Nigerian Dwarf Goat

Nigerian Dwarf Goat

Where in the world?

Transported on ships from West Africa for food.  Now in multiple countries due to popularity as excellent dairy goats.

 

Animal Facts:

Nigerian Dwarf Goats have slender proportions, versus pygmy goats that are just as small, but have very stalky bodies.  Females, or does, are about 17-21 inches tall at the withers and weigh around 25-35 pounds.  Males, or bucks, are about 19-23 inches tall and weigh 30-45 pounds.  Despite their size, they can sometimes jump over 6-foot fences and require lots of room to play and climb on.

Their coats are short to medium in length with a wide variety of colors with or without white markings.  The eyes can be a variety of colors, with blue being the dominant color for the breed.

Goats spend up to 14 hours a day eating mostly from bushes, grasses, and trees, but are known for eating almost anything they can get their mouths on.  As ruminants, they have a stomach with 4 chambers.  The first two ferment the food to turn it into cud that the goat then regurgitates, chews, and swallows so it can finish digestion in the last 2 chambers.

Nigerian Dwarf Goats are prized for their creamy, sweet milk.  They can produce 1-2 quarts of milk a day with 6-10% butterfat and a higher protein than most dairy goat breeds.  This gives their milk a taste that closely resembles cow’s milk and make it excellent for cheese, soap, and cream making.

Did you know?

Nigerian Dwarf Goats are friendly, very trainable, and social.  In fact, they need a friend (typically another goat) to keep them company because they crave so much attention and interaction.

 

Pygmy Goat

Pygmy Goat

Where in the world?

Originally domesticated in Europe from West African dwarf goats; they are now widely distributed around the world.

 

Animal Facts:

Thy pygmy goat was originally bred from the West African dwarf goat after colonial British brought some back to Europe. They have since gained popularity among both farmers and breeders in many countries because of their small size, friendliness, and ability to adapt to virtually all climates.

Males (called billies) can weigh around 60-85 pounds, while the females (called nannies) are around 50-75 pounds.   Pygmies are fully grown around 3-4 years, measuring 16-23 inches tall at their withers.

Pygmy goats are grazers, having a four-chambered stomach to digest their diet of grasses, brush, and weeds.  Though, like other goats, they will eat almost anything, including clothing, furniture, and garbage.

Having a friendly and playful nature, pygmies love to jump and climb on rocks or stumps.  They also need a companion because of their social nature and will even form companionships with animals from other species.

 

Did you know?

A baby goat is called a “kid”, so female goat giving birth is “kidding”. A Pygmy goat pregnancy lasts 5 months, giving birth to 1-4 kids.  Pygmies are precocial, meaning that their young are born able to walk and eat on their own with minimal help from the parents.

 

Giant Flemish Rabbit

Giant Flemish Rabbit

Where in the world?

Originated in Flanders, Belgium.

 

Animal Facts:

As one of the largest rabbit breeds, Flemish Giants weigh an average of 13 to 22 pounds. Their fur is dense and glossy, ranging in color between black, fawn, sandy, gray and white. Their natural habitat is grassy fields and forests.

Bucks have a broad, massive head in comparison to does, and can take 1.5 years to reach full maturity. Does may have a large, full, evenly carried dewlap (the fold of skin under their chins), and can take 1 year to reach their full maturity.

The longest Flemish Giant measured in at 4 feet, 3 inches long.

 

Did you know?

Flemish giants are known for their calm, docile personalities, which make them popular in animal education and outreach programs.

 

Fancy Rat

Fancy Rat

Where in the world?

Originally native to south-east Siberia, north-east China, and parts of Japan, but now occurs worldwide as an introduced species.

 

Animal Facts:

Fancy Rats come in a wide variety of colors and coat types.  Often times, the fur color is brown, white, tan, black, or a combination.

Fancy Rats are quite independent, loyal, and easily trained.  They are often considered more intelligent than other domesticated rodents.

On average, Fancy Rats grow to a body length of 8-10 inches.  Like other rodent species, the incisors of Fancy Rats continue growing throughout their life.

While rats get a bad reputation, domesticated species, like Fancy Rats, are incredibly intelligent and affectionate pets.

Did you know?

The Brown or Norway rat, Rattus norvegicus, is the species which was domesticated into what we recognize as Fancy or pet rats. This animal began steadily colonizing Europe, particularly England, in the early 18th century.

 

Two-toed Sloth

Two-toed Sloth

Where in the world?

Tropical rain forests of South America.

 

Animal Facts:

Two-toed Sloths get their name from the two giant claws on their front paws that can grow as long as three inches and are perfect for climbing and hanging from trees.

Two-toed Sloths are solitary animals that spend most of their lives high up in the trees. They only venture to the ground to change trees, locate new food sources, or about once a week to go potty. Although they are nearly immobile on the ground, they are very competent swimmers.

The most common resting position for the sloth is curled up in the branches of a tree where they can resemble a termite nest or a knot in the wood. This, and the green color of their fur, provides great protection from predators.

Sloths are nocturnal, sleeping during the day and waking at night to eat berries, leaves, small twigs and fruits. They get water by lapping dew off of their food.

 

Did you know?

Two-toed sloths eat, sleep and even give birth upside down. Because of this posture, their internal organs have re-positioned over time and their hair is actually parted along their stomach and grows towards their back.

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