16 Excellent breeds of goat in Nigeria and their unique characteristics

breeds of goat

In Nigeria, goat farming business is not a new idea for farmers to generate income.

It has been in existence for quite a long-time, goats are a great source of food, milk, and clothing.

In the early days, there were very few breeds of goat in Nigeria but currently. This is not the same anymore as there are now many breeds of goat in Nigeria.

Some are products of cross-breeding between two or more breeds of goat. While others are as a result of the movement of goat farmers from neighbouring countries into Nigeria.

Different breeds of goat in Nigeria are reared for different purposes because they have different qualities which make them unique, with each having its strength and weakness.

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Some breeds of goat in Nigeria are milk producers while others are meat producers.

Just very few breeds of goat in Nigeria bear these two distinct features.

A farmer should consider the breed and what purpose they serve before stocking his goat farm.

Here, we will look at the top 15 breeds of goat in Nigeria, we will also discuss their characteristics.

These features will help you as a goat farmer to understand better, which breed is best for your farm.

Top 10 breeds of goat in Nigeria

  • Boar Goat
  • Alpine goat
  • Sokoto Maradi Red
  • West African Dwarf
  • Kalahari Red Goats
  • Black Bengal Goat
  • Kiko Goats
  • Fainting Goats
  • Nubian Goats
  • Range Land Goats
  • Sarohi Goats
  • Spanish Goats
  • Verata Goats
  • Sahelian Goats

1. Boer Goats

This is one of the most popular breeds of goat in Nigeria, boar goats are large animals that can reach up to 300 to 350 pounds.

They are one of the most popular meat goat breeds for their large size.

Boar goats are very hardy and resistant to diseases and they also grow very fast, they also have great reproduction quality.

Boar goats originated from South Africa in the early 1900’s hundreds by crossing indigenous breeds of goat.

Boer goat

Boar goats mature quickly; becoming slaughter ready within 90 days.

The carcasses are large and muscular, leaving the boar to be considered by many to be the best meat breeds in the world.

These goats are resilient and can thrive in hot arid areas, being generally easy to rear.

The boars are a great option for beginner goat keepers.

Characteristics of Boer Goats

Considered the largest of the breeds of goat, a mature doe can weigh between 100 and 230 pounds and mature bucks can weigh between 200 to 340 pounds.

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Millions of boar goats are raised in Nigeria and across Southern Africa as well as in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. 

They are prized for their size, rapid weight gain, carcass quality, hardiness and docility facility.

2. African Dwarf Goats

African Dwarf goats
African Dwarf goats

This breed of goat is mostly found in forest areas, especially in Nigeria.

It is characterized by its small body size and short legs which allow them to move easily through the thick vegetation of the forest and slightly deserted areas.

This breed has varying colouration ranging from black or grey to white and sometimes multicoloured.

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A mature African Dwarf goat is 40 or 50 cm in height and weighs from 18 to 20kg.

This breed is hardy and is known to be very resistant to trypanosome.

The last on our list is the Pygmy goat breed.

3. Sokoto Maradi Red

Agriculture OpportunitiesThis is one of the very few breeds of goat in Nigeria that is commonly found in northwestern Nigeria.

Their stronghold is Sokoto and Kano states, they are darkly red in colour.

They perform well in Semi-arid areas with a single rainfall season of 4-6 months duration.

They are darkly red in colour and weighs between 25 – 35 kg at maturity.

They are relatively small size 60 cm, with the male weighing 60-65 cm; and the female 54-65 cm.

They have a fine head with a prominent forehead.

4. Sahelian Goats

Sahelian goat
Sahelian goat

The Sahelian goat breed is characterized by a short fine coat which varies in colour and sometimes could appear spotted.

They have shot eyes with medium to large body size, the eyes are horizontally placed, mature Sahelian goat’s horn drops downwards.

They are unique and can survive in desert areas, in Nigeria, they are mainly found in the Northern part of the country.

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They possess strong legs that are vital for long-distance trekking (They are known for their tracking ability).

The weight of a mature goat is 25 – 30 kg. This breed of goats is mostly reared for meat. 

5. Spanish Goat

Spanish Goats
picture from hobbyfarms.com

One of the hardiest and resilient breeds, Spanish goats are known for their ability to withstand and even thrive under adverse conditions.

They are among the common breeds of goat in Nigeria, despite their small size.

Their independence makes them a favourite among meat producers.

However, because this breed has not been thoroughly domesticated, they can be difficult to capture and place in an enclosure.

6. Fainting Goats

fainting goatpicture from wonderopolis.org

Characteristics of Fainting Goats

The fainting goats aka the myotonic goats are also good for meat production.

They are an American breed of meat goats, they are known for their unusual reaction when under distress.

They are characterized by myotonia congenita, this is a hereditary condition that causes it to stiffen on distress, freezing for a couple of second and fainting.

This reaction developed from a genetic disorder, fainting goats are smaller-sized meat goat breed weighing around 175 pounds.

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The fainting goat has a wide body and a broad back and shoulder due to muscle density. They have large, prominent protruded eyes.

The head is medium length with straight and convex face. The neck is muscle dense and round. 

7. Kalahari Goats

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Characteristics of Kalahari Goats

Kalahari aka the red Kalahari goat is similar in size and appearance to the boar goat except for the colouration.

It is a very beautiful breed that was originated from South Africa.

The breed is very hardy and they can breed and withstand hot temperatures, and dry weather condition, the meat of the red.

Kalahari is more tender than other breeds. 

8. Kiko Goat

Kiko goat
Kiko goat

Kiko means ‘meat’ in Maori, the Kiko breed of goats are known for the meat producing ability.

The kids mature quickly, even without supplemental inputs. They gain weight at a fast rate as they grow.

The Kiko goat requires little or no care to perform at an optimal level.

They can easily be trained and teachable and therefore are good for beginners’ goat farmers.

This breed thrives when they are left to forage independently.

Like the Spanish goats, this does not make them easily domesticated.

One of the added benefits of Kiko goats is their ability to improve pasture conditions by eliminating weeds (agriculture academy).

Kiko breed can survive under harsh condition making them good for multiple season farming.

9. Verata Goats

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Verata goat

Characteristics of Verata Goats

The Verata is another meat goat breed from Spain, the breed is very strong and durable, and they can survive in almost all climates.

A mature Verata goat can reach around or up to 70 kilograms body weight.

This breed is also considered as one of the best meat goat breeds in the world.

This breed of goat originally developed from Spain but today, it is available in Nigeria and throughout the world and raised as good meat.

The Verata goat breed these require less care and they can thrive in almost all climates.

10. Rangeland Goats

Rangeland goat
Rangeland goat

Characteristics of Rangeland Goats

Rangeland is another very popular meat goat breed from Australia, this breed is tall wide and has short hair.

Rangeland goats are very hardy, they can reproduce and live happily in dry areas.

The breed requires less care and also do well in hot weather.

Rangelands are sometimes crossed with the boar goat to produce quality kids.

The kid is not only good for meat production but also very good and used for milk production, it can therefore be called a dual-purpose animal.

Mature males can reach up to 175 pounds life bodyweight, they are also sometimes crossed with the boar goats for creating larger sized meat goats. 

11. Black Bengal Goats

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Black Bengal goat

Black Bengal goat is considered as the best meat goat breed in terms of meat quality and taste according to IAEA.

As the name suggests the breed is actually from Bangladesh but is also found in West Bengal Bihar and Orissa of India native.

Black Bengal goat is of excellent quality and fetches high prices both in local and international markets.

The size of this goat is relatively smaller and it’s very easy to care for them.

In Nigeria, they are found in the six geopolitical zones though in very few numbers.

Characteristics of Black Bengal Goats

It has mainly black coat colour. It is found in brown white and grey coat colours but the black coat colour is most common.

The skin of this breed is famous for meat production, this breed has the extremely low ability to produce milk.

The male goat has 25 to 30 kilograms of weight and female has 20 to 25 kilograms of weight.

Read also: How to properly care for your baby goats

They reach maturity level earlier and deliver a minimum of two, three kids in each birth. They are good for rearing.

12. Alpine Goats

breeds of goat in Nigeria
French Alpine goat

The French alpine is a breed of goat that originated in the Alps, the goats of the alpine breed were brought to the united states from France. 

Characteristics of French Alpine Goats

The French alpine is a larger and more rangy goat and more variable in size than other swiss breeds.

Mature females should stand not less than 30 inches at the withers and should weigh not less than 135 pounds.

The males should stand from 34 to 40 inches at the withers and should weigh not less than 170 pounds.

French alpine females are excellent Milkers and usually have large well-shaped udder, with well-placed teats of desirable shape.

They are mostly medium to large-sized goats. They don’t have set colours or markings and they are quite common.

You can buy different types of Alpines, but you must know what to look for. You also need to know how to properly take care of them to be able to manage them. 

13. Alpine Goat Milk

Of all the breeds of goat in Nigeria, the Alpine goat is best known for the quality milk it produces.

The Alpine goat milk is packed full of protein but has more sugar than most goat milk.

Their milk is healthier than other goat’s milk since it has such low levels of fat content. It is a popular choice for milk, ice-cream, cheese, and soap.

This breed is one of the top goat dairy producers in the world, putting it above other dairy breeds. 

The goats can be milked about six weeks after puberty, although the optimal weight for the best dairy production is about 135 pounds.

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Alpines will continue to produce high- quality milk if they receive proper nutrition, reproductive management, and disease control.

Farmers must also keep in mind that proper milking procedures are essential. Alpines can produce some of the best goat’s milk in the world.

14. Nubian Goats

Nubian goat
Nubian goat

The Anglo-Nubian goat breed originated in England as a cross between the old English Milch goat.

They are very common in Nigeria, especially in the eastern and northern part of the country. 

Characteristics of Nubian Goats

The typical Nubian goat is large and carries more flesh than another dairy.

The Nubian breed standard specifies the large size, markings can be any colour.

The ears are long pendulous and the nose is roman, the Nubian temperament is sociable, outgoing and vocal because of its elongated ears and sleek body.

The Nubian has occasionally nicknamed the lop-eared goat or greyhound goat.

15. Sirohi goats

breeds of goat in Nigeria
Sirohi goat

The Sirohi goat is an Indian breed which is native to the Sirohi district of Rajasthan.

Sirohi goat is a medium-sized animal, it has predominantly brown coloured coat with dark or light brown patches on occasion.

Characteristics of Sirohi goats

The colour of a Sirohi goat vary, few goats may be completely white.

The body is covered with fairly dense soft and coarse hair, the hair grows at the rate of about two centimetres per year.

Sirohi goats have medium-sized flat dropping ears much like a leaf and most of the goats are wattled.

Both Sirohi buck and dough have small horns which are curved upward within backward.

Their tail is curved upward and medium in length, their legs are long and very strong.

The udder of Sirohi goats is small and round with small teats placed laterally.

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Sirohi bucks are much heavier than the does and the average body weight of an adult buck is up to 50 kilograms and the doe is up to 30 kilograms.

16. Pygmy Goats

Pygmy Goats 
Picture from wideopenpets.com

This breed of goat is known for its small size, they are chubby with its adult weighing around 35kg to 39kg.

This breed boasts a life span of over 10 years when properly cared for and managed, they are known to be smart and responds fast during distress.

They are good as a pet in most cases. They can easily adapt to different climate conditions and are not easily affected by diseases.

Important note about the breeds of goat

Goats have different qualities which make them unique, with each having its strength and weakness, some are milk producers while others are meat producers.

Just very few bears these two distinct features, a farmer should consider the breed and what purpose they serve before setting out for stocking his goat farm.

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Goat generally enjoins quality care and monitoring, disease affected ones should be separated and treated distinctly to avoid the spread of such diseases.

Though naturally, the goat can withstand diseases, they are not naturally immune against infections.

The choice of the breed to keep should be made based on the strength of such breed and what purpose they are to serve the farmer.

We hope you have learned a lot about the different breeds of goat in Nigeria.

This list will continuously be updated, so be sure to check it from time to time.

Lets us know your thought about the different breeds in the comment box below, we love to hear from you.

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