noun. A small, keg-shaped animal that constantly demands affection and treats while sounding remarkably like a drunk bagpipe player attempting to belt out Scotland The Brave as they fall down a set of stairs. Insanely cute and friendly.
In 2019 I made the decision to switch from raising Alpine goats (a dairy breed) to breeding Nigerian Dwarf goats. Although I do miss the milk (and amazing cheese!) from the Alpines the Nigerian Dwarves have proven to be a very child-friendly addition to the farm with their small size and friendly nature making them an instant hit with guests of all ages.
Bred for personality rather than strict adherence to breed conformation, I maintain a small pool of does who have given me a wealth of friendly, quirky, and active kids over the years. Recently the herd sire was changed out and the existing buck, Tim of The Mighty Beard, retired.
The Visitor Experience
The goats will not allow a visitor to leave without attempting make friends. The younger goats will want to climb on laps and the older goats will look for scritches and hugs. They adore attention and are excellent when interacting with the very young or those with special needs. At the end of each tour guests are encouraged to hand feed the goats their treat of choice, sunflower seeds (which are provided at no additional fee).
The Nigerian Dwarf Goats I currently raise are not fiber producers nor are they terrific milkers – as such they are raised solely as companion animals or pets.
Every year I breed a small number of does and raise the kids in a highly social environment with lots of interaction with Farm Tours, visits to facilities like the local Nursing Home, and of course myself.
After the kids are eating solid food, have had their shots, and show no evidence of any health issues several kids each year are available as pets or companion animals to experienced owners or those just starting who have proper facilities and access to a suitable mentor.