What Is the Difference Between an African Pygmy Goat
and a Nigerian Dwarf Goat?
by: Amber Waves
If you are looking for a friendly, unique, and easy to care for new pet, chances are good that you
have thought about welcoming a miniature goat into your family. Growing in popularity, yet still among the
rarest of household pets, miniature goats are an excellent choice for a family looking for a new adventure to
embark on together. Now that you are settled on bringing home a miniature goat, another important decision
remains. Which type of miniature goat would you like?
Both hailing from West Africa, the African pygmy goat and the Nigerian
dwarf goat are both excellent choices. Sharing more than just a region of origin, these two distinct goat breeds
have just about the same average weight and height. Pygmy goats range in height from 16 to 23.5 inches
and in weight from 50 to 85 pounds at maturity. Dwarf goats range in height from 17 to 23 inches and in weight
from 50 to 75 pounds at maturity. The smaller heights and weights of these goats compared to standard-sized
goats makes these miniature goats easier to handle and cheaper to feed. They also require less space.
While their heights and weights are about the
same, the two breeds have different body types. Pygmy goats have a stockier construction than Nigerian dwarf
goats (and standard-sized goats). Pygmy goats have shorter legs and rounder bellies. Nigerian dwarf goats, on
the other hand, have a leaner build. Dwarf goats have the same body type as full-size dairy goats. In fact,
Nigerian dwarf goats were originally bred as dairy goats, and they are still raised for their milk production
today. While initially bred for their meat, pygmy goats also are known for providing their families with an
ample supply of milk.
In addition to having different body types,
pygmy goats and dwarf goats are known for being different colors. There are only three primary colors (black,
medium brown, and dark brown) that form the color base for pygmy goats. However, there are nine different color
patterns that account for the majority of patterns found within the pygmy goat breed. Nigerian dwarf goats come
in a larger variety of colors and patterns. For example, in addition to coming in various black and brown
colors, dwarf goats may be cream, gold, and white among other colors. Nigerian dwarf goats also may have blue
eyes, whereas purebred African pygmy goats cannot.
The wonderful thing about your decision between pygmy and dwarf goats is that you can’t choose
wrong! Both breeds make adorable, affectionate, and fun pets. Additional information on African pygmy goats
and Nigerian dwarf goats, including how to purchase them, can be found on the Amber Waves websiteor obtained by calling
Established in 1982 in Norco, California, Amber Waves is committed to producing high quality,
registered African pygmy goats for breeding, showing, and family pet purposes. Over the years Amber Waves has
become an industry leader, accumulating prestigious awards such as 428 Champions, 4 Premier Exhibitor awards,
7 Premier Breeder awards, 5 Herdsman awards, and 1 National Champion Buck award. Kiddings are available year
round and may be shipped both nationally and internationally. Occasionally proven bucks and does are also
available for purchase.