Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats


My big Nubian got out and was trying to breed the two little Nigerian dwarf does I recently adopted.

What to do if they become pregnant? He is so much larger.

Thanks if anyone can help or has experience with such a situation.

Linda klein

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In this situation, most people get lutalyse from their vet and inject the does a week after they were exposed to the buck.

If they got pregnant, you would likely need to have a c-section. Even if they did manage to give birth, they could wind up with internal scar tissue that would make it impossible for them to give birth in the future.

A couple of years ago my big livestock guardian dog, Snowy, got loose and bred my Australian sheep dog size female Woofy.

I was really worried about it and took her to the vet school for xrays. Turned out the pups only grew to the size their little mom's body could handle and we got six beautiful pups that grew into medium collie size adults, i was hoping that a similar thing would happen with goats. If you look closely, the Ethiopian does have bodies almost as large as a regular goat's but their little legs are  so short they seem much smaller.

Anybody have any more inputs on the subject?

You got lucky, which can happen. I know people with dogs and goats who did not get lucky. There is someone on here who had purchased a buck who was supposedly 99% Nigerian, according to the seller. Being a kid, it was not obvious to someone new to goats that this goat was not the size of a purebred ND kid of that age, so she bred him to her goat, which wound up needing a C-section because she could not give birth to the 7-pound kid that was produced. Had she been luckier, the doe might have thrown more eggs, but the kids still would have been in the 5-6 pound range, which a lot of NDs can't birth. A year later, she realized the buck was too big to be a purebred ND, which is why he was not registered -- and was unfortunately sold by an unscrupulous seller.

The more harrowing story I ever heard was someone who bred an angora buck to a pygmy doe. The doe couldn't give birth to the kid, and the owner didn't want to pay for a c-section. So, the vet cut the kid up into pieces to get it out, which caused a ruptured uterus in the doe, who then died after a couple of days of suffering. (If you've ever seen "obstetrical wire" in the farm catalogs, this is what it's used for.)

Someone on Facebook was bragging last year about their ND doe giving birth to a 9-pound kid after being bred to a boer. First of all, I have a VERY hard time believing the kid actually weighed 9 pounds -- and if so, that the doe was a purebred ND. But if indeed both of those things are true, that was the luckiest person ever. But of course, she had no idea if the doe had any internal damage at the time, which was a real possibility.

Five pounds seems to be about the limit for a ND doe to be able to kid successfully. I've had a doe successfully give birth to a 5-pound kid, but I have also had a doe that needed a c-section with a 5-pound kid. Last year, I had a doe that almost died after what appeared to be successfully giving birth to a 5 pound, 2 ounce kid. She was completely zoning out and refused to nurse the kids or even pay attention to them. I took her to the vet hospital, and she had a long internal vaginal tear. (Contrary to what a lot of us might think, the bleeding from internal tears does not usually flow outside the body.) They said she should never be bred again. If she is, she'd probably have to have a c-section because the scar tissue in that area does not stretch well, so they wouldn't expect her to be able to give birth.

Length of legs has nothing to do with the size difference between Nubians and NDs. A mature ND doe weighs about 60 pounds. A mature Nubian weighs 2-3 times that much. At birth, ND kids average about 3 pounds; Nubian kids weigh 2-3 times that much. When you make mini dairy goats, the kids usually come out around 5-6 pounds.

When you say "little" ND does, I'm assuming they've never freshened before, which is worst case scenario. They are much more likely to have only thrown one egg, and single kids are bigger than twins or more. Plus, younger does are smaller anyway. They should NOT be bred until they weigh at last 40 pounds.

You said "trying to breed." Do you know if they were in heat? Was he successful?

A couple more things to think about -- you should always have two fences between bucks and does to minimize the risk of this happening. Also, I used to have la manchas too, but I wound up castrating my la mancha buck after he got in my ND doe pen the second time. I was not willing to risk having him get them pregnant. I did give the does lutalyse, but that is not something that I wanted to be doing on a regular basis.

Luckily my story has a happy ending. My doe gave birth to 3 healthy little Nigerian size bucklings. They were super cute with floppy Nubian ears, and I found them homes with loving human parents very quickly.

You certainly were very lucky.  We raise mini-nubians, and our kids have all been between 4 1/2 and 7 1/2 pounds.  Usually in the middle of the two.  I'm glad things turnes out well.

Thank you, Patty

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