Nigerian Dwarf vs Pygmy Goats Difference

Nigerian Dwarf vs Pygmy Goats Like many of us, I’m sure you struggle to decide which new breed is best for your farmhouse. Do you not? When you have alternatives that seem similar but are from different breeds, it may seem rather daunting.

Pygmy goats and Nigerian dwarf goats are two examples of these types of goats since they both resemble inexperienced goat owners.

To help you comprehend, let’s talk about each of these little breeds in isolation. After that, we’ll compare them to see precisely where the differences are.

Nigerian Dwarf

The American breed known as the Nigerian Dwarf is renowned for its lively attitude and even temperament. To be maintained as companion animals, Nigerian dwarfs were bred and imported to the United States. Later, it was found that they could satisfy the standards for dairy products, so the US Department of Agriculture certified them as goat livestock.



48 to 60 cm or 19 to 23.5 inches.


43 to 57 cm or 17 to 22 inches.


35 kg or 75 lb

Horn status

Hornless and Horned.

Pygmy Goats

One of the rare achondroplastic goat breeds in America that is stocky and compact in stature is Pygmy. They were first brought in to be preserved as ornaments in zoos, but after a few years, they gained popularity as “companion animals.” In addition, this African breed is raised for wool and meat. 



16 to 23 inches


16 to 22 inches



50 to 70 pounds (22 to 31kg)


40 to 70 pounds (18 to 31kg)

Comparison between Nigerian Dwarf and Pygmy Goats

Horn status

You now see that although pygmies make lovely pets, Nigerian dwarfs are kept for everyday necessities. Look, they each have distinct functions. You’re starting to become curious. I already feel it, so let’s look for more pronounced variations.

Body structure

Nigerian dwarf goats, like full-sized dairy goats, have longer bodies than pygmy goats, which are small and stocky. Because of their straight nose, erect ears, prominent belly tucks, and elegant, delicate necks, Nigerian dwarfs have a more proportionate and balanced appearance. They may have a cute appearance, but pygmy goats lack the sophistication of Nigerian dwarfs. While both are tiny, Nigerian dwarf goats are slightly larger than pygmy goats.

Milk and Meat production


As was previously noted, Nigerian dwarf goats are prized for their superior butterfat milk, whereas Pygmy goats are either raised as pets or to supply the town’s meat needs.

While pygmy goats can produce one or two quarts of milk daily, Nigerian dwarfs typically provide around two-quarters daily. Given their exceptional milking prowess, Nigerian dwarf goats continue to produce butterfat milk for over 305 days, whereas Pygmy goats’ milking cycles last just 120 to 180 days.


Nigerian Dwarfs are raised for milk but not for meat. pygmy goats are miniature, like Nigerian dwarfs, they are thickly muscled, valid enough to be kept solely for meat.


Size typically needs to be clarified for the buyer. Since the two breeds are “nearly” the same size, the difference can only be seen if you examine them more closely.

Nigerian dwarf goats are considered somewhat more extensive and more prolonged than pygmy goats. Still, their appearance is merely due to their elegant necks, long, slender legs, and general body similarity to dairy goats. On the other hand, due to their thicker, shorter legs and stocky build, pygmy goats appear shorter.


While pygmy goats have brown eyes, Nigerian dwarfs are famous for their vivid blue eyes. Pygmy goats of both breeds have beautiful coat colors; in the former, black, chocolate, and gold color (with red, white, gold, and black markings) is in style; in the latter, white, dark red, caramel, silver, brown, and black are more prominent.

Behavior and Handling

Due to their kind, amiable, and carefree disposition, they were both regarded as companion animals. These little ones are easy to handle. Simply said, they adore having extra room to run about in.

Oestrus cycle

Like other goat breeds, they may be bred at any time except the autumn, and they experience a heat cycle that lasts one to three days every 21 days.

Now that you know the fundamental distinctions, let’s resolve the “Pygmy or Nigerian Dwarf” controversy.

So, Pygmy or Nigerian Dwarf?

These cute animals are helpful and straightforward to handle for their intended uses. Nigerian dwarf goats are ideal if you’re searching for a goat that will satisfy your craving for butterfat milk.

Although Pygmy goats do produce milk, it is still less than that of Nigerian dwarfs. It is not as though Pygmy goats cannot produce adequate milk. Pygmy goats would be cost-effective for individuals who raise them only for meat. And I assume you understand why you’re considering rearing a goat.

However, if you’re seeking to have a goat as a pet, I advise you to take some time to sit and watch these little animals. You will see which breed moves you.

What about the Nigerian Pygmy mixed breed?

A mixed breed is a win-win since it combines the traits of both types. However, you must still be sure that it cannot be registered.

Suppose it’s alright with you. Take it on.

And if you’re worried about the milking ability, use it to keep yourself from being let down later. This new hybrid breed is more pygmy than a Nigerian dwarf if it appears more compact and stocky.

I hope I’ve been able to ease your worries and uncertainties. Since they are dear to my heart, it was difficult to draw attention to their shortcomings (I couldn’t think of the correct phrase). I promise it will be enjoyable, whatever breed you choose.

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