Nigerian Dwarf Colors
Nigerian Dwarf goats are an amazing breed! One popular aspect usually disregarded by show and milk breeders, is the amazing color options available in Nigerian Dwarf goats! Never discredit any attributes of any breed, as every bit of characteristic is an important staple that breeders have worked tirelessly for to develop! Here you can learn a little bit more regarding Nigerian Dwarf goats coat colors and patterns!
Nigerian Dwarf goats have two ways to describe their appearance:
Colored or Patterned
Colors consist of either
gold or black.
Golds can vary from a deep dark red to almost white (called cream). All are genetically considered gold.
Genetically true black goats will always be solid black based.
Patterns are different from colors. You won't find a gold buckskin, or a black chamoisee. Patterns are patterned and colors are colors. Easy enough until you reach the modifiers section...keep reading!
Buckskins can come in 3 main colors
Buckskin - light, medium, or dark; red
Swiss Marked - black & tan or black & cream/white
Cou Clair (melanistic brown) / Cou Blanc (white)
Any of the patterns listed above can be mixed! If you breed a buckskin with a sundgau, you can end up with either pattern, or a combination of both! Kylie Wilcox of KW Farms has devised a clever diagram illustrating each pattern and its combination options.
Chocolate and Silver
A modifying gene changes a goat's color or pattern to either silver or chocolate.
For example, in a silver buckskin, all parts that would normally be light, would be modified to white. The parts that are normally dark will be changed to silver!
The chocolate modifier changes anything that's normally black to chocolate instead. In a chocolate modification, there will be no black at all on the goat.
You can only get a modification in breeding if you have at least one parent with, or carrying, the modification.
These are the fun parts! I'm simply calling these add ons because they don't change or affect the color or pattern of the goat, but more so, accessorize it!
Roaning - White - Moonspots - Frosting
Roaning can be applied anywhere randomly or in a more patterned effect in a goat's coat. Roaning consists of white hairs intertwined among a goat's normal coat hairs.
White can be very diverse; sometimes in large patches, while other times in small random bits. White simply is viewed as being laid over a goat's coat blocking your view of its base coat color/pattern. The best way to describe white is like a paint spill on top of a goat!
Gold, tan, varying shades of chocolate and silver splatters of color with round or irregular shapes. Moonspots present themselves on top of all patterns, colors, and other add ons! Moonspots will have a silvery-colored root hair color, and typically lighten with time. Winter/summer grow outs and sheds will change the appearance slightly. Moonspots are random, and may come in just a few, many, or cover large sections of the goat!
Frosting is white fur with little black speckles in it. Typically found on ears and muzzles, but can also be around tails!