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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm planning on buying a couple of Nigerian Dwarf wethers as pets for my 1/6th acre property next year, but I can't find any info on how loud the breed is. I've visited ND herds at my breeder's house and at the Los Angeles Zoo, and those goats have generally been quiet. However, I recently met an 8-week old Nigi kid on the breeder's farm that got really attached to me and just kept bleating and screaming when I wasn't petting it. I'd never heard a goat that loud before, and it made me unsure about keeping Nigerian Dwarves in an urban environment.

Are Nigerian Dwarf goats known for making a lot of noise all the time, or are they only talkative when feeding / getting attention? I work a full-time job, which means they'd be alone for large parts of the day, so I plan on free-choicing their food and putting enrichment materials in their pen to keep them content and (hopefully) quiet.
 

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Every goat has it's own volume and call. We have Spanish goats, but they do not all sound the same. We have one doe that is the loudest goat I've ever heard in my life, some of them grumble instead of bleating, each one is slightly different and if you pay attention you'll soon be able to tell who is making the noise. I would say there's no guarantee about volume of a goat. Maybe there's a breed out there that's quiet?
 

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We have one wether that sounds like the Tickle Me Elmo hee, hee, hee. A few with fairly loud mehs. And one wether and one doe that sort of go eeeh, real low.
 
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Welcome! A beautiful goat you have for an avatar! For an alternative, you can ask if you may use this one: https://www.thegoatspot.net/threads/why-are-goats-so-cute.204739/

For us who have gone metric: 0.17ac ≈ 688m². They will probably make the place totally naked in a very short time. I recommend daily walks, they like to go foraging, nibbling on leaves and herbs along the way. Or teach them agility!

I think you have already got the point: The kid you met "got really attached to me and just kept bleating and screaming when I wasn't petting it". The little darlings are individuals, and some of them do like their humans, feeling forgotten after 1/3 of a second without attention. I remember one buckling in my youth, whom I called the "fog horn", because of his strong voice. He sounded like a car horn when he just said a normal, friendly "Hallo!"

But, as has already been said with other words, "if a goat is totally silent, it is generally either content, or dead." They do speak, but not always with sounds.

Consider also their strength, and possible problems with smell and flies from their droppings, as well as local bylaws. And occasional loose dogs, or neighbour kids that like to "play" when you are not there.

("Tickle Me Elmo hee, hee, hee" - will someone explain to a lifetime student of the English language?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Welcome! A beautiful goat you have for an avatar! For an alternative, you can ask if you may use this one: https://www.thegoatspot.net/threads/why-are-goats-so-cute.204739/

For us who have gone metric: 0.17ac ≈ 688m². They will probably make the place totally naked in a very short time. I recommend daily walks, they like to go foraging, nibbling on leaves and herbs along the way. Or teach them agility!

I think you have already got the point: The kid you met "got really attached to me and just kept bleating and screaming when I wasn't petting it". The little darlings are individuals, and some of them do like their humans, feeling forgotten after 1/3 of a second without attention. I remember one buckling in my youth, whom I called the "fog horn", because of his strong voice. He sounded like a car horn when he just said a normal, friendly "Hallo!"

But, as has already been said with other words, "if a goat is totally silent, it is generally either content, or dead." They do speak, but not always with sounds.

Consider also their strength, and possible problems with smell and flies from their droppings, as well as local bylaws. And occasional loose dogs, or neighbour kids that like to "play" when you are not there.

("Tickle Me Elmo hee, hee, hee" - will someone explain to a lifetime student of the English language?)
Thanks! I like silkies a lot, though Eddie and Freddie are also very tempting.

I'm planning on bringing in orchard grass and keeping them on a dry lot, with minimal grazing in the backyard. I look forward to walking them around my neighborhood and letting them nibble on overgrown landscaping though! And maybe I'll even take them on hikes through the Hollywood Hills as well.

The doeling I met wanted a lot of attention! I hope my goats aren't as needy, because I simply can't be around them all day. I might ask my breeder about the dispositions of the parents before I buy their bucklings.

I'd much prefer my goats to be silent from contentment rather than illness or death. I want to make sure they're as happy as possible, and by extension as quiet as possible lol.

I know I need to build strong fencing because the goats will rub up against whatever I put down. My backyard is also surrounded by 1.85 meter tall chain link, so if they get out of their pen they'll have nowhere to go except for back in. Flies and poop will be an issue; I think I'll have to clean their pen every other day to make sure things stay fresh. There aren't any loose dogs or children in my neighborhood, so there shouldn't be problems with them.

I think this is what they meant by "Tickle Me Elmo":
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
They will only get loud like that when they are hungry, scared, lonely or happy you are home from work.
That's good to know, thanks. Hopefully they won't be hungry with free-choice hay, or lonely since I'll be buying two of them. If they only bleat when I come home from work or when something loud like a police chopper flies over then that shouldn't be too bad! Though I know a lot of this is going to be up to the individual disposition of the goat...
 

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My NDs are usually pretty quiet unless they're in heat or separated from their dam/kids, which isn't going to be a problem if you're buying wethers ;) DON'T feed them sweet feed though! I used to have two Pygmy wethers, and I'd give them sweet feed at each feeding. The evening feeding was usually around 5:00, but they'd start hollering for their sweet feed at 3:00 if they suspected there was anyone alive in the house. Heaven forbid you stepped outside and actually confirmed it! Since it sounds like you're getting boys, they should do just fine on just grass hay and loose minerals, no reason to spoil them on sweet feed anyway.

Of course, each animal is different. I've found that the parents aren't necessarily any indicator of how the offspring will turn out, so evaluate the individual goat you're considering and don't just go by its parents. The most skittish goat I owned was the daughter of my friendliest, most laid-back doe, and my loudest doe has a daughter who almost never makes a sound!
 

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It depends on how hungry they are!! ;-) Seriously, I find them reasonably quiet most of the time. But kids can be pretty noisy - especially if you bottle feed.
 

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Good luck with your studies of the goatish language! I suspect you will give them treats when they do some tricks, and good treats are nice fresh leaves of some tasty kind. Good luck in finding those. To stand on hind legs is natural for them, and a good trick to start with. Beware of giving the treat for free! Always a bargaining with goats ... :p
 

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Thanks! I like silkies a lot, though Eddie and Freddie are also very tempting.

I'm planning on bringing in orchard grass and keeping them on a dry lot, with minimal grazing in the backyard. I look forward to walking them around my neighborhood and letting them nibble on overgrown landscaping though! And maybe I'll even take them on hikes through the Hollywood Hills as well.

The doeling I met wanted a lot of attention! I hope my goats aren't as needy, because I simply can't be around them all day. I might ask my breeder about the dispositions of the parents before I buy their bucklings.

I'd much prefer my goats to be silent from contentment rather than illness or death. I want to make sure they're as happy as possible, and by extension as quiet as possible lol.

I know I need to build strong fencing because the goats will rub up against whatever I put down. My backyard is also surrounded by 1.85 meter tall chain link, so if they get out of their pen they'll have nowhere to go except for back in. Flies and poop will be an issue; I think I'll have to clean their pen every other day to make sure things stay fresh. There aren't any loose dogs or children in my neighborhood, so there shouldn't be problems with them.

I think this is what they meant by "Tickle Me Elmo":
Thanks a bunch! I love my boys.
 

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Eddie and Freddie are pretty quiet. They only make noise if they want food or see me. For the food situation, I try to just keep a steady schedule - they will only yell on the dot so I feed them at reasonable times when people don't mind a small goat noise occurrence.

They do make noises when I get home and when I see them, but it's quick, and they aren't that loud. Don't usually "yell" they just make lots of goatie bleats and you can't really hear from too far away. But if you train them to know that crying DOES NOT make them get attention, like a human child LOL, they learn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Eddie and Freddie are pretty quiet. They only make noise if they want food or see me. For the food situation, I try to just keep a steady schedule - they will only yell on the dot so I feed them at reasonable times when people don't mind a small goat noise occurrence.

They do make noises when I get home and when I see them, but it's quick, and they aren't that loud. Don't usually "yell" they just make lots of goatie bleats and you can't really hear from too far away. But if you train them to know that crying DOES NOT make them get attention, like a human child LOL, they learn.
Do you free-choice their food, or are there set times you give them hay to eat? I'd want to feed / greet them in the evening (around 7 PM) if I could so no one is woken up by any minor bleating.

Yeah, that's good advice. I'll definitely try to not pay attention to them when they're yelling so they don't develop bad habits. Did Eddie and Freddie start off as loud goats?
 

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Do you free-choice their food, or are there set times you give them hay to eat? I'd want to feed / greet them in the evening (around 7 PM) if I could so no one is woken up by any minor bleating.

Yeah, that's good advice. I'll definitely try to not pay attention to them when they're yelling so they don't develop bad habits. Did Eddie and Freddie start off as loud goats?
Well now that we're getting chatty I'll give you a rundown!!!!!!!!

So they get a treat of grain morning and evening. Boys aren't really supposed to eat lots of grain, so what they get is VERY minimal. They have free choice hay to eat whenever they want. Although they do get more excited when it first gets brought out! And you can't free choice grain (although I think that's clear). ANYWAY! They get hay morning and evening, even though it's never fully empty.

What they are crying for is their grain, albeit it doesn't even fill their bellies, they just feel like it does! If they didn't get grain (and this is a bold statement) I doubt they would cry as much as they do (which is really, not a lot... they cry for about 1 minute from the time they hear me walking to when they see the bowl going towards them) if they didn't get grain -- and only hay. That's something to ponder on.

Eddie and Freddie are much LESS loud than they used to be. Gosh, when we got them as babies every time I would walk away I'd hear their teeny shrieks like they were being tortured. As they got older they just make a bit of noise to make themselves known. I didn't baby them much, and they are good about not crying for periods longer than a minute or two.

I feed them at 9 or 9:30 ish in the morning, and 5:30 ish at night. Again, the timing doesn't matter as much because "feed" is not much at all, so I just tailor it to what fits my schedule and to keep them making noise only at "suitable times."
 

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Clyde isnt normally to bad, like DD said. When hes hungry, or the wife and I come home, or he's hungry will he get loud. Even then its not to bad. Bonnie is a pygmy when shes in heat or something like that she can get a little loud.
 

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I chose two wethers ND's in hopes they would be quieter. That being said...my guys are 5 weeks old and bottle fed. One has sweet little bleats when he's hungry and is overall a pretty quiet guy until his buddy gets going. The other one (the more finicky one as well) will scream bloody murder if he is hungry and wants a bottle. It has been combated fairly well by having them on a pretty regular feeding schedule and not arriving until there is a brief moment of quiet time. Although, I'm fearful of weaning coming up soon because I fully expect the screaming to start again. I'm hoping their enjoyment of more solid foods now will make it a little smoother (though I don't have my hopes too high haha!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well now that we're getting chatty I'll give you a rundown!!!!!!!!

So they get a treat of grain morning and evening. Boys aren't really supposed to eat lots of grain, so what they get is VERY minimal. They have free choice hay to eat whenever they want. Although they do get more excited when it first gets brought out! And you can't free choice grain (although I think that's clear). ANYWAY! They get hay morning and evening, even though it's never fully empty.

What they are crying for is their grain, albeit it doesn't even fill their bellies, they just feel like it does! If they didn't get grain (and this is a bold statement) I doubt they would cry as much as they do (which is really, not a lot... they cry for about 1 minute from the time they hear me walking to when they see the bowl going towards them) if they didn't get grain -- and only hay. That's something to ponder on.

Eddie and Freddie are much LESS loud than they used to be. Gosh, when we got them as babies every time I would walk away I'd hear their teeny shrieks like they were being tortured. As they got older they just make a bit of noise to make themselves known. I didn't baby them much, and they are good about not crying for periods longer than a minute or two.

I feed them at 9 or 9:30 ish in the morning, and 5:30 ish at night. Again, the timing doesn't matter as much because "feed" is not much at all, so I just tailor it to what fits my schedule and to keep them making noise only at "suitable times."
Thanks, this is all really good advice!

I wasn't planning on bulk feeding them any grain; just loose minerals and hay, since I want to avoid urinary calculi problems. I might give them very minimal grain as treats for learning how to walk on a leash or other tricks, but that's it.

One minute of crying isn't bad at all! It sounds like you have two very well-behaved boys. Do they ever cry out for fresh hay, or do they generally stay quiet about it as long as the feeder has some left?

How long would Eddie and Freddie shriek for when you first got them? From what my breeder said, it looks like I'll be getting my wethers at 6-8 weeks old and taking them home on a bottle to finish the weaning process myself. I'm sure initially they'll be scared of the new environment and of being alone, but I'm hoping if they cry it's not for more than a few minutes at a time. I'm planning on taking a couple days off of work in the beginning to care for them; I'm just worried about the two of them making noise and disturbing neighbors when I'm not around.

9-9:30 AM is about when I'd be feeding my goats too, considering my schedule. I'm glad that it seems possible to have two pet wethers even with a full-time job. Gotta make that money so the goats can be happy!

My NDs are usually pretty quiet unless they're in heat or separated from their dam/kids, which isn't going to be a problem if you're buying wethers ;) DON'T feed them sweet feed though! I used to have two Pygmy wethers, and I'd give them sweet feed at each feeding. The evening feeding was usually around 5:00, but they'd start hollering for their sweet feed at 3:00 if they suspected there was anyone alive in the house. Heaven forbid you stepped outside and actually confirmed it! Since it sounds like you're getting boys, they should do just fine on just grass hay and loose minerals, no reason to spoil them on sweet feed anyway.

Of course, each animal is different. I've found that the parents aren't necessarily any indicator of how the offspring will turn out, so evaluate the individual goat you're considering and don't just go by its parents. The most skittish goat I owned was the daughter of my friendliest, most laid-back doe, and my loudest doe has a daughter who almost never makes a sound!
Yup! Does are very cute, but the fact they go into heat every month means I can't really have them. Wethers are definitely the way to go in an urban environment. I want to look into Sweetlix goat mineral, since I've heard good things about that brand on TGS. I don't know if it classifies as a sweet feed, but I'd probably free-choice it and give them regular grain very minimally as a special treat. And yeah, I've heard about how loud goats can be once they suspect someone is around to pay attention to them. They're definitely intelligent creatures in that regard! How loud generally are your Pygmy wethers?

I'll have to ask my breeder next season about her quieter bucklings, and see if I can get those for my property. It really seems like it's down to the individual goat and its upbringing that determine how loud it's going to be later in life. Ideally I'd love two friendly wethers who are very quiet but also great around people, but that might not be possible lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I chose two wethers ND's in hopes they would be quieter. That being said...my guys are 5 weeks old and bottle fed. One has sweet little bleats when he's hungry and is overall a pretty quiet guy until his buddy gets going. The other one (the more finicky one as well) will scream bloody murder if he is hungry and wants a bottle. It has been combated fairly well by having them on a pretty regular feeding schedule and not arriving until there is a brief moment of quiet time. Although, I'm fearful of weaning coming up soon because I fully expect the screaming to start again. I'm hoping their enjoyment of more solid foods now will make it a little smoother (though I don't have my hopes too high haha!)
Oh boy, that sounds rough. It's interesting how one loud goat can set off its quieter buddy when it feels like being loud, even if the other goat isn't! I'll be getting my goats right around weaning time, so we'll see how well they do in that regard haha. Do you keep your bottle babies in the house, or do you feed them outside? What's your feeding schedule like for them?
 

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Oh boy, that sounds rough. It's interesting how one loud goat can set off its quieter buddy when it feels like being loud, even if the other goat isn't! I'll be getting my goats right around weaning time, so we'll see how well they do in that regard haha. Do you keep your bottle babies in the house, or do you feed them outside? What's your feeding schedule like for them?
It sounds much louder when they're inside. I rarely can hear them bleating from inside the house. Only if I'm close to the window they are near.

They are outside all day and come inside at night. At 5 weeks they're already really destructive chewing on whatever they can find and poop everywhere. They stay in the basement from about 8:00 pm to 7-7:30 am right now. I am hoping to have them outside full time by the end of the week (we're still working on their fence & a solution to keep them safe from predators while so small). I am a new goat mom so I've been slowly trying to figure things out & this site has been more than helpful.

When we first got them (at 2 weeks) they stayed inside more and were being fed in the kitchen but they outgrew the space I made for them pretty quickly & refuse to be contained in the basement so we removed hazards and they have free range until they go out permanently. That being said, they really want to come into the kitchen with me now when I'm outside with them, which was probably my mistake but they're too stinking cute and I don't mind as long as they're not peeing in the kitchen.
 

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Personally I would buy adults instead of babies and ones that weren’t bottle fed so there is no chance of them being unnaturally attached to humans. My Nigerian dwarves are all super quiet, but none of them are people friendly, so I’m nothing more than where their food comes from. If I take one away for some reason, they all get semi loud, but they quiet down pretty quickly. I had a Nubian Doe (Nubians are well known for being loud) that would scream at me (yes scream, and she sounded almost human) anytime she saw me. Compared to her, they’re very quiet. The difference between a loud yell and an ‘inside voice’, and that’s when they’re loud.
 
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