The Ideal Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goat

The Ideal Nigerian Dwarf as found in the NDGA membership manual 

Click on each picture for larger view






Maintenance Schedule

The information below isn't necessarily right for you, it is what i chose to do for me in my area, place consult your vet to develop a schedule that is right for you..


At birth, give l/4 cc Bo-Se
Before disbudding and/or castration, give  l cc Tetanus antitoxin SubQ
At 6 - 8 weeks, give shot #l of 3 CD/T (2cc  S.Q.)
At 8 weeks, worm with Safeguard/Panacur
At 9 weeks, give Albon  for 7 days or Dimethox for 5 days
At 10 weeks, give shot #2 of CD/T & worm with Ivomec SubQ, Valbazen, Tramisol, Safeguard/Panacur, strongid, Cydectin or (herbal wormer as directed) Repeat as needed in 10 days, i try never to use the same wormer more then once a worming sequence a year ( worming sequence 3 times 10 days apart same wormer,{and i've even read that changing the wormer on the last worming in a sequence is a good idea} but the next worming use completely different)n.
1 - 2  weeks after weaning, give Albon or Dimethox for 7 days
8 -10 months - CD/T booster (2cc S.Q. or I.M.)
Feed a (Decox) such as Purina Noble Started/Grower feed for the first four months or administer other coccidiostats (if needed in your area as recommended by a vet)

We disbud kids when the horn bud in the first 5 to 10 days for does.......Timing is the key, which is before the base of horn bud is larger than the diameter of your disbudding iron.  We burn completely through the poll and remove the "cap". 

We castrate at 12 weeks of age unless reserved. We castrate using the banding method.

Bottle Feeding

We choose to Dam raise, on our strictly tested herd, but once in a while the need will arise and we will have to bottle feed. We prefer the Pritchard nipples, on an 8 oz pop bottle.. For the first 2 days, feed every 4 hours, offering as much as they will take. weaker kids i usually feed every 2 hours.
feed 4 times each day until one week of age, offering as much as they will take. Starting on day 6, we begin to feed three times each day. At this time they should be taking 4 - 6 oz. at each feeding. At two weeks, we begin to feed twice each day. Continue feeding twice once per day until at least 8 weeks.  (You can then reduce feeding to once per day, feeding bucks for 10 weeks at least), many of my dam raised kids (Bucks) will be given a bottle at birth so that when i have to take them from their moms (between 6-8 weeks) they will readily take a bottle and i can continue bottle feeding a bit longer. Of course you can continue this one feeding for as long as you'd like. We offer a medicated (decox) {Purina Noble goat starter/grower, now found in TSC}, pelleted goat feed to the kids almost right away. At weaning, we continue to feed the medicated feed to our kids "free choice", by way of a creep feeder, and especially to the boys that have been taken away from their mothers, they get feed "free choice" 24/7


Mature Doe

Worm 3 to 4 times per year
Give Bo-Se  once a year, as our area is normally sufficient in Selenium,
l month before breeding does, give 2cc CD/Tet, plus Bo-Se according to weight and deworm. (I am making an attempt to draw away from Chemical wormers and lean more towards herbal wormers) but i will still use Chemical wormers as needed
We feed an 16.7% protein pelleted goat feed. 

Feed Recipe: for 500lb ...... note: not completely accurate as i tweak it to meet my availability


15 lb bg

Calf Manna
rabbit pellet
Vit A,D &E
Protien %
Fat %
Fiber %


50 lb



Loose minerals (for cattle) are offered free choice in gravity feeders. We use Cattle mineral mainly because it is easier to find in my area and the copper content is higher then sheep/goat or horse mineral. We also offer free choice baking soda and salt. Fresh water is available at all times. Always keep waters clean. I mix 1/4  cup of vinegar (per 5 gal water bucket) in their water, Vinegar has many benefits  such parasite control, internal and external, blood flow, clean arteries, looser skin.


Worm 3 to 4 times per year
Trim hooves  and delouse at the same time with DE Earth. at the same time as i worm
Give Bo-Se  one month before breeding season starts
We feed our bucks the same as does
Does your buck feed have Ammonium Chloride in it. If yours doesn't, then mix a small amount of Ammonium Chloride, l/2 Tbls. vegetable oil, 2 Tbls. loose mineral salt into their grain each day. 

 Does usually are checked more often as they are getting on the milk stand. I dust the animal with  DE earth powder, which helps keep all external parasites away. I also shave all of the animals during the summer which also helps control external parasites. I brush the goats often to help encourage blood flow, having quality hay, fresh water, and loose  minerals available  all the time. I also put vinegar in their water about once a week, which has many benefits.

We will test our animals  bi annual for TB, Brucellosis, CAE, and Johnes.  

  150 day gestation Calendar 



Biology of the Goat



Coper Bolus

Copasure boluses come in 2 sizes; One at 12.5 grams for calves weighing
up to 500 lb, and the other at 25 grams for for cows weighing over 500 lb.
*_Preparing Copper Gel-Caps_*
**Size '000' cap*
(4 gm) 80-90 # animal - Fill large half full, plus pinch or two in small half.
(3.12 gm) 60-70 # animal - Fill large half to 1/8" below top
*Size '00' cap
(2.5 gm) 45-55 # animal - Fill to about top of large half.
(2.08 gm) 40-45 # animal - Fill to 3/8" below top of large half.
*Size '0' cap*
(1.78 gm) 35-40 # animal - Fill to very top of large half
(1.56 gm) 30-35# animal - Fill almost to top of large half
*Size '1' cap*
(1.2 gm) 20-25 # animal - Fill to top of large half
(.83 gm) 16-20 # animal - Fill to ¼" below top of large half.
*Size '3'cap
(.63 gm) 10-15 # animal - Fill almost to top of large half

other ideas, put the proper dose in a marshmallow then feed

Natural  Remedies.........

I haven't arrived yet, but this is an area that i really want to explore and move into. Below are some of the readily available herbs to explore things we can find in the fields or plant in our gardens as remedies for various goat illnesses and maintenance (notice that i said explore) contact your vet first, these are not ment to replace your or my vet's advice.

I will be adding to this list for quiet some time...

plant medicines for wormer why not?  many can be grown in your own backyard gardens and offered  free choice.

Some very popular and easy to grow plants/wormers would be pumpkin seed, garlic, wormwood (use the very mild member of this family called Sweet Annie), wild mustard, ginger root, tea (yes the tea you drink), and parsley. Basil, Black Walnut (inner hull powder or pieces)
Calendula (leaves) { this blew my mind, Calendula is pot marigold, how cool is that}, Cinnamon, Fennel, Garlic (bulbs and the leaves), Horseradish (root or leaves), Peppermint, Sorrel, Tansy

Antibiotic/Antiviral Herbs Basil, Calendula, Cinnamon, Echinacea (root and leaves)
Elder, Garlic, Myrrh, Olive Leaf, Tea Tree (eucalyptus)

Kidding raspberry leaf and nettle. Fresh or dried, these herbs help to tone the uterus a couple of weeks before and after kidding, and helps with milk let down

Increas milk Dill, Fennel, Fenugreek, Nettles, Milk Thistle, Red Raspberry

Stop milk sage (keep that locked up) lol

Garlic, echinacea, and ginger given frequently is the best treatment internally and peppermint oil and tea tree oil massaged externally

Respiratory echinacea, peppermint, horehound, combined and given frequently..use equal parts of each, also garlic and Vit C

Diarrhea If it is accompanied by lethargy, fever, chills, etc. or if in young kids   immediately with slippery elm bark, blackberry leaf, and dill for a day, followed by garlic and echinacea for several days. other options Calendula, Catnip, Chickweed, Fennel, Garlic, Ginger, Nettle, Yellow Dock

Yogurt is also good to give during and after chemical antibiotic treatments, as those will kill beneficial bacteria in the digestive system where natural herbal antibiotics and antivirals will not. 

Edema Dandelion (whole plant, fresh or dried), burdock or yellow dock, chickweed, warm compress. 

Urinary Calculi Apple cider vinegar, cranberry, salt

Wounds mix together apple cider vinegar, aloe vera juice, tea tree oil, and an infusion made from calendula and echinacea, put it in a spray bottle, and spray the affected area several times a day.

Stress / Calming chamomile, Valerian, Lavender,Lemon Balm,Peppermint

Pain Relief/Fever Reducing Herbs Meadowsweet, White Willow, Yarrow, Yucca

Herbs for cough Horehound, Hyssop, Licorice, Myrrh, Peppermint, Tea Tree

Cleansing Herbs Cilantro, Dandelion (root and leaves), Milk Thistle

Infections garlic echinacea

The Medicine Cabinet

Normal Goat Values:

Rectal temperature=102.5-104
Respiration=15 to 30 per minute
Puberty=3-12 months (sometimes 2 months) but

on average 5 months in does and 8 weeks in males

Estrus Cycle= 18 to 23 days
Gestation= 145 to 150 days average.-

A medicine cabinet for goats:

  1. Veterinary thermometer 
  2. vet wrap
  3. 3cc and 12 cc plastic disposable syringes
  4. Weak kid syringe
  5. Needles- Size #20 gage and 3/4" and 1/2 inch.
  6. Turkey baster for drenching
  7. Surgical scissors
  8. Surgical gloves
  9. Tamed iodine for wounds
  10. 7% tincture of iodine for navel
  11. Blood stop powder
  12. Propylene glycol for ketosis
  13. Nutri-drenching for stress
  14. Probios anti-stress formula
  15. Vet RX fro respiratory ailments
  16. Ketocheck to diagnose ketosis
  17. Electrolyte powder for stress
  18. Amprolium or corid for coccidia
  19. Biosol for scours
  20. Bo-Se (check your county extension to see if they are selenium deficient in their area before giving Bo-Se)  
  21. Thiamin  <goat polio must have>
  22. Vit B comples 3 cc 3 times a day = dosage for Thiamin for goat polio.. if i new that i might of saved one goats life
  23. Pen G <General Penicillian 
  24. LA 200 or Biomycn  <3 day antibiotic>
  25. Nuflor <pneumonia med>
  26. dymethox <cocci med>


In the Refrigerator

  1. Procaine Penicillin G-this is a broad spectrum antibotic that may hold you over till you can get to a vet-I always have some on hand just in case. Most times your goats will get sick at night, on weekends or holidays when its hard to get in contact with a vet
  2. Enterotoxemia vaccine-type C&D anti toxin-Anti toxin is to treat overeaters
  3. Tetanus anti toxin- Anti-toxin is to treat a goat that already has tetanus or you need quick coverage, it only lasts for up to 2 weeks, so if your disbuding or a goat has a wound this is what you would need to give.
Note: I put most if not all even herbal meds in the freezer or fridge this will prolong the life of the meds..

Find a local goat vet. don't just settle for any ole vet.. chances are most have not had much dealings with goats and therefore are clueless.. join yahoo chat goat groups.. find goat friends on facebook.. get a network going in your area.. experienced goat people need to be your best friends.. don't try to wing it on your own, if you do you will meet alot more heart ache and frustrations then you ever thought possible

Kidding season. Diaper Bag:

Kidding Kit You might want to start this a bit early make a list check it twice ... what I am doing here is combining several lists to attempt to meet the extreme, do the best that you can, and gather as much as you can, chances are you wont need much of your kit but it sure is a time saver when you have it on hand just in case.. the list will be rather long, adjust it to fit your needs :

  • Storage Place  cabinet, cooler, a tool box or a tack box something to hold your supplies so they are handy
  • Cell Phone - with the emergency phone number of your vet, it seems as if if your going to need a vet it will be late at night or on the weekends.. also the number of your goat mentor, if you don't have one find one.. very important.
  • Spiral Notebook and a pencil leave it in your tool box so that it is always near by or hang it on the wall. use a pencil instead of a pen or marker because it will not freeze as a pen would, you will need to use this to keep account of who is born to which doe, and who is born first, give a brief color description and left ear ID #, time of birth, number in birth, anything unusual, and weight. 
  • Wear clothes that you don't mind ruining such as cover alls, if you have to assist you will get slimy goo on you
  • Spool of ribbon to right ID #'s on the kids, this will help keep track of who belongs to whom until everyone is properly tattooed and bonded to their dams or sold.  
  • Digital Camera, set it to display the date and time, this will also help keep track of who is who and when, make sure you got new batteries. 
  • Flash light or other light sourse in case the power goes out, also new batteries
  • Towels and Sweaters, you can make some quick sweaters form old sweat shirts or sweat pant legs, wont look fancy but will help fend off the cold in extreme temps
  • Newspaper to put under each birth to catch the fluids to help keep pen dry and clean, and to keep kids from being born in siblings birthing fluids. makes for a cleaner birth
  • Paper Towels i like using paper towels better then cloth towels, they absorb the fluids and make cleaning a kid faster and cleaner, cloth towels seem to just smear the goo around not absorbing it like paper towels too, boy a big package or two you wont regret it. i use old feed sacks to gather the dirty ones in
  • Hair Dryer to help dry kids quickly
  • Dental Floss to tie of navel or shorten it
  • Sterilized Surgical Scissors to cut off navel cord that  is too long
  • Rubbing Alcohol to sterilize your scissors
  • Tamed Iodine to coat kids navel
  • Ivory Soap and Container of Worm Water I use a large water thermos in the winter with hot water, by the time i need it is will have cooled... this will be used to wash your hands if you need to assist.
  • Long surgical gloves can be found at you local pharmacy and many feed stores, I no longer use this because i feel that it hinder my hands from feeling what i can not see. 
  •  Germ X i use this before i go in to assist 
  • Water Based Lubricant such as KY Jelly or Ivory Soap, i use the Ivory
  • Uterine Boluses or Antibiotic found at your local feed store or vet, give a ND doe one bolus if you have enter her uterus to help prevent infection
  • Wash moms udder getting it ready for kids unless you pull kids at birth, in which case you start milking right away
  • A card board box to put kids in if you intend to pull them ( i don't unless requested )
  • Nasal Aspirator to remove mucus and any uterine fluids that might have gotten in the nose and mouth, helps kids get to breathing faster, clearing the nose and mouth also lessons the chance of newborn pneumonia 
  • Feeding tube or syringe found at your vet or goat supply store to use to feed week kids
  • Pitchered Nipple bottle or baby bottle either will work, i like the Pitchered nipple, especially for newborns, i will milk mom and give their first sips from a bottle, this makes switching later on a bit easier and also starts the bond with me, even though i dam raise
  • Nutra Drench a squirt of Nutra Drench goes into the blood giving the kid a jump start 
  • Scale to weigh the kids, i use a fishing scale, Nigerian Dwarf usually weigh between 2 - 4 lbs. 
  • Popsicle stick and surgical tape to make splints for weak legs, a shot of BoSe will also help straighten and strengthen kids legs 1/4 cc in the muscle
  • Molasses Water for the mom gives mom energy and a reward for all her hard work, also a treat of grain or peanuts or cookies, now is the time to spoil her she has earned i
  •  also include a drawing of how the legs of a goat bend, this way I can use it when in a pinch and I need to know if the kid is coming out the correct way or backwards..so that you have a quick reference when trying to decipher in the dark what is coming out first or if you need to assist in getting things turned right..

Proper hand milking By Rosalie Sinn (for Heifer Project International)and Jennifer Stultz

To read the article in the DGJ click on the pic

Polled X Polled Breeding

Horned (pp) X Horned (pp) = 100% horned (pp) offspring.
Polled (Pp) X Horned (pp) = 50% polled (Pp), 50% horned (pp) offspring.
Polled (Pp) X Polled (Pp) = 25% polled (PP), 50% polled (Pp), 25% horned (pp) offspring
Homozygous polled (PP) X Horned (pp) = All polled (Pp) offspring.
Homozygous polled (PP) X Homozygous Polled (PP) = All homozygous polled (PP) offspring.

Removing Horns

More often then not you find the perfect goat on a website someplace only she has horns, before you turn away consider removing them.... Below is Betty Lou a beautiful doe in my book with genetics that I wanted more of in my herd. So instead of passing her up. We  decided to remove the horns. 


Click on the picture for the link to see how it is done

 Not: we did not cut a grove, we used a dremmel and filed a small grove, no blood, I also applied 2 bands from the beginning, and reapplied new bands about every week, it took about a month before they fell off. minimal amount of blood at that time. I am very happy with the results.

Information found at wiki

Milk composition analysis, per 100 grams [51][52]
Constituents Unit Cow Goat Sheep
Water g 87.8 88.9 83.0
Protein g 3.2 3.1 5.4
Fat g 3.9 3.5 6.0
Carbohydrate g 4.8 4.4 5.1
Energy kcal 66 60 95
Energy kJ 275 253 396
Sugars (lactose) g 4.8 4.4 5.1
Cholesterol mg 14 10 11
Calcium mg 120 100 170
Saturated fatty acids g 2.4 2.3 3.8
Monounsaturated fatty acids g 1.1 0.8 1.5
Polyunsaturated fatty acids g 0.1 0.1 0.3

Comparative Chart for Goat Meat Nutrition


Per 3 oz. Cooked













Fat (g)






Sat Fat (g)






Protein (g)






Cholesterol (mg)






Data from USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 14 (July 2001)