Nigerian Dwarf Goats
Although I started raising Alpine goats for their milk (and the delicious cheese you could make from it), I switched to raising Nigerian Dwarf Goats in 2019. Only a few of my original Alpine goats remain on the farm – the remainder have been dispersed to other small flocks around the province.
Goats are herd animals by nature and prey in the wild. They can spook easily and are incapable of defending themselves against predators such as coyotes or wandering dogs. As such I keep my small herd safely behind an electric fence which they have learned early on to respect. At night the herd is tucked safely inside the barn.
Newly constructed in 2021 after my little farm relocated, this 40 x 40′ barn is designed to house at least one horde of Nigerian Dwarf goats along with the sheep when they return to the farm.
This is where the goats spend their evenings and hide during those stormy days. With separate pens for the Bucks and Doelings, everyone can rest comfortably without getting up to any shenanigans.
Ample storage for a few weeks hay (the rest is stored elsewhere on the farm) as well as feed and a pen for new mothers, make this a huge step-up from my first barn.
A high ceiling and venting along the peaks keep it cool in the summer and the elements out during the winter.
Goats love to forage and will happily spend all day outside in the field – until they see someone head toward the goat barn – at that point the promise of potential treats sets off a mad stampede!
Aside from grazing in their field, the goats have constant access to fresh water and hay. Their diet is supplemented each day with sunflower seeds in the morning and a ration of mash in the evening. Free access to minerals and regular doses of copper keep everyone in tip-top shape. Does that have freshened and are producing milk receive extra rations of mash to help them maintain a steady production. By far their all-time favorite treat are alfalfa pellets.
Every year I breed a small number of Nigerian Dwarf doelings and raise the kids while heavily socializing them with myself and the many people who pass through the farm for Farm Tours.
After they are eating solid food, have had their shots, and show no evidence of any health issues the kids are sold as pets, companion animals, or even for milk production at another farm.