Embarking on a homesteading journey often involves raising livestock for self-sufficiency and fresh produce. Among the various choices, dairy goats stand out as charming companions that provide a steady supply of nutritious milk. However, selecting the perfect dairy goat breed can be a daunting task. In this blog, I share our experience and reasoning behind choosing Nigerian Dwarf Goats and Nubians as our go-to breeds for our homestead.
1. Space Efficiency and Versatility - Nigerian Dwarf Goats:
The first consideration for our homestead was space efficiency. Nigerian Dwarf Goats, being a miniature breed, require less acreage compared to larger goat breeds. Their small size makes them ideal for homesteads with limited space, yet they produce a surprising amount of rich and creamy milk. Their compact size also means they are easier to handle and transport.
2. High Milk Fat Content - Nigerian Dwarf Goats:
Nigerian Dwarf Goats are renowned for their milk's high butterfat content, ranging from 6% to 10%. This attribute is a game-changer for dairy products like cheese and butter, which benefit from rich milk. Additionally, their milk's high solids content reduces the amount of milk required for making dairy products, making them an economical choice for a small homestead.
3. Gentle and Friendly Temperament - Nigerian Dwarf Goats:
Our decision was also influenced by the Nigerian Dwarf Goats' gentle and friendly disposition. Their amiable nature makes them suitable companions for families with children, and they are known for forming strong bonds with their human caretakers. Their friendly demeanor enhances our homesteading experience and makes handling and milking a joy.
4. Robust Milk Production - Nubians:
Nubian goats have a reputation for being excellent milk producers. They typically yield larger quantities of milk compared to other breeds, making them suitable for our homestead's dairy needs. Their milk has a moderate butterfat content (around 4%-5%), which is still ideal for a wide range of dairy products.
5. Adaptability to Various Climates - Nubians:
Our homestead experiences varying weather conditions throughout the year. Nubians are known for their adaptability to different climates, from hot and arid regions to cooler, more temperate areas. This characteristic allows us to keep them comfortable and productive in our changing weather patterns.
6. Distinctive Vocalization - Nubians:
Nubian goats have a distinct vocalization, often referred to as their "bleat." While it may not seem like a crucial factor, we find their melodious calls endearing and a source of amusement on our homestead.
Selecting the perfect dairy goat breed for your homestead involves careful consideration of various factors, such as available space, milk production goals, temperament, and climate adaptability. For our homestead, Nigerian Dwarf Goats and Nubians proved to be the ideal choices. The Nigerian Dwarf's space efficiency, high milk fat content, and friendly nature won our hearts, while Nubians impressed us with their robust milk production and adaptability. Each breed brings its unique advantages, enriching our homesteading experience and ensuring a steady supply of fresh, nourishing milk for our family. We hope this insight into our choice of dairy goat breeds inspires you in finding the perfect match for your own homestead adventure!