Dig Deeper

Overview Taxonomy


Physical Description

The Nigerian dwarf goat is a miniature dairy goat of West African origin. They are similar in appearance to larger dairy goats but ideally, the does stand no taller than 17 to 19 inches and the bucks stand no taller than 19 to 20 inches. The coat can vary considerably by color and pattern. Ideal weight is about 75 pounds.


Now a domesticated breed, Nigerian dwarf goats are popular in the United States and many other parts of the world. The breed’s origins trace back to West African Dwarf (WAD) goats, which are prevalent throughout tropical western Africa. Most families in rural African villages keep at least a few goats for milk and meat.

Introduction to North America

Nigerian dwarf goats first entered the United States from West Africa in the early 20thcentury. See them at the Maryland Zoo in the Goat Corral in the Maryland Wildernesssection.


Nigerian dwarf goats are raised as companion animals and for their milk, which is high in butterfat and sweet tasting.


  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Vertebrata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Therapsid
  • Family: Bovidae
  • Genera: Capra
  • Species: aegagrus hircus