Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Nigerian Dwarf Goat

(Capra hircus)

Habitat and Distribution: Nigerian dwarf goats are domesticated, but most likely descended from Capra aegagrus, a species found in Central Asia. Some feral groups exist on Hawaii and other islands.

Size: 16-24 inches tall; 60-80 pounds

Diet: Grass, shrubs, alfalfa, or other high-quality forage

Predators: Coyotes, dogs, wolves, mountain lions, foxes, eagles, and bobcats

Life Span: 7-18 years

Reproduction: Nigerian dwarf goats breed year round. Females deliver 1-3 kids after a gestation of about 5 months; twins are common. Newborn kids weigh 2-3 pounds at birth and can walk within a few hours. They nurse for about 10 months until they are able to graze independently.

Behavior: Goats are diurnal and spend most of the day grazing. They are social herd animals that butt heads to establish and maintain social ranks. Wild goat herds usually have 5-20 members but can have as many as 100.

Conservation

IUCN Status: Not Evaluated

Nigerian dwarf goats are very abundant. In fact, they are so abundant that feral groups can cause soil erosion by overgrazing.

Did you know?

  • Nigerian dwarf goats can be black, white, gold, brown, or any combination of the above.
  • They respond to vocal and visual signals from dogs and humans.
  • Many are bred and raised as 4H projects or as farm animals.