Thinking about raising goats? Nigerian Dwarf Goats are probably on your list of possible breeds. But, how long do Nigerian Dwarf Goats live?
Below we’ll dive into the life expectancy of Nigerian Dwarf Goats, the factors that influence it, and how to extend their lives.
What Are Nigerian Dwarf Goats?
Nigerian Dwarf Goats are a miniature dairy goat breed. Their ancestry, like the popular American Pygmy Goat, traces back to West Africa.
Nigerian Dwarf Goats are often sought-after for their small size, friendly demeanor, ability to thrive in a wide variety of climates, and easy maintenance. Their milk has a high butterfat content, so it is great for cheese-making, though many people bring them into their families as pets or for small-scale dairy production in general.
How Long Do Nigerian Dwarfs Goats Live?
How long Nigerian Dwarf Goats live depends on various factors, though on average they typically have a lifespan of around 10-15 years. It's important to note that some Nigerian Dwarf Goats may live longer or shorter depending on genetics, health, and environmental factors. Just as these things can influence how long they live, proper management of them can extend their life.
Factors Affecting Life Expectancy
So let’s discuss some of the major factors that influence the life expectancy of Nigerian Dwarf Goats and how to give these goats the longest life they can.
They are known for being hardy and resilient animals, but just like any other animal, they can be prone to certain health issues that can shorten their lifespan. A few of the most prevalent health issues include pneumonia, parasites, and mastitis.
Many of these have vaccines to prevent them, though early detection and prompt treatment are keys to extending their lifespan if they end up with one of these health concerns.
Though Nigerian Dwarf Goats are not picky when it comes to their food just like most breeds of goats, nutrition plays a big role in their life expectancy.
For instance, overeating disease, a health condition caused by a sudden increase in nutrient density after a prolonged absence, can be fatal. In this case, it is important to start with hay and work them up to richer food sources.
Additionally, parasites can affect nutrition. They can be introduced in fecal contaminated feed and once they are present in the goat, parasites can steal all of the goat's vital nutrients leading to potentially fatal malnutrition. Keeping clean food and water sources as well as periodic testing can help with prevention.
Of course, on a day-to-day basis, if you are not meeting the nutritional needs of your Nigerian Dwarf Goats, long-term survival chances are likely to drastically decrease.
As you can see, preventative care is a recurrent theme when it comes to how long Nigerian Dwarf Goats live. Keeping up with vaccinations, regular checkups, and quick care when they are experiencing symptoms is one of the top ways to extend their lifespan.
The living environment of Nigerian Dwarf Goats can improve or harm their lifespan as well. Poor living environments with dirty water, food concerns, overcrowding, wet bedding, improper shelter, and more all can lead to life-threatening illnesses.
Additionally, living environments containing plants and weeds that are poisonous to Nigerian Dwarf Goats and not enough protection from predators are overlooked factors that decrease lifespan.
Livestock protection dogs, regular surveys and maintenance of the living quarters, and close supervision are all ways to prevent their living environment from causing problems.
Although the lifespan of Nigerian Dwarf Goats can be determined by factors out of your control like genetics, there are several ways you can extend their expected lifespan. Proper care and management, which includes good nutrition, regular veterinary check-ups, and a clean living environment can help to ensure that your goats live a long and healthy life.