Expert farmers and livestock owners do not have any problem in identifying the distinction among small breeds of goat. Beginners in the farming industry, along with pet owners who opt to breed and grow goats, are often confused with the physical characteristics. One of the most common confusion in when it comes to determining the type of small breeds would be between the Nigerian dwarf goats vs pygmy goats. The two types of goat are the smallest in their category, milk and meat breed.
Pygmy goats are a popular breed for meat breeds and as goat pets. It is the smallest of the meat breed and produces less amount of milk, making it ideal for home pets due to smaller space consumption, lower care effort, and maintenance. The questions most people ask is why the pygmy goat is considered a meat breed if it is that small. It may not produce a lot of meat like with other large meat breeds but the quality of meat of a pygmy goat is far more tender, juicy and tasteful. In fact, there are farms that only breed domesticated pygmy goats due to popular demand. The meat is a little expensive compared to large meat breeds but many say it is totally worth it.
On the other hand, Nigerian dwarf goat is the smallest of its type of breed. It falls under the category of milk breeds. It’s not just the smallest. It is also the best breed for producing high butterfat content milk. The Nigerian dwarf may not be a large quantity producing milk breed but the milk contains 10% butterfat that is responsible for making your milk creamy. The milk is often used in making yogurt, cheese, ice cream, and some cosmetic products.
Nigerian Dwarf Goats Vs Pygmy Goats
Both of these breeds actually have the same continental origin. The pygmy goat originated and was first domesticated on the area of Cameroon Valley. The Nigerian dwarf goat obviously came from Nigeria as the name of the breed dictates. Both of them can be found in Africa. They may come from the same origin but there is lots of difference when it comes to physical and industrial function.
Here is a short video of the two goat breeds living together on a small farm:
Of centuries, serious farmers and livestock breeders have made a huge improvement of refining each of these breeds. In fact, the quality of the meat of pygmy goats today is far better compared to the first time it was domesticated. It is the same with Nigerian dwarf goat. The milk production and the quality of the milk produced have been refined over several lineages and have greatly improved today’s dairy characteristics.
Pygmy goats are the smallest of its type of breed but compared to Nigerian dwarf, it is much heavier and has thick muscles. It is a rounded shape meat breed with circumferential measurement, that of a barrel. They have a short neck and body. Pygmy goats somehow have a square shaped head. The color distinction for identifying pygmy goats would be the white frosting on the back, commonly seen on a black and brown pygmy goat.
To avoid any misconception, pygmy goat also produces milk. It’s the same with other meat and fiber breeds. All goats have the ability to produce milk but mainly for the purpose of providing nourishment for the kids. Yes, baby goats or young goats are called kids. The milk is just enough to grow the young goats until they can utilize their digestive system. Milk breeds, on the other hand, can produce milk more than what their kids can consume, classifying them as milk breeds.
Compared to pygmy goat’s bulkiness, Nigerian dwarf goat has a more refined physical structure. It does not have large and thick muscles and the bones are slim and flat. They have a delicate body than the pygmy goat but it’s naturally pleasing than the bodily structure of the pygmy. It has a longer body than the pygmy goat. Milk breeds, especially Nigerian dwarf goat, has longer productivity of milk. Their mammary glands and/or system works longer compared to meat breeds.
In terms of structural difference, Nigerian dwarf goats vs pygmy goats the size and weight of both breeds never goes far from each other. The purpose would serve them to be different breeds but both can function as a good and ideal pet goat. Comparing goat breeds when it comes to industrial purpose can’t really be weighed because pygmy goats are raise and grown for their meat. Pygmy goats can produce milk but just enough for their kids. It would also make the Nigerian dwarf a poor source of meat if grown and raised for that purpose. It has a slim body with only a very few muscular features.
Temperament or Behavior
Both of the breeds are highly recommended as goat pets. That is because of their fun and entertaining characteristics. But many rumors and experiences from different pet owners and some farmers that pygmy goats can often times be hard headed and a little more aggressive as they play. They are said to be even more mischievous than the smallest milk breed, the Nigerian dwarf. But some may say that it is just a case of untamed or untrained pet goat.
Others prefer pygmy goats due to their minimal requirement of care effort. Unlike Nigerian dwarf, pygmy goats do not produce a lot of milk during pregnancy. It is just right for their kids to consume. Nigerian dwarf have a lot of supply, more than what their kids can drink. The excess milk production needs to be milked out of the goat or it will cause mastitis due to bacterial grown in the tissues of the breast coming from spoiled milk. It could case swelling and infection that could bring a lot of pain to your pet goat.
There are behaviors you need to consider and understand. Goats are like other pets that will defecate or urinate inside your house. You need to train the animal to keep their personal necessities out of the house. You might also want to train their habit of excessive chewing. The animal can chew on your fabrics, cloths and furniture. This will cause you additional expenses that will give you stress rather than good company.