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The Zoo’s New Kids on the Block

Goat babies

Posted May 2020

The Zoo is excited to welcome 20 Nigerian dwarf goat babies (called kids) to its population on the Northwestern Mutual Family Farm! The Farm’s eight pregnant females produced 20 surviving offspring. The kids were born between April 6 and May 6, starting with mom Alyssa, and ending with mom Tinkerbell.

Goat babiesOf the group, there are 11 bucklings (male kids) and nine doelings (female kids). Nigerian dwarf goats are miniature goats originating from West Africa.

Keepers comment the colors and patterns of these new kids are somewhat different and unique, different than what they expected. Generally, their fine and fairly short coats may be of any color, or multi-colored. The common colors of Nigerian dwarf coats range from gold to chocolate and black, frequently with white markings. They may be horned or naturally hornless.

The new kids’ names:

  • Beaker
  • Dr. Bunsen Honeydew
  • Summer
  • Zoe
  • Bert and Ernie (Muppets)
  • Dexter
  • DeeDee
  • Phineas
  • Ferb
  • Candace
  • Perry
  • Velma and Daphne (cartoon characters)
  • Pickles
  • Dumpling
  • Li’l Nugget
  • Chili
  • Saffron
  • Sage

Goat babiesLi’l Nugget was the smallest of the group at 1.67 pounds and Ferb was the biggest at 4.44 pounds. Nigerian dwarf goats usually give birth to multiple babies. Only one goat gave birth to one kid; three gave birth to twins; one gave birth to triplets; and the other three gave birth to quadruplets! Yes – four babies for one mom! It may be difficult for one mom to feed four babies, so the zookeepers have been giving supplemental feedings to her two smallest kids. All kids and moms are doing well and romping and jumping around in the indoor Goat Barn.

On average, adult Nigerian dwarf goats can weigh up to 75 pounds and reach a height size of 24 inches for males; slightly less for females. The goats are living together in the Goat Barn and will be off exhibit until next year when they are closer to being full-size.