thinking about getting Nigerian dwarf goats

by Jon DeOliveira
(Wilmington nc )

I am new to homesteading, But it the turn of the economy, government and everything else going on in the world we decided to take a leap of faith and become self reliant. We started last February and got 8 chicks which now give us about 3 dozen eggs a week in the summer. We are now thinking about getting two Nigerian dwarf goats this spring for milk, cheese and maybe even soap. With that said I will be converting part of my shed for them as a shelter. Chickens were easy once we were past the chick stage. How hard are goats. We figure Nigerian due to their size would be the best fit. Any pointers and suggestions would be great. We are growing our own food also and canning too.

Jon DeOliveira

Comments for thinking about getting Nigerian dwarf goats

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Nigerians are Great!
by: Anonymous

I have a small herd of Nigerian Dwarf goats (10) for the very same reasons as you stated! Do your research, and buy your goats from reputable breeders. You should be able to find a dairy goat club in your state by doing a Google search.

If you can find a "doe in milk" for sale, you can get the milk pail filled rather quickly! As a second option, buy a doe that has already been bred and you will have milk, and the beginnings of your own herd in 5 months. Otherwise, you will have to buy young does, raise them to about a year old, then pay to have them bred.

A Nigerian will give you maybe a quart of milk a day on average. Decide how much milk you want, then build your herd to meet your needs. When I make cheese, it takes about a gallon of milk to make 20 ounces of soft, spreadable cheese. For soap, you'll use about an ounce of milk per 4 ounce bar of soap. Don't forget to make goat yogurt! It's the bestest with local raw honey and fresh fruit. :o)

Realize that goats won't make milk forever on a single kidding. You will be breeding, birthing, and selling off babies every year to keep yourself in milk. Occasionally, you will find a doe who LOVES to be milked and she'll "milk through" for more than a year.

Try to find a Goat Mentor in your area and visit their farm. I've met some wonderful Goat People over the past 5 years! Ask lots of questions, read a few books, and visit some websites. The more you know ahead of time, the fewer problems you will encounter!

Blessings,
Darlene

You'll Handle Goats Just Fine
by: Sue Merriam

Hi Jon,

If you can handle chickens, you can definitely handle goats. They are fairly easy to raise, and the only challenge you might face is when they are ready to give birth. Even then you may walk out one morning to feed your goats and discover a new kid in your yard. Get a good reference book such as Storey's Guide to Raising Dairy Goats.
While Nigerian goats do take up less space, they also give less milk, so you will need more of them, if you plan on making cheese from your goat milk. A better choice might be a Nubian goat (get two or three so they don't get lonely). You could breed your Nubian does with a Boer billy goat. That way you could have the best of both worlds - milk and meat from the extra kids.

Congratulations on your homesteading efforts! Keep up the great work!

Sue

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