Breeding Nigerians

Photo credit – American Jewel Farm

Breeding goats is not for the fainthearted. It’s hard work, challenging, frustrating, heartbreaking, highly rewarding, entertaining, heartwarming and a whole lot of fun. Sometimes, all at the same time! If you think you are up for the challenge then there's a lot to learn. The NDGSA and its members are here to support new breeders through education and mentorship.

Check your local council zoning

Before you start on your breeding journey you need to make sure that your local council will allow you to keep multiple goats on your property.  A quick call to your council is wise to avoid any issues down the track. 

Talk to local breeders

Next, contact some NDGSA breeder members and talk with them about what it takes to breed goats. They will be happy to pass on their experience to you and help you on your way. You can find breeders in your state here >

Locate a small ruminate vet

This can be a challenge!  Not many vets in Australia are experienced with goats. If you’re in the right location you may find a good livestock vet but you may have to find a vet “willing to treat a goat” and work with them as they learn on the job. In Australia, we have a vet Dr Sandra Baxendell of GoatVetOz who is a goats only vet. Dr Baxendell is happy to work with you and your local vet remotley if extra expertise is needed.  Goat Vet Oz > 

Think of a Stud name

It’s not a necessity but it is a good idea to have a Stud name. A stud name is an identity that people know your breeding endeavors by.  It can be a name that you feel identifies your breeding endeavours or your property or simply a name that you feel will market your breeding venture effectively.

Breeding Needs

Some of the important things you will need to consider are infrastructure, feed, equipment, medicines & supplements. 

When breeding, multiple paddocks are important and it is best to have different paddocks for bucks and does, and additional pens for birthing and separating the buck kids from their mothers and sisters. An adequate setup is essential for herd management, health but means installing a considerable amount of fencing if you don’t already have paddocks in place. You will also need sheds to protect your goats from the weather and separate sheds for birthing and keeping the mothers and babies together quietly for a few days. Ideally, if your property is big enough so you can also consider paddock rotation to help with worm minimisation. Additionally, a quarantine pen will also be useful if one or more goats become unwell.

Specialised equipment will be required for birthing, disbudding, hoof trimming, banding, milking and general husbandry. A milking stand will make milking and husbandry jobs easier.  Specialised milking equipment will also be useful for weaning babies from their mothers. Learn about milking equipment here >

As a breeder, you will find many occasions where you are going to need to treat your animals yourself, day to day and in case of an emergency, so keeping a good stock of antibiotics, pain killers, worming treatments,  parasite control and the myriad of other medications and supplements you will need is a must. Your goats may also need supplements during pregnancy and after and of course they need specific minerals to keep them healthy day today. Take a look at this USA

 breeders website that explains medications and supplements and what they are used for. Note: some of these are US specific. Find the list here >

Consider your goals

So, you have decided you want to breed Nigerian goats, but what is your purpose?  Do you want to breed milking goats, pets or goats for the show ring? Or, is your interest in breeding for the advancement of the breed?  Whatever your end goal, begin by buying the very best breeding stock for your purpose. The quality of your herd will determine the quality of the goats you breed.

Buy registered goats from a reputable breeder

There are many people who breed goats. Though for the best quality animals we advise to look for a breeder who breeds goats to a recognised standard and high quality.

Buying a registered goat from a registered breeder is a good starting point. Of course, you need to do your homework, so you know what you are looking for. Buying from someone who is not a registered breeder means the goats you are purchasing are not being bred to a recognised standard.

Another benefit of purchasing registered goats is the goats genetic background is recorded on a database which is valuable when you are deciding to bring in new bloodlines or when selling to other breeders.  Find your local NDGSA breeders here >

Breed Associations

As a breeder, you will want to register your goats. The NDGSA has been formed to promote the Nigerian Dwarf breed specifically and to advance the breed by supporting those that breed Nigerians, however, we do not have a registry nor do we organise shows. There are a number of multi-breed organisations that offer these functions that we are affiliated with and you can find the one to best suit your needs here>

One last thing to do

Enjoy these delightful, fun-filled and loving creatures that will steal your heart and enrich your life.