Which Is Better For The Average Homesteader-The Mini Nubian Goat Or The Dwarf Goat?
If you are thinking about homesteading, going off the grid, or simply wanting to try your hand at self-sufficiency; raising goats may have crossed your mind. However, you may be hesitant as some goats can weigh nearly 200 pounds. And you feel your property may be too small or you just do not feel comfortable handling an animal of that size.
This hesitance is understandable. However, if you purchase a miniature goat, you will not have to worry about, milking or handling, a 200-pound farm animal. The Mini Nubian goat and the Nigerian Dwarf are two smaller dairy goat breeds that are an excellent choice for the homesteader and urban farmer. Each of these small goat breeds will be evaluated below.
Why Any Goats In The First Place?
If you’ve found this article, you likely have already decided that a goat could be a good addition to your life. So, I am just going to review the reasons why goats may be a good choice. The following reasons are borrowed from the excellent website, Treehugger, which lists several reasons for raising goats. Below are a few of the most important and interesting reasons:
• Milk-A single goat can provide milk for an average-sized family. And with the milk, you can use it for cheese, yogurt, and other milk-based products. Also, goat’s milk is better on the stomach for those suffering from mild cases of lactose intolerance.
• Meat-Although it is not popular in the US, goat meat is an excellent source of protein.
• Clear Brush-Brush Goats are excellent natural weed eaters. Look at the video below to see how effective goats are at weed killing.
• Soap-You can make a soft soap that is perfect for those with sensitive skin with goat’s milk.
• Clothing-The luxury fabrics, cashmere, and angora all come from goats.
Click Here, for the full list.
Raising Dairy Goats
Goats are bred for different purposes. For example, the Angora and Pygora goat are bred primarily for their wool or fiber, and the Myotonic Goat or Fainting Goat was bred for its meat. There are also goats breeds, which are the Nubian, Toggenburg, LaMancha, Oberhasli, Alpine, and Saanen, that are bred to supply milk.
Milk Producing Requirements
In order for a female goat or doe to produce milk they first need to become impregnated and have their kids or baby goats. That’s why these below facts are important if you are thinking about raising goats.
- Sexual Maturity- Females-Seven to Eighth Months, Males-Three Months
- Gestation Period (Time They Remain Pregnant)-Five Months
- Lactation Period (Time They Produce Milk)-Around 284 days with their top-production around four to six months after they have their kids.
What This Means
The biggest lesson to learn from this is that you cannot be set you up for an ample supply of goat’s milk by just buying a couple of dairy goats. A doe, to produce milk, has to recently birth offspring. So, unless you are willing to risk incestuous breeding. You will have to have to breed with a steady supply of new bucks, with a different gene pool.
Finding the correct mate for your goats can be an issue in good times. For the average homesteader or prepper, appropriately breeding your goats can be impossible if you are wanting to totally go off-grid or during an SHTF scenario.
The Nigerian and Mini Dwarf Goats
The Mini-Nubian and the Nigeran Dwarf goats are smaller than most other dairy goats. As a result, they are a perfect fit for homesteaders, and for novice goat dairy farmers.
Mini Nubian Goat
The Miniature Nubian Goat is a cross between the purebred Nubian and A Nigeria Dwarf goat. It can be recognized by its long, droopy ears, and except for the size, they are nearly identical to the larger Nubian. It is a smaller goat. However, in comparison to the Nigerian Dwarf, it is more of a mid-sized goat.
The Nubian Dairy Goat averages 100 lbs and its height averages between 23” to 31.” (Bucks are at the high end of 31”) This is quite small in comparison to a standard Nubian goat, which weighs at least 135 pounds for does, and 175 pounds for bucks. Also, the standard Nubian is taller at 30 to 35 inches.
The Mini Nubian is classified as a milk goat and despite their smaller size, they can supply almost as much milk as a standard Nubian goat. They produce from around one to two courts a day or around 2/3rds the amount as the standard full-sized, Nubian goat.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat
If you are wanting a miniature dairy goat, for your homestead a Nigerian Dwarf Goat may be for you. These dwarf goats are a dairy goat breed, and taking into account their small size, they are excellent milk producers. They are also excellent pets as they are known for being outgoing, and friendly, and quite healthy animals.
For those who have a small acreage farm or are urban farmers the Nigerian dwarf, as they are only 18 to 20 inches tall, and weigh around 75 pounds is quite popular.
This mini goat may be small. But they are excellent suppliers of quality, butterfat-rich milk, where the average from one to two quarts daily.
The Mini-Nubian and Nigerian miniature goats are both smaller goats that are perfect for the novice or farmer who does not have that much acreage. They also have the same, sweet temperament, and, if you choose, they can be excellent pets. You can also expect that both of these breeds to produce around one to two quarts of milk daily
The only difference between the two breeds is the size. The Nigerian Dwarf goat (Average of 75 Pounds) is significantly smaller than the Mini-Nubian. These extra pounds are a big difference when it comes to handling and simply taking care of these wonderful creatures. Therefore, based upon the smaller size, the Nigerian is the best goat breed for the novice or those with a smaller acreage to work with.
Raising Goats For Meat
I did not mention this in the main article as the Mini-Nubian and the Nigerian goat are not commonly used for meat. The Mini-Nubian, and Nigeran Dwarf goats, are both known for having a sweet, playful, lovely disposition, and small size, which makes them makes excellent pets. As a result, they are not a popular source of meat. However, goat meat is a valuable, source of protein, and smaller goats like the pygmy goat have a history of being used for meat.