 days later. I hope they identify the issue quickly, sounds like they didn’t quarantine the new goat so if its mites then they likely just infected the whole herd. -Sabrina”

          ” A product I used with success for ringworm with sulfur and mineral oil (if this is mites or fungal) is GMT. (Groom, mane, and tail). I bought it premixed at the local feed store. It comes in different sizes bottles.. -Tamera”

          ” I had a wether with that was losing patches of hair too. I made sure he was eating his minerals but also give him a little crushed up zinc since I read that well water might make it hard for his body to absorb zinc. I also have him a healthy coat for goats from tractor supply and he looks great now. – Jamie”

          “Sorry to chime in late but it sounds like copper deficiency so get her a copper bollus and then give her another dose in about a week then keep loose minerals with copper. -Lynda”

  2. Alice Wiggins on March 3, 2018 at 3:57 am

    I own 12 nigerian does, and 2 bucks. I love them to death. I don’t agree that they are noisy and as much of a pain as you say they are. They are easy kidders, often with triplets and it’s fun to see what color is going to be delivered next!!!! Mine are 4H projects for kids. The kids learn so much about every aspect of taking care of animals and choosing animals. Ribbons hang deep on their bedroom walls. The Nigerian is my favorite to raise and I have raised nearly every breed. If you have the room and can afford good fencing, I would say “ get goats”. They are great!!

    • Amber Bradshaw on March 3, 2018 at 11:44 am

      I love my goats, I do, I will probably own them for the rest of my life. However, because they are the homesteading ‘it’ livestock, many urbanites are buying them because of their small stature and their adorable goatness. It is for these reasons I shared some of ‘my’ truths with owning goats. As I mentioned in the article, we live in a very close development with neighbors all around with 1/3 acre. I’m sure a goat in heat, bleating, will sound much louder here to neighbors than if we lived in the country on the same amount of land.
      I think bloggers sometimes add a bit of glamour to things and only show the upsides of homesteading, farming, gardening. While I do believe it is a fulfilling lifestyle and one I will never stray from, it’s not all rainbows and roses. Many people go into animal husbandry without a understanding of how hard it can really be. Thus giving up and re-homing their livestock.
      Case in point, we had a neighbor one street away who got a NDG as a house pet. Just one. She walked him every day up and down the street like others do with their dogs. But when she went to work, you could hear that poor, lonely goat crying for hours a day. Maybe if she read an article informing her goats are herd animals and must have another goat companion and need outdoor space that would have been avoided.

      I do thank you for your comment. I am a HUGE fan of goats. However, I don’t want to sugarcoat the realities of animal husbandry for those who have no prior experience.

      • Denzel on January 17, 2019 at 4:41 pm

        I have 2 Nigerian Dwarf does. I love them very much, I only breed them once a year because they are my babies lol. I agree with you on the tips given if wanting goats for homestead. I have been told that the kiko goat is a good choice for that. Easy keepers, they grow fast, kid without help, no hoof trimming, and seldom worming. They are meat and milking goats. I read up on all the breeds before getting a goat. I make cheese with their milk and a little money from the kids. I make sure they go to good goat educated homes.

    • Cheryl Wing on March 17, 2018 at 3:24 pm

      I totally agree with you Alice, I have had the Nigerians and love them to death. They are the best breed of goat to have . I do not agree with this lady at all, what she says all breeds of goats will do that…..each breeds has its own personality, but each goat has its own to. I hate to see people bash such beautiful little goats, just because she doesn’t like them. Educating one self with knowledge is the best way to go on any breed that you are thinking of getting Some people will read her site and don’t know how sweet they are and steer away from this wonderful breed not knowing the true facts on ALL goats, NOT cool! All goats are herd animals.

      • Alice Wiggins on June 8, 2018 at 7:12 pm

        Thank you! Just a little education before you buy your goats will prevent most all unfavorable issues. Mine are only loud when it’s feeding time. After the chores (and some love time) they are totally satisfied. I don’t live in a remote area, in fact I am on the last block in town. My neighbors have never once complained. Their children spend many hours with my goats. One of their moms said to me just let week “my kids love it here, this is better then any park”. So do some research, visit other people with goats that have had good results and learn from them, and then buy a few loving goats.Alice

        • Amber Bradshaw on June 9, 2018 at 1:15 am

          Thank you so much for your reply. Great suggestion about visiting other goat owners, generally they will be honest about the good and not-so-good sides of raising animals. You are so lucky to have good neighbors.

      • Steve Quintavalli on June 12, 2018 at 2:08 pm

        I read her site and didn’t come away with negative feelings. I realize goats have needs, just like dogs and people. She raises some valid concerns for personally. I live in a very small lot but we are zoned agricultural and there is no HOA. I think it is good to know the noise all goats can potentially make if in a closed in neighborhood. Also, she mentioned they have the highest fat content which means really creamy, a good thing for me. She warned against gardens and the potential poisoning of the goats, she also mentioned having them in pairs. I saw a lot of good information, not sure why you all perceive this info as “hate speech” against goats…..I think it is informative for the novice, who she is targeting. She is opening the eyes of potential goat owners so they understand what they are getting into. It is blatantly obvious…she even said she loves the Nigerians and will always own them.

        • Amber Bradshaw on June 12, 2018 at 4:19 pm

          Thank You Steve, I greatly appreciate your comment. I’m embarrassed to admit I had to remove many very colorful comments on this post- many of which accuse me of hating goats. Not sure if they only read the title and not the article, but anyone who cares about livestock would only want their best interest at heart, which is why I wrote this.
          Once again, thank you for taking the time to comment.

          • Johanna on July 10, 2018 at 7:17 pm

            I agree with Steve. I am a novice and want to be self sufficient, making my own soaps, salves, creams, and of course the yummy goat milk. This article did open my eyes to their needs. They aren’t dogs and cant be raised as such.

            I really want goats one day, has been a desire of mine for the last 5 or so years. Hopefully I can make this a reality one day. Thank you for the article (to which you even prefaced so I don’t know why people are getting their panties in a bunch.)

            I’m looking forward to exploring your site more. Take care!



          • karla l schmidt on January 13, 2019 at 4:08 pm

            I completely understand your post. I live in the country on 32 acres and am interested in getting goats. I am doing my due diligence on educating myself, which is why i came up with your post, to know how to care for them and what to expect. I have 4 horses and two donkeys so I know the care animlas need (especially if done well). I have neighbors with goats and i will tell you they do not have the space or the money to properly care for the animals that they have chosen to lock up in their back yard. I think your post was educated and informative. Not once did I feel you were being negative, just showing the reality of ownership. When people say to me they want to get a horse I try to give them the reality of owning one. Its expensive and their is alot of hard work involved. I too have seen to many pets that have been aquired and then not properly taken care of.



          • stephaney on July 24, 2019 at 8:42 pm

            Wow those (I’m sure fine folks) who are bashing your article sound like idiots! I have kept goats for 6 plus years now and love them all. I saw your article and totally got the point you were making and the fact that you LOVE goats and want people who are thinking about getting them to take it seriously! I guess some people only have one way of thinking. I think its all the drugs in the water these days maybe they just need a good filter;) Great job on your article by the way a lot of people need to read it and get a clue, I’ve talked to to many if not most who don’t seem to have one.



          • Amber Bradshaw on July 27, 2019 at 12:44 pm

            Thank you for your comments, I GREATLY appreciate them, especially from someone who knows. You cracked me up.
            Best,
            Amber



        • Marcia on December 27, 2018 at 1:49 pm

          She had very good advise. I appreciate knowing the good and the not so good of any potential endeavor.

      • shirley miller on July 23, 2018 at 4:18 pm

        I don’t think you read Amber’s entire article. Or her reply to Alice. Having read the article it felt like I would be delighted to own Nigerian Dwarfs just as she does. Her article is an excellent one for people that don’t know anything about goats.

        • Amber Bradshaw on July 24, 2018 at 10:54 am

          Thank You for your comment, Shirley. Yes, I think people see the title and don’t really ‘get’ the article. It’s because I LOVE NDG’s that I wrote this article. You would be surprised how many hateful comments I’ve had to delete, calling me a goat-hater and many other choice names. Crazy. By the way, I currently have three adorable bottle-baby NGD’s and love them to pieces.

          • Mike Nunlist on January 5, 2019 at 11:41 am

            If you’re a hater so am I, love my ND ,s



          • Amber Bradshaw on January 7, 2019 at 1:05 am

            I love my NDG’s it’s all I raise and because I love them so, I want ALL NGDs to have the best possible life- my reason for writing this article. I wrote this article so people would know all the goods with the bads, not buy goats just because they are cute then get rid of them when they realize they are work and do need care.
            If you fully read the article, you would understand this.



      • Jeanine Adams on June 5, 2019 at 4:45 pm

        Read her article. She NEVER said she didn’t like them. In fact, she loves them!

    • Connie Shanahan on August 20, 2018 at 10:35 pm

      I do not agree with this. We have 9 loving goats. They are not noisy. They are the best pets.

      • Amber Bradshaw on August 21, 2018 at 9:37 am

        That’s ok you don’t agree. I have to be honest, I’ve never seen a quiet goat. I ADORE our NGD’s (the specific breed this article is about) and they talk to me every time I walk outside, they are really loud at feeding and snack time and mating season? Or boy- they love to call the men.
        This article isn’t for those that have goats and already know how to practice good animal husbandry. This article is for those new to the idea of owning goats that don’t know much about them.
        Our love for our goats and our desire to see goats treated properly is the reason why I share this information.
        Homesteading is very rewarding but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. I wish more homestead bloggers were honest about the down-sides to this lifestyle. Maybe we wouldn’t see so many livestock in rescue and abandoned.

    • Harry on December 31, 2018 at 5:25 pm

      What type of fencing would you recommend?

      • Amber Bradshaw on January 7, 2019 at 1:06 am

        I’ve had six-foot wood fence and now I have five foot wired livestock fence, both work well. The correct answer largely depends on your neighbors, how much land you are fencing in and your budget.

    • Anna Preston on April 27, 2019 at 1:18 pm

      What, is “good fencing”, in your opinion? I am considering getting 2 Nigerian Dwarfs. Does. I was hoping later to find someone with a buck to kid. Was hoping to get milk for soap and/or sell.

      We live on 1.68 acres and have chickens, ducks, and 2 sheep. We do have close neighbors. Do you think we would be ok getting the 2 doe? Our fences are 4 foot. Can 22 inch goats really jump a 4 foot fence?

    • Jennifer on September 6, 2019 at 6:24 pm

      What kind of fencing do you recommend?

      • Amber Bradshaw on September 6, 2019 at 7:53 pm

        5 ft tall welded 2×4″ wire. We buy 100ft rolls from the feed store. Some goat breeds require higher fencing but we’ve found this size perfect for our Nigerian Dwarf Goats. We did use the welded wire 4×4″ squares and they get their heads stuck all the time. They are troublesome little creatures.

  3. Nicole on March 9, 2018 at 8:45 pm

    I think this should be titled for any goat except the two facts of some on breeding or heat cycles, and the butterfat content and amount of milk. All other items apply to any breed of goat. We’ve had some other breeds and came back to the Nigerians because they are easier keepers and aren’t as noisy in general compared to other breeds we or our neighbor has had.

  4. Daniel on March 17, 2018 at 1:36 am

    All I got from what you said was that you don’t like goats. I for one love my goats more than anything in the world and you probably shouldn’t have goats if you don’t like them.

    • Amber Bradshaw on March 17, 2018 at 10:32 am

      You may want to re-read the article.
      I love goats, especially NDG. And it’s because I LOVE goats that I share this information with those that are thinking about owning these adorable creatures. It is because I care about the goats welfare that I give warnings to want-to-be homesteaders and future goat owners.
      Too many people buy them because they are cute, small, and the ‘it’ livestock, without ever knowing the truths until it’s too late. Then they try to sell them on craigslist, fb and other social platforms, without caring where they are re-homing them to. This puts undue stress on the goats.
      Just like shelters go through a vetting process for those wanting to adopt strays, they want to make sure the animals are going to loving homes. We don’t have this service for livestock, so people like me write articles hoping to educate those wanting to consider getting livestock.
      Since you have goats and love them, you know things aren’t always rainbows and sunshine. Sometimes it’s tough, demanding, and time consuming.
      Trust me, if I really wanted to turn people off from owning goats I would have discussed parasite overload, bloat, kidding problems, hoof rot and so much more.

      And you are correct, if people don’t love them they shouldn’t get them- that will be my new reason #10, thanks for the idea!

      • Stacy Hartless on March 27, 2018 at 11:48 am

        I thought it was an EXCELLENT article informing people of the things they may not think about if they are cosnidering becoming first time goat owners. I thought it was actually very loving towards the breed to let people know what is required and what they need to think about. I have been considering for a while getting 2 and you gave me some things to think about; didnt discourage me, but rather armed me with the proper knowledge to own them successfully where THEY are happy too and not just me!! Thank you!

      • Liz papa on May 9, 2018 at 3:57 am

        I agree with you completely. I’ve been handed over many ” problem goats” over the years that fit in perfectly with us basically because the previous owners just weren’t prepared. It can turn what should have been a great experience into a nightmare! I don’t think you are trying to label NDG as bad just trying to educate people before they dive in expecting it all to be a breeze. It does take work, preparation, patience and a lot of trial and error sometimes with any breed of goat. Just because it’s small doesn’t mean it can’t cause big problems.

        • Amber Bradshaw on May 9, 2018 at 11:33 am

          Thank you so much for this. As you’ve read, I’ve received a lot of flack on this article, but I stand my ground.
          I love our goats and I think any responsible owner should know the pros and cons before diving in.
          You are awesome for giving a home to unwanted animals. Thanks again.

    • Tammie on April 3, 2018 at 9:48 pm

      Try re-reading the posts Daniel.

    • Andy K on February 23, 2019 at 4:47 pm

      She wrote the article about why you might not want goats, not why you should love goats. To love an animal is to know the pros and cons and how to deal with it before you ha ve that animal. We are about to embark on a goat adventure and want to be ready. I love reading the warnings because I feel it helps us prepare better and ultimately be better and happier livestock keepers. Thank you for the original article!

    • Anna Preston on April 27, 2019 at 1:21 pm

      How much property do you have? Do you have close neighbors?

  5. Amber Bradshaw on March 21, 2018 at 11:00 am

    These are comments from our readers when I asked their opinion about this article- they are goat owners.

    Sam Crandall If folks aren’t mad at ya, you’re not doing your job

    Amanda Hayes McCary: We have a Nigerian! My daughter & Maizey the goat are best friends! Maizey gives her love & hugs! She does butt everyone else.

    Barb Senglaub: Your telling it like is!

    Joyce E. Goins: #8’s caption is “You can only get one”
    But yes, they are very hard work!

    Gary Cameron:For something like an animal reading the negatives is far more important than how wonderful it all is.
    You already KNOW that it is wonderful.
    Take a breath and learn the downside.

    Tamera Tergerson: I read the article when you first shared it and thought it was well-written and well-thought out. One needs to know the pros and cons of any animal one wishes to purchase and not go in all pie-eyed about it.

    Joy Perkins Donahue: GREAT article!! Very true and important information for anyone considering goats. I love my goats, but I only have 2 now because they are a lot of work. I have had to explain to people why you can’t just get one goat and tie it out in the yard to ea…See More

    Lisa J Verge: It is an excellent article. I haven’t had goats yet but that applies to any animal you get honestly. I have a lot of people who contact me asking if I would take their rabbits or chickens because suddenly they were not cute anymore and they realized …See More

    Chris Moran: I think it’s a great article! It convinced me that I shouldn’t get goats, and that’s a good thing! Now I’m wondering if sheep are poisoned by the same plants. People don’t think about these things, and the animals are the ones who suffer. Thank you for sharing this article!

    Oak Hill Homestead: Last weekend we passed a goat walking down the side of a road… all alone so it wasn’t a herd breakout. Poor thing was probably dumped like an unwanted dog. 🙁

    Chelsea Oram: I cannot even tell you how many ducks and geese and chicks I get right after Easter. All the cuteness wears off and reality starts.
    I think you sharing the negatives and hard parts of rearing animals is definitely needed and often neglected until it is too late.

    Meg Fickel: So much YES!!! I was just discussing the post I want to make on my own page since it’s kidding season and we’re on #kidwatch2018. There are bullet points that I cover, but the gist of it goes, “…if you’re not ready to put the time, effort, blood, …See More

    Amber StewArt: I just love your “common sense” writing. I have wanted Nigerian dwarf goats myself. But have been very cautious. I want them because I have a b-12 defiency and I can’t truly be self sufficient without a good source of it on my small lot. I always li…See More

    Lesley Antonelli: I’ve never cared about goats. I simply just don’t like them.
    With that said, with any animal I think that its awful when someone gets an animal without knowing the “cons.”
    Its not fair for the animal….See More

    F.v. Karch Hate mail?? To you??? WHY?????
    Geeez!

    • Salllee Keller Hannon on October 28, 2018 at 12:11 am

      Leslie if u dont like them they why even read about them shut up and go away!!!

  6. Marie on March 27, 2018 at 10:22 pm

    This is a great article for anyone who does not have experience with animals or is not naturally good at caring for them. I say this because goats are more needy than other animals I believe, so if you’ve never cared for a living thing it will be tough for you. Also, I think it is overlooked that some people are just naturals with raising stock. If you have this gift of being good with animals, you can totally handle goats! If you don’t know whether or not you’re truly an animal person, goats are not a good animal to test your skills on. But if you have experience and you’re successful with animals, goats are awesome so do not be discouraged! 🙂 ALL animals require time and attention so you can expect up front goats need it too. It also should be obvious that goats need space (if you thought they didn’t before this, you’re not one of those natural animal people most likely). As for being noisy and escape artists, it is important to note that they CAN be these things, it all depends on YOU. My Nigerian dwarfs are perfect angels and have never attempted to escape! Hint: only bored goats will behave rebelliously, so get them more space with plenty of fresh forage and they will be happy 🙂

    • Christine Barrett on April 1, 2018 at 10:13 pm

      We are in ❤ with our Nigerians!! We have 4 does and 3 bucks. My 4 does should be kidding this month! I do not agree that they are noisy. They all have different calls. I can tell you who is who by their “noise”. They know when it is feeding time. I will admit they get a little noisy at feeding time. They are very smart and know when I have treats in my hand or when the vet is here. Nigerians are very loving, sweet, docile. They are all spoiled with lovins!! When my females get near their kidding date they get even more loving. My does licks my hands, they lick my face. This is another sign of kidding. I separate my males when my does become pregnant and are kidding, although they are very curious. I lock the does and kids in the barn in their own stalls for their own safety. Not one of my goats have tried to escape. One of my males climbs a tree about 7 feet and will stand over the food bin until I feed them and even he hasn’t tried to escape. We placed fun items in their area. They love the pool slide my husband found on the side of the road, we buried tires halfway up, built up cement blocks which actually helps file down their nails, a fort made of pallets, …They graze, eat grains, corn, molasses, and love peanut hay, or alfalfa hay, tifton hay. We are so excited to be doing the countdown to kids!!❤❤❤

      • Carolyn Hammack on August 17, 2018 at 4:58 am

        To Christine Barrett, What is your experience with having bucks when they are in rut, I am an older person and I am trying to decide on purchasing a buck for my 2 Saanens that I want to bred this fall, I have read such scary things about bucks that I don’t know what to do, I live in a rural area and stud service is not readily available in my area, I would prefer that, but I think because it is going to be so difficult in getting a large breed goat to stud service, that I need a buck. You and anyone who keeps bucks please give your views. Thanks

  7. Karel Kemplay on April 20, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Excellent article. My husband is always telling me about goats requiring high fences, eating everything…etc. Reading this has made me realise we do not have the space or adequate fencing to realistically keep a goat safe and secure. Thank you.

  8. Kaeryn Silvera on May 31, 2018 at 9:30 am

    This is good stuff, thanks for sharing these preacrical considerations! 5 years ago I brought home my first pair of ND does. The mature doe was the herd queen and absolutely yelled like an old man needing an ambulence when I left her or she was hungry. We have 2 wooded acres in the suburbs, on the only hill in a velley. I “lived” outside in the goat pen until I rehomed the beautiful loud one a year later. 5 years later, I’ve bought & rehomed about 6 more does until I’ve found and bred some quiet types who just don’t have loud voices, period. I think 1 in 4 NDs has a low raspy voice.
    My does aren’t fence jumpers, but they don’t have a line of sight to me at my house either.
    There’s also an issue in finding hay, lugging in the hay, wasted hay, and *oh so special* removal of soiled bedding and manure from the suburban lot. That’s right up there under ” loud goats” for good reasons not to have these adorable screamy monsters who ruin your cloths, rip off eyeglasses and stomp them for you.
    I do have some wonderful goat cheese in the fridge and a great goat owning community to support me. I hope you and other goat owners do too.

  9. Sarah Neher on July 16, 2018 at 1:25 am

    Thank you for this article. I am currently not a goat owner but would like to become one in the future. I realize I have much to learn, but I am an animal lover with currently 7 cats, a dog, and a turtle. You mentioned the “weathered” (neutered) goat. Is it not common practice to spay females? Thanks!

    • Amber Bradshaw on July 16, 2018 at 9:58 am

      No, it is not to my knowledge. The procedure for neutering male goats is a non-surgical procedure performed at a young age with bands. Neutering female goats is a more involved surgical process.
      We are currently bottle feeding three baby Nigerian Dwarf Goats and we love them to pieces. They are so personable and adorable. If you do move forward in your decision to get goats, I highly suggest looking for a farmer/goat owner to see if they offer any training or workshops. A good friend offered Goat 101 classes for all day training and it was invaluable information.
      Best of luck

  10. Sherry West on August 14, 2018 at 4:35 am

    Excellent article! Have raised,shown and milked Alpines and nubians for years and every word you say is true. Some people think goats are a hobby, some people think goats are an investment, I think goats are a lifestyle. Gotta love ’em!

  11. Katie Levine on August 23, 2018 at 4:15 am

    May I add number eleven? The nights you spend by a first time mom in labor and have a less than perfect outcome. I love these hysterical creatures like my kids. But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Currently have thirty…lol. This is one of the best information sites available for good and bad.

  12. Janet - WV on August 25, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    I don’t even breed goats. I just have 4 wethers for pets but I knew upon doing my homework beforehand what they were like. Anyone getting any kind of animal needs to read about them 1st. I have never had any of my boys try to escape our 6 foot fence. They say a bored goat will escape. I have a goat playground to entertain them. Either way I would never own anything other than a Nigerian dwarf. Mine are very lovable and sweet. It may be due to them being wethers.

  13. Shannon on September 25, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    Thanks for the article, ignore the negative comments. I’m picking up two Nigerians this coming week. I believe in adding the possible concerns that may arise with any animal a person is considering and that’s what you did. Too many people, especially right now, glamourize or even romanticize farming/hobby farming.

    • Amber Bradshaw on September 26, 2018 at 10:02 am

      Shannon, You’re so sweet to take time to comment with encouraging words. Thank you. Congrats on your new livestock- how exciting. We started our new Nigerian Dwarf Herd at the beginning of the summer, unfortunately, they came here with a heavy parasitic load and the first week on our farm we had over a thousand dollars in vet bills. Not to mention the emotional ups and downs wondering if they were going to live or not and giving them iv’s and meds. No one sees this side if it, they just see the cute baby goats being fed bottles. Sometimes it’s really tough. But we think it’s well worth it.

  14. Tonia Trask on September 27, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    Just a FYI # 6 is absolutely not true….Goats DONT eat everything in Sight! That’s false information…They will nibble on things such as clothing , shoes, etc but they dont eat them. They are excellent animals and the one thing i agree with is dont get any animal if you cant adequately take care of it!

  15. Mary on September 29, 2018 at 7:14 am

    Thanks for this article. I have been researching this breed. My aim in the future is to buy a farm with at least an acre of land and become as self sufficient as possible and I am doing my homework first. Long term plan is to keep chickens, ducks, rabbits and goats (mainly for the milk). I really appreciate your article. I was planning on starting with just two does. I understand some do this and then arrange with someone to mate with their buck and I think I would personally rather go down this route. I want them mainly for the milk. I will see how it goes later after I have more experience with regard to purchasing a buck.

    I am not sure why some are bashing you. I think some are pretty unfair and I don’t think they have read everything you said and also are reading some of out of context. It is good to see someone being responsible and giving the details. The comment made by someone above re “you hating goats” is ridiculous and untrue. Too often people buy animals with not enough thought and responsibility and I agree with you on your “trendy” comments so I wanted to see the practicalities not through rose tinted spectacles. One of the better articles so much appreciated. I wont be doing for a while but am the type of person who likes to do my research thoroughly beforehand which includes the good and the bad. So thanks again.

    • Amber Bradshaw on September 29, 2018 at 10:39 am

      Mary,
      Your comment truly touched my heart and I sincerely thank you.
      I hired buck service and took my does in heat to a registered buck that was tested for disease. I too had to provide recent test papers for health before approval. Unfortunately for me, it never took. The timing has to be perfect and the driveway breeding just didn’t work. However, this isn’t the case for others I know. We now have a single buck and he shares a fence line with the does so he’s not alone. He also shares a barn with them but has a separate sleeping stall. Once the girls have their kids, if one produces a buck I will keep him for company for my buck to then I will have four total. Which is totally feasible for one acre. They are small like a large dog so one acre is plenty of area to roam.
      I have milked my does for over a year straight but depending on how much milk you need to may not want to milk that long and breed more often.
      Best of luck on your homesteading journey and please keep me posted. I may be able to connect you with a registered breeder.
      Thanks again for taking the time to make my day.
      Amber

  16. Cody on October 14, 2018 at 10:42 pm

    Amber, thank you for this eye opening article. It was very informative in my decision as to should I bring a lil goat into my home or not. People unfortunately read about every other line and about every third word of an article and then attack the messenger when they half half the information produced to them.
    I raise and train big cats and hyenas along with various other dangerous exotic animals. People do not think things through when the thought of including a cute lil critter into the family. The noise, escape risk and let’s not forget the biggest variant, clean up. Raising animals of any kind is not all rainbows, it is work and responsibility. Anyhow thank you for the information that the cute videos don’t show, it was very helpful. Also what the line skipping word hopping readers aren’t getting is you do so love the lil cuties that you don’t want to see them end up as refugees trying to find new homes and happiness. Bless you and thank you.

    Handler of the dangerous

    • Amber Bradshaw on October 15, 2018 at 1:47 pm

      You are so kind and thoughtful for sharing your comment. Thank you. And WOW- hyenas and large cats? God bless ya. Yeah, manure is a common fact of life here on the homestead, both figuratively and literally.

  17. RandallM on December 7, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    Good article. Looking to get into raising goats. May get Nubians in the future, but it looks like we will need to start with NDG’s to build up our experience.

    About what age can weathers be kept with a buck?

    It’s obvious your article was for consideration not bashing. Try to ignore.

    Agree that you may want to look at title #8. Don’t think it conveys what you intended. Took me several looks at it to make sure.

    • Amber Bradshaw on December 8, 2018 at 8:52 pm

      Thank you for taking the time to leave me a comment and encouraging words.
      Weathers can be kept with a buck at any age, however, you will always want to introduce them progressively like with any new animal.
      Thank’s for pointing that out, I will try to rework the article so it reads clearly. Much appreciated.
      Best of luck with your new goats, please keep me posted. There are mini-Nubians as well. I’ve thought about getting some because they produce more milk than the NGD’s but aren’t as big. I believe there is a breeder in NC- not sure how close you are to NC.

      • Anna Preston on April 27, 2019 at 1:32 pm

        Are you saying that there are mini nigerian dwarf goats that are smaller than 22 inches?

        • Amber Bradshaw on May 13, 2019 at 10:23 am

          The Nigerian Dwarf Goat Association states does should ideally be 17–19 inches (43–48 cm) in height, with a maximum allowed height of 21 inches (53 cm), and bucks should ideally be 19–21 inches (48–53 cm), with a maximum allowed height of 23 inches (58 cm).

  18. […] Nigerian Dwarf (read my Top 9 Reasons Why You DON’T Want Nigerian Dwarf Goats Here) […]

  19. […] Nigerian Dwarf (read my Top 9 Reasons Why You DON’T Want Nigerian Dwarf Goats Here) […]

  20. Sarah on April 21, 2019 at 12:48 am

    I have to say, I’m shocked by this article. I can’t believe the flak you’ve gotten in the comments! I, for one, am REALLY glad to have read it. It is the first realistic article I’ve read on the matter and I haven’t really considered getting NDGs because everything I have read was too good to be true. (You know what they say about things that sound too good to be true??)

    I’m still not sure if they are the right fit for our family, but I feel better equipped to seriously evaluate that based on reading the negatives along with all the glowing reviews from people.

    I have always dreamed of having goats. I live a couple miles from a herd. I don’t know the people, but I do know that those goats CAN be loud. Even from someone who knows essentially nothing about the animals, I can call BS on the people who say “Oh, you never hear them.”

    I really need to evaluate whether I want additional animals on the farmette that will take up time and vet care. It’s easy to think when you’re getting an animal that time will come from some intangible fairytale place. It doesn’t. We’re all just still operating on 24 hours each day.

    If you get an animal with that expectation, you suddenly have to get thrown into the reality that yes, this english angora rabbit really does need biweekly blowouts to stay healthy and yes, my plans do have to be cancelled when I have to get the chains out for my heifer during labor. If you’ve never committed to the care of an animal other than a dog or cat (which are, let’s face it, a million times easier than almost all livestock!), you NEED this kind of information.

    Unfortunately, I have been that person who got an animal without finding the negatives and I have had to get rid of them before. That is really awful. There is never anything at all wrong with giving people information so they can make the best choice for them and the animals they might get.

    Thank you for writing this. Keep it up!

    • Amber Bradshaw on April 21, 2019 at 1:35 pm

      Sarah, thank you for this! Not sure why, but your response choked me up. Mainly because I’ve deleted most of the really nasty comments. Thank you for your kind words.
      I love our NGD’s! Now that we have 46+ acres vs our humble urban homestead, most of the issues we have before are a moot point. They provide hours of entertainment as well as being playmates for our youngest child.
      People always tend to leap when they should research when it comes to animals (livestock and pets). I’m so thankful you are doing your due diligence first. Please feel free to contact me should you ever have any questions.
      We are registered breeders so when you’re ready I would be happy to get you started!
      Blessings,
      Amber

  21. Debbie on April 22, 2019 at 4:11 am

    I had to give up my ND’s when I got disabled. I hadn’t had them long just long enough to have my buck breed my two does twice. Any way I had heard so many stories about how bad tempered the buck could be especially during rut. My snowball was a bottle baby and the sweetest goat you could ask for even during rut. He was not real noisy like the ladies. Any time you want outside he came running wanting scratched. He was great and I miss him I guess he was handled a lot when he was being bottle feed but he was so sweet tempered. I guess I was just blessed 🙂

    • Anna Preston on April 27, 2019 at 1:28 pm

      How much land did you have? Did you have close neighbors?

      • Debbie on June 2, 2019 at 12:51 am

        Anna I didn’t get a notice that you asked me anything. I have 2 acres and no close neighbor’s.

  22. Kim Hawkins on June 1, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    Amber… THANK YOU so much for the invaluable and super informative information while having a great sense of humor! We currently are looking for a buddy for our 1 year old wether (he lost his sibiling to meningitis). He’s such a sweet and super laid back fella and I too wanted to do my due diligence and make an informed decision on what type of goat buddy we should get him. You have been so gracious and have more than explained your position and passion for this breed and you can’t please everyone…some people just are rude and narrow minded, plain and simple. Just know that you’ve helped educate a lot of people including myself and I am grateful. Ignore the haters…they aren’t worth the time or negative energy. God Bless all of the animal lovers and protectors out there!

    • Amber Bradshaw on June 1, 2019 at 10:56 pm

      You are so kind to leave a reply, thank you so much. I hope you find the perfect partner for your wether. God Bless you too!

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