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After loving mini goats my whole life, I just bought my first house and soon going to embark on my journey of goat ownership! Can anyone tell me any fun facts about the differences between African pygmy goats and Nigerian dwarfs?
 

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nigerians are a dairy goat, pygmies are more of meat breed. both are very smart, i'm partial to nigerians as i think their milk is terrific, sweet creamy goodness. they are both about the same size, so that's not an issue. both can be houseboken at an early age, or so i'm told. we had a housebroken nigerian. nigerians have a more delicate look. i've had both breeds and just think nigerians pay their way while being good pets, where pygmies are good pets.
 

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Nigerian Dwarf's can have blue eyes, pygs can only have brown.
 

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Nigies! ND's! NIGERIAN DWARVES!!!! They are my all time favorite for many many many reasons....
 

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Both have similar personalities. They are spritey, hardy, and love life. They seem to be one of the cleaner breeds as well.

Pygmies are usually stockier, and get REALLY FLUFFY during the winter. They can be grey, black, brown, and white. They can have a white belt and poll, and always have brown eyes. They are a miniature meat breed, usually kept as pets.

Nigerians can be stocky, but are usually more slender than Pygmies, sometimes taller by about an inch or so, and come in any color. They can have blue eyes. They are a miniature dairy breed, also kept as pets. Mine are "pets with a purpose" and the loves of my life.

Both are perfect pets! :)
 

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Plus you can cross a Nigerian buck with a dairy breed (Nubian) and get a mini dairy goat that you can register with the Minature Diary Goat Association....
 

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Hey now!

Pygmies were originally bred as dual purpose (milk & meat) and are perfectly good milkers. I milk my registered Pygmy and I get about a quart a day. The milk has an unusually high fat content and can be used just like cows' milk. The cream rises to the top and can be scooped off easily.

A really good mini mix is a ND/Pyg cross. You get higher production and higher butterfat content. :)
 

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7 does - 2 bucks - 1 wether
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Hey now!

Pygmies were originally bred as dual purpose (milk & meat) and are perfectly good milkers. I milk my registered Pygmy and I get about a quart a day. The milk has an unusually high fat content and can be used just like cows' milk. The cream rises to the top and can be scooped off easily.

A really good mini mix is a ND/Pyg cross. You get higher production and higher butterfat content. :)
Pygmies and Nigerians used to be the same breed! :D I love both of them, they're both adorable and special in their own ways. Usually pygmies don't produce as much, but they can be good producers as well. :) Sometimes Nigerians can be opposite ... more chunky than milk productive. :laugh:

I find the butterfat sometimes varies between does too! It's so funny. I have one doe that doesn't produce a whole lot, but the milk she gives is RICH and thick, and delicious. My other doe is a better producer, but her milk is slightly thinner. I think the higher producers usually have less rich milk. I like variety. :D
 

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Nigerian Dwarfs are a miniature dairy goat. They should be refined, elegant looking. They should have good milk production for their size. They come in any color and can have blue eyes.
Pygmies are a meat goat. They're short, thick, and cobby. They come in only several colors and cannot have blue eyes.
 

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Pygmies are wide and stocky and are now considered to be companion livestock animals as opposed to just for meat or pets :)

I have pygmy/nigerian crosses and purebred nigerians, some of my crosses are thick and squat like a pygmy and others have been thick but with the length and daintiness of a nigerian dwarf... I personally have also milked my does too and it was my only purebred pygmy doe that gave me the most milk and it tasted the same as that of my nigerians, sweet and smooth :)
When it comes to the nigerians however, I prefer solid colors even though they come in a rainbow of different colors and patterns I also prefer a dwarf doe who looks like a dairy doe... only miniature :) It's also a bit more comfortable to milk a nigerian because they aren't as squat as a pygmy and their udders are bred to be better attached etc.
 

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It is much more difficult to milk a Pygmy and even small goat milkers won't fit Pygmy teats. Pygmy and Nigerian Dwarf are both decended from the West African Dwarf goat, which was later discovered to be two separate breeds of dwarf goat. When breeders discovered the differences in the goats the ND was established as a separate breed from the African Pygmy. Ironically, the larger of the two types formed the basis for the Pygmy and the smaller formed the basis for the Nigerian Dwarf. The African Pygmy was originally a dual purpose breed, but upon the divergence of the Nigerian Dwarf, the Pygmy became bred more for meat as the Nigerian was blossoming into a recognized Dairy breed.

While Nigerian Dwarf Goats were being bred for better dairy production, they began to grown in stature for ease of milking while staying delicate as they conformed to dairy standards. African Pygmies, on the other hand, did not do well in the United States as a meat goat, but gained popularity as a pet animal due to their cute, round faces. At this point Pygmy breeders began to breed for smaller, cuter goats resulting in the tiny adorable Pygmies of today.

So, Pygmies do have much better milk genetics than most meat breeds and can be bred to be good producers if one is so inclined. They do have very high quality milk, but due to their small stature it can be more difficult to milk them. :D
 
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