Pygmy Goat Vs Nigerian Dwarf: An In-Depth Comparison

Many people often wonder which type of goat is best to keep as a pet. Pygmy goats are known for being more energetic and interactive than Nigerian Dwarf goats, but they also tend to be more demanding. Let’s take a little look at the difference between them in this Pygmy Goat vs Nigerian Dwarf article, shall we?

Pygmy Goat (left) Vs Nigerian Dwarf (right)

Pygmy Goat Vs Nigerian Dwarf Differences at a Glance

Pygmy GoatNigerian Dwarf
Lifespan12-16 years15-18 years
Weight (Mature doe)55 pounds (25 kg)75 pounds (35 kg)
Hight (Mature doe)16 to 23 in (40 to 58 cm)22½ in (57 cm)
Milk/Year600 – 700 lbs. (270 to 320 kg)750 lbs. (340 kg.)
Milk/DayHalf a gallon (almost 2 L)1 quart (1 L)
Lactation/Yeararound 150 daysaround 305 days
Butterfat (%)> 6.05.0
Coat ColorAny colorAny color
Recognized by ADGANot recognized2005
Pygmy Goat Vs Nigerian Dwarf Differences

Size: Pygmy Goat Vs Nigerian Dwarf

Nigerian Dwarf goats typically have a body weight of 70-80 pounds or about 32 – 48 kilograms and stand at between 20 to 44 inches tall.

Pygmy goats usually range in size from 45-55 pounds, which equates to 20-25 kilograms, making them small enough for easy transportation by one person.


The Pygmy goat has a life expectancy of 12 – 16 years, while the Nigerian Dwarf goat lives an average lifespan between 15 and 18 years (with some living up to 20)..

This is one important difference between these two breeds – longevity. The Nigerian Dwarf breed can live about 20% longer than the Pygmy goat.

If you’re considering raising goats for dairy production then this might be something that will matter most in your decision-making process!

Milk Production

They both have similar milk production traits, but Pygmy goats produce more pounds per day and have a higher butterfat content.

Although a Pygmy goat can produce up to four pounds per day, – which compares to only two pounds for a Nigerian Dwarf, they have only 150 lactation days per year.

If you’re raising goats to produce dairy products then this can be an important factor when deciding on your breed of choice. The Nigerian Dwarf’s ability to provide less milk at one time combined with 305 lactation days per year, will make sure that you have what you need for both drinking and cooking with domestic purposes such as cheese-making!

Pygmy Goat Vs Nigerian Dwarf As a Pet

You can’t go wrong here, no matter which breed of goat you choose.

Venture into the world of Pygmy goats and you’ll find a fantastic new pet. They’re small enough to be kept in small backyards, but still have plenty of personality.

Pygmies are intelligent animals that enjoy playing with their owners, eating hay, fruits and vegetables, cuddling with humans on cold nights, and just hanging out.

The Nigerian Dwarf goats make for loving and affectionate companions that can be just as loyal as any dog or cat. They have their own unique charm and will quickly win over the hearts of many prospective owners.


Pygmy Goat Vs Nigerian Dwarf

The Nigerian dwarf goat looks like a miniature version of your common farm goat that many people have seen. They are small, agile animals with upright ears and short hair. They can be with horns or naturally hornless.

Pygmies come in a variety of colors, but most often they are brown, gold and black, often with white markings.

The Pygmy is small, with short hair and compact body. This is not fine-boned goat like the Nigerian Dwarf.

Both the Nigerian Dwarfs and the Pygmy goats are known to be intelligent, curious, and playful animals, that are extremely good with children.

The Use of the Goats

Even though both can be kept as pets, officially Pygmy goats are heavy boned and are considered as a meat goats. The Nigeran Dwarf on the other hand is a dairy goat.

Care and Diet

Goats eat hay along with other plants. 95% of their diet will be hay or pasture, but the quality and type of hay will depend on what you plan to use them for. If they’re being raised just for milk production then giving them green pastures is ideal as this will help keep the animal healthy from bacteria found in some roughage.

This small goats don’t need a lot of space, but they do require a shelter.

A shed is an ideal place for housing your goats because it will give them protection from sun, rain and snow while still allowing fresh air into the area.

For pasture-raised goats, giving them access to shade during hot months is important.

It’s important for farmers who raise goats to have them penned in with strong fences. Both the Nigerian Dwarf and the Pygmy goat will try their hardest to escape if they find any opening so having something sturdy would work well as long as it’s not too high off the ground.


There is big difference between the Pygmy Goat vs Nigerian Dwarf price. On average a Pygmy goat can cost around $1000, while a Nigerian Dwarf can cost around $400.

For more information on the price, check our article where we have listed most of the registered breeders in US:
Nigerian and Pygmy goats for sale.

Conclusion: Pygmy Goat Vs Nigerian Dwarf

The Pygmy goat is a miniature goat that produces less milk than the Nigerian Dwarf, but it is ideal for a small family with a small backyard. The Nigerian Dwarfs are more likely than Pygmies to be able to produce milk over their entire lifespan.

They can jump very high so you will want to make sure your fence is high enough to prevent them from escaping if they get spooked by something like fireworks!

At the end if you have been looking for a new pet, and are maybe feeling like the usual dog or cat is not enough of an option, then whether you choose a Nigerian Dwarf or a Pygmy goat, both breeds might be just what you’re looking for.

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