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Nigerian dwarfs: space and companionship

 
Carmella Montebello
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Welcome Deborah; your appearance is very timely for me as I am about to be getting two Nigerian dwarf does in within the next few weeks.
My questions are: I am getting a yearling and a baby (few months old). Two does and know each other (from the same herd). I wonder if the baby will be bored with an older, more calm companion and if she would be better off with another baby around? I don't want her to be bored. Right now she has several siblings and friends her own age to play with. After I get her it will just be her and the yearling.

Also, I'm wondering how much space would be ideal. Not the minimum, but the space needed to keep them happy and stimulated. I have a pasture with hay and blackberries and things to munch on but the original fence is broken so I am making one out of pallets and such (can't afford to fix the big one at the moment, unfortunately).

Thank you!! Would love to win your book.
 
Carmella Montebello
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Also ... Is it dangerous to put them on a leash for short periods of time, if supervised? I would like them to eat other parts of my property and a relative's property that are not fenced. Full of blackberries. Could I leash them up if I'm around to make sure they don't choke or get loose? And if so, would it be better to have neck collar or halter collar? It seems for the younger ones a halter would be more comfortable.
Thanks
 
Deborah Niemann
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Sorry, I didn't see this post sooner! I was just looking for folders marked as "new" and this wasn't marked for some reason.

Your pasture sounds like it will be a lot of fun for the new goats! You didn't mention how big it is, but with all of that foliage, it sounds like even a 1/4 acre could keep two NDs busy for a long time!

I wouldn't tether the goats unless you are truly right there every minute. The can hang themselves, and they are also sitting ducks for predators, including domestic dogs, which are responsible for many goat deaths every year.

I don't think your young one will be bored, but you might see some head butting initially, which should calm down quickly as the little one should realize that she's no match for the larger goat and will agree to let her be herd queen.
 
Carmella Montebello
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Thanks so much, that's very helpful. I think the pasture is about an acre. I've attached a picture
0612151915.jpg
[Thumbnail for 0612151915.jpg]
 
Deborah Niemann
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An acre is more than two NDs will ever be able to eat. You should incorporate rotational grazing to effectively utilize it. Otherwise, they'll pick a few spots and eat the grass down to the dirt while ignoring other places. Here is an excerpt on rotational grazing from my book:
http://www.homegrownandhandmadethebook.com/2013/10/rotational-grazing.html
 
Carmella Montebello
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Thanks so much I will be perusing your site thoroughly. And I will have to get your book. This is great and timely information.
 
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