Okay, so you’ve decided to take the plunge and get your very own goat. Congratulations! Now what? How much do Nigerian dwarf goats eat? What do Nigerian dwarf goats eat? How often should they be fed?
These are all questions that need to be answered before bringing home your new pet.
How Nigerian Dwarf Goats Process Food?
before we jump to what do Nigerian Dwarf goats eat, let’s first look at how goats process food. Goats have four “stomachs” (chambers), two of which are used for digestion while the other two store food until it is needed by the animal.
This means that when a Nigerian Dwarf goat eats too much or doesn’t chew its food well enough, it can become sick from having too much in one of their digestive stomachs as well as develop bloat which is caused by gas building up in the stomach.
We think that this is important to understand because it will determine how much food you feed your Nigerian Dwarf goat and what type of food.
What Do Nigerian Dwarf Goats Eat?
Nigerian Dwarf goats are herbivores and their diet is about 90% pasture and hay based. The other 10% would be grain and other treats. Even though they don’t need grain to survive. They will be just fine, happy and healthy with hay and some treat once in a while.
Beside hay, the Nigerian Dwarf goat will eat fruits, vegetables, flowers, and tree leaves. They also like to chew on things like cacti or bark from trees.
In the wild they might be able to find grasses or herbs that are not always available in a pen.
How Much Hay Do Nigerian Dwarf Goats Eat Per Day?
The average Nigerian Dwarf goat eats about one to two pounds of dry matter per day (3-4% of body weight in pounds). For a diet that consists primarily of hay, this amount would be closer to three or four pounds.
A healthy adult Nigerian Dwarf goat might consume up to 1 gallon water daily depending upon the season and environmental conditions such as temperature extremes or drought stress ̶ though they’ll likely drink considerably less during cold winter months.
The amount of food that a Nigerian Dwarf goat eats will vary on the quality and the type of hay fed with diets higher in legumes typically containing less overall digestible nutrients as well as lower protein content, requiring more feed for goats to achieve their optimal growth rate.
What Type of Hay Should They Eat?
Hay is the most important part of a Nigerian Dwarf goat’s diet as it will supply the animal with some necessary nutrients such as proteins, minerals (especially calcium), and fiber-rich substances to keep their digestive system healthy.
Hay also helps regulate how much they eat by providing them food that can fill them up without having too many calories or sugars which can lead to obesity when not managed properly.
Some popular types of hay that a Nigerian Dwarf goat can eat are alfalfa, timothy, oat straw, orchard grass, or bermuda. You may notice that these kinds of hays have slightly different flavors because each has its own mix of nutritional properties but all are appropriate for a goat’s diet.
Aside from hay, goats can also eat grass and weeds which they might find in a field or on the edge of your property – but these items are not as nutritious as hay, so it is recommended to feed them this only occasionally.
Goats will sometimes even stomp down tall grasses with their front feet (called “browsing”) because their mouths aren’t strong enough to chew through tougher blades.
When browsing for food, goats tend to go out in groups to search more efficiently instead of going alone and risking injury by getting caught on something like barbed wire or low branches that could cause cuts on their body.
it is worth noting that a high fiber content may also contribute to intestinal gas production which can become quite foul smelling if not managed properly.
Nigerian Dwarf Goats Can Eat Fruits and Vegetables
Some Nigerian Dwarf goat owners have found success in offering a small amount of fruits and vegetables to their animals. While some report that goats will eat anything, others report that the animal is selective with what it eats.
Some common items that Nigerian Dwarf goat can eat include: bananas, apples, broccoli, kale (salad), spinach (salad) and carrots.
Make sure that all fruits and vegetables are thoroughly cleaned before feeding them to your goat so they are unlikely to become ill from consuming something dirty or poisonous.
Just remember that fruits and vegetables should be given as a treat to your Nigerian Dwarf goat to eat.
Vitamins and Minerals
Nigerian Dwarf goats need vitamins and minerals just like any other type of livestock to help keep their bodies functioning well.
Minerals that goats need include:
Calcium – This is important for bone and teeth formation.
Vitamins that they need are:
Vitamin A – Protects against infections and boosts immune system function.
B Vitamins – Helps with energy production in all parts of their body as well as maintaining a healthy nervous system, skin and hair coat, gastrointestinal tract and metabolism. The most common vitamin deficiency among goats is riboflavin (vitamin B) which can lead to mouth ulcers or other health problems like poor appetite or weight loss if left untreated.
Foods Your Nigerian Dwarf Goat Should Never Eat
It is best to never give your goats chocolate, treats and other human foods. Do not feed marshmallows, caramels, sugarless gum or candy to your animals as well!
All of these foods should be avoided if you want your animals to live happily.
Just like humans, these ingredients can lead to dental problems for goats so it’s best if you avoid feeding any of this junk food to your livestock.
This is because the animal’s stomach will have a hard time breaking down all of the sugars and other junk in it, leading to food poisoning, gas or diarrhea symptoms that can last for weeks on end.
Where can you find Nigerian dwarf goats and for what price? Check our article Nigerian dwarf goats for sale and find out!