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Nigora Goat: The Fiber-Producing Dairy Goat

nigora goats

Are you looking for fiber-producing goats that can produce as much milk as Nigerian Dwarf and good quality fleece? Look no further than Nigora Goat!

This breed may be tiny compared to others, but they can surely rock your homestead.

But before making any purchasing decisions, you should know the pros and cons that come with Nigoras.

So, in this article, we’ll share with you the following:

  • Nigora goats’ physical attributes, personality, and disposition
  • Its origin and performance in the dairy and fiber department

We’ll also drop some tips on how to raise this breed successfully and optimize its capabilities. But before that, here’s a little overview of this fluffy goat breed.

Nigora Goat Breed Overview

Scientific Name: Capra aegagrus hircus
Average Height: Buck: 48 to 74 cm
Doe: 48 to 74 cm
Average Weight: Buck: 80 kg
Doe: 40 kg
Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
Purpose: Fiber and dairy production
Temperament: Friendly

So, What is a Nigora Goat?

The Nigora goat is a crossbreed between a Nigerian Dwarf and an Angora goat, hence the name Nigora. It’s a small to medium-sized breed with a fluffy appearance and distinct personality.

They’re available in multiple colors, including black, white, brown, and gray.

Angora is an excellent fiber goat breed, while Nigerian Dwarf is popular as a pet breed and a producer of rich and tasty milk with high butterfat content.

So, it’s plain to see Nigora is primarily bred for milk and fiber production, but it can also make a great family pet.

Physical Characteristics of Nigora Goat

Nigoras usually have a well-built physique with healthy looks, and even though some have a thin build, their fleece usually makes up for it. But how big are Nigora goats?

Height and Weight

The bucks of Nigora are usually twice the average weight of the does, which is 40 kg. But female and male Nigora goats have a height range of 48 to 74 cm or 19 to 29 inches.

Fleece

This breed may produce three different types of fleece:

Type A

This kind is similar to Angora goat’s mohair. It’s shiny and cool to the touch and falls in long, curly ringlets or locks. Its average length is longer or shorter than 6 inches.

Type B

The second type is fluffy and extremely soft, generally warm to the touch. It’s not lustrous, but it looks like fluffy ringlets of hair, averaging 3 to 6 inches.

Type C

This fleece type is identical to that of a Cashmere goat which is extremely soft, short, sued-like, and fluffy with no luster or sheen.

The average length of this fleece is 3 to 4 inches, and it’s worth noting that fibers less than 1 inch aren’t considered Type C.

Standard Nigoras usually have Type B fiber, while lighter ones have Type C or C and B. On the other hand, heavy Nigoras are characterized by Type A or fleece A and B.

Eyes

Nigoras have wide-set eyes with small eyelids and pretty eye color, making them even more charming.

Head

Nigora goats have blunt triangular heads with strong and straight jaws.

Tail

This goat breed has ring-shaped, long, and thin tails.

Horns

Both genders have tiny horns that start from the forehead.

Ears

Nigora’s ears are either uptight, airplane, or floppy.

It should have a rectangular build, good bone structure, substance, and angularity typical of a miniature dairy goat while producing any of the three types of fleece.

Now, let’s talk about its temperament and disposition.

long haired goat breeds Nigora

Temperament and Personality of the Nigora Goat

What is the personality of a Nigora goat?

Nigoras are usually friendly, sweet, and child-friendly goats. Their calm disposition, small to medium size, fluffy appearance, and ease of caring for them makes them pet material.

Even elderly people or those with special needs that look for a companion goat may find them endearing. However, it’s worth noting that others can get naughty due to their inquisitive nature.

This breed doesn’t mind interacting with other livestock or poultry birds that pose no threat to them.

They’re also intelligent, good problem-solvers, and excellent escape artists.

Is Nigora Goat Breed Hardy?

This breed is generally hardy and can adapt to different climates. In fact, it can survive in temperatures ranging from 25 to 40 degrees Celsius.

And the craziest thing is they’d only lose 20% in milk production when exposed to extreme cold during winter within two weeks.

It resists many diseases and can survive in arid and semi-arid conditions.

However, you must ensure they don’t get wet or chilled, especially after cutting the wool off their body or during inclement weather. Otherwise, they might get sick.

Nigora Goat’s Origin and History

This dual-purpose breed was developed in the United States in the early 1990s, which means it is new. Its history dates back to 1994, when the first official Nigora breeding program started.

Nigora goats were bred not just for shows but for farms and homesteads.

The first Nigora goat, Coco Puff of Skyview, was born in the late 1980s. But she was originally sold as a Pygora.

However, the Pygora Breeders Association rejected the goat due to its dairy goat-type markings. So, her new owners dig deeper into its background.

And they discovered she’s half Nigerian Dwarf and half Angora.

Cocoa Puff lived for 15 years and produced beautiful offspring during her time.

There are two organizations for Nigoras today: the American Nigora Goat Breeders’ Association, founded in 2007, and Nigora Goat Breeders’ Society, formed in 2014.

The term Nigora used to be exclusive for crossed Nigerian Dwarf and Angora goats. But today, the American Nigora Goat Breeders’ AssociationΒ (ANGBA) now accepts crosses of Swiss-type mini dairy breeds with Angoras.

However, they created a grade breeding program to produce top-quality milk and fiber in one tiny, practical goat.

nigora goats close up

What is the Purpose of Nigora Goat?

Nigora goats were bred for fiber and milk production. It can produce a quart of milk to 2 quarts daily, just like Nigerian Dwarves.

Their milk is rich, tasty, and creamy because it contains 6 to 10% butterfat content, and their milking capability only improves as more excellent-milking lines are bred into its gene pool.

Furthermore, Nigoras’ meat is healthier than standard goats, with less fat and cholesterol and higher protein and fat content.

Aside from meat and milk, you can also benefit from its fleece which can be used in different products, including yarn, clothing, and blankets.

They start producing fleece in a year, and you can harvest it yearly, ideally around the springtime. Depending on the type, this breed can produce around 8 to 16 pounds of fleece and start shedding its coat in winter.

Nigora Goat Breeding and Reproduction

Nigora goats reach sexual maturity at 18 months old and can breed anytime, but the ideal time is during spring and fall.

Their breeding cycle usually lasts around 12 to 36 hours, while their gestation period is around 148 to 155 days, but in most cases, it only lasts 150 days.

Nigoras can have 1 to 3 kids per kidding, but most produce wonderful twins. Their offspring weigh around 1.5 to 2 kg at birth.

Generally, Nigora goats are excellent mothers who enjoy playing around with their kids, and they’re easy to milk because they have well-positioned udders.

Some breeders can have a doe produce three kiddings in 2 years and give it a year off to rest, but it’s best to have her produce only once yearly.

A Nigora goat’s maternal instincts are quite strong; thus, it can produce one child annually until it is 13 years old.

Nigora Goat Breed’s Lifespan

Nigora’s average lifespan ranges from 12 to 15 years. Cocoa Puff, the first Nigora discovered, managed to live for 15 years.

Your Nigora can do the same if you’d help her stay in shape and provide her needs, such as secure and clean shelter and a balanced and complete diet.

Speaking of diet, let’s dig into that to help you raise your goat successfully.

How to Care for Nigora Goats

Here are some tips on keeping your Nigora in shape and ensuring she grows well and becomes productive.

1. Provide a Healthy Diet

Needless to say, the most crucial thing for goats’ survival is food. So, give your Nigora goats adequate food and supplements to boost their health.

If possible, provide plenty of space for them to free-range and browse for food. Ideally, they should have access to a pasture with lots of brushes.

But if your space is limited or you don’t have enough pasture to sustain their needs, you may need to provide goat feed like hay and a little grain.

Adding mineral supplements to their diet can also help to ensure they get all the nutrients they need to produce milk, kids, and fleece.

And, of course, don’t always forget to offer clean and fresh water. Make it more accessible using a trough or automatic waterer, and always check if it works well.

2. Build a Secure and Clean Shelter

Another essential thing for goats is a shelter that will protect them from the elements because goats hate getting wet in the rain, and it makes them prone to several diseases.

Their home must be spacious, clean, and well-ventilated. Cleaning the shelter regularly can be time-consuming, especially since there will be manure everywhere that you must dispose of.

But by doing so, you can avoid pneumonia in goatsΒ and other infectious diseases.

As for the bedding, straw or wood shavings are enough to keep them warm and comfortable, but you must also clean them when they’re soiled.

3. Keep Up With the Grooming

Our next tip is to keep up with their ideal grooming routine by regularly checking and trimming their hooves. It can help prevent the hooves from overgrowing and causing pain and infection.

And another pro grooming tip if you want the best fiber out of your Nigora goat: Brush its hair twice to thrice a day until its molting period is over. It requires time and effort, but it’s worth it!

4. Check for Parasites

Goats may be hardy, but they can still fall victim to different parasites like worms and lice. So, check for signs of infestation and treat them promptly.

Remember that Nigoras are fiber goats, and it can be troublesome for them to carry lice with such thick fleece all over their body.

5. Vaccinate Your Goats

We also recommend vaccinating your goats to protect them against pneumonia, tetanus, and other common ruminant diseases.

It can cost you a considerable amount, but some types of pneumonia can kill your goats overnight, so as the old saying goes, “prevention is better than cure.”

However, you should consult your trusted veterinarian first before administering any vaccine.

6. Set Up Secure Fencing

As mentioned earlier, Nigoras are agile problem-solvers and escape artists. And they can jump over low fences quickly. If that happens, they’ll be more vulnerable and prone to predator attacks.

So, you must provide appropriate goat fencing at least 4 feet tall. Also, ensure the openings are small, so they can’t escape through them.

7. Bond With Your Goats

Like other breeds, Nigora goats are social animals that enjoy interacting with their fellow goats and humans.

So, if you want to make them more docile and build a strong bond with you, spend more time socializing with them.

It’d also help if you would handle them more often while they’re young to ensure they’re comfortable with human interaction.

8. Give Them Toys and Other Boredom Busters

Nigoras are intelligent, so they enjoy some mental stimulation, and that’s where toys can come in handy. You can give them balls, puzzles, and other enrichment activities like obstacle courses and foraging challenges.

They can make excellent boredom busters, but there are other options for you too!

9. Watch Out For The Breeding Period and Keep a Record

Nigora goat breeding demands close attention. Therefore, be sure your goats are of the proper age and health, and ask a veterinarian or knowledgeable breeder for advice.

You may also trace the genetics and genealogy of your Nigora goats by keeping a breeding record. This can be valuable for selling offspring and making breeding decisions.

10. Pregnancy and Their Nutrition

Keeping a close eye on pregnant Nigora goats is crucial to ensure they’re healthy and the pregnancy develops normally.

Since pregnant goats have increased nutritional needs, you must also pay more attention to their nutrition during this critical period.

11. Prepare for Kidding

The goat and the owner may experience great stress when the goat is kidding.

So, be sure to be equipped for kidding and have the items you’ll need, like fresh towels, an iodine solution for caring for the umbilical cord, and a heat lamp.

12. Monitor The Kids and Their Weaning Time

Now we’re down to our final tip, and it’s all about the kids. Nigora goat calves that have just been born are delicate and need close supervision.

So make sure their umbilical cords are clean and mended appropriately and that babies are nursing properly.

The kids should learn to eat solid food before weaning at around 8 to 12 weeks.

Otherwise, it can be stressful not just for you but for the mother and kids to separate when they depend on their parents for food.

So train them by giving them food that meets their nutritional needs and be patient during this period.

How Much is a Nigora Goat?

Nigora goat prices range from $150 to $500 per goat, depending on the region and the demand for this breed.

They’re more expensive than Pygora goats which cost around $200 to $300, but still cheaper than Nigerian Dwarves.

Since it’s a less popular and relatively new breed, finding Nigora goats for sale can be challenging.

What is the Difference Between Pygora and Nigora?

Pygora is a cross of Pygmy and Angora goats, while Nigora is bred from a Nigerian Dwarf and an Angora.

Both have an adorable, fluffy look, thanks to their long fleece, and both are friendly and easy to handle.

Pros and Cons of Nigora Goats

Nigora Goats

Pros
  • Gorgeous fiber
  • Small size perfect for limited spaces
  • Dual-purpose
  • Easy to care for and train
  • Resistant to several diseases
  • Friendly and calm demeanor
  • High feed conversion rate
  • Hardy and adaptable
Cons
  • Can be aggressive towards smaller goats or animals
  • Skilled escape artists
  • Not suitable for meat production

Final Thoughts: Is Nigora Goat the Right Breed For You?

Nigora goats are dual-purpose, easy to care for, and friendly. On top of that, they have a high feed conversion rate, and they can survive in limited spaces.

That’s why this breed is perfect for urban goat-keeping, small homesteading, micro-farming, and as pets.

They’re also beginner-friendly, so if you’re still new to the goat-keeping world and want a breed that serves milk and fiber, they’re the way to go!

But if you want to explore more options, learn more about the half-sister of Nigora goat, the Pygora.

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