There is this general opinion that goats are foolish. But is it true? Are all species of goats dumb? Some are of the school of thought that goats are only stubborn, not foolish. But is it still really true?
In this article, we look at how intelligent Nigerian dwarf goats are.
At the end of this article, I trust you will fully understand the truth about Nigerian dwarf goats and goats. In addition, do away with false misconceptions.
Overview of Nigerian Dwarf Goats
The Nigerian Dwarf goat is a small but well-proportioned species that resemble larger dairy goats. They are usually short, fine with upright ears, and may appear in single or multi-colors.
Common colors of this species are chocolate, gold, and black, often with white markings.
Their average weight is usually between 35 kg to 37kg, while their height is about 60 cm for males and slightly less for females. Their life expectancy ranges from 8 to 12 years.
Nigerian dwarf goats are way forward in terms of maturity than most species. Its male goats start breeding by three months, and its doe (female goats) start breeding by seven months. Usually, their gestation period ranges from 145–153 days.
How Smart Are Nigerian Dwarf Goats?
Contrary to the common belief that goats are not intelligent animals, research and experience have proved it wrong.
Now we are looking at various kinds of research that were conducted to prove our attestation that goats are smart. Most of the research was conducted in London.
The first research on my list was conducted at Queen Mary University. Researchers brought 12 goats and taught them to retrieve a grass treat in a box by grabbing its string and pulling a lever. After the lesson, they observed that the goats could do it by themselves using the same procedure.
The second research was conducted, and it was based on a milking routine. The hypothesis was to milk the goat according to when they are kidded, I.e., according to age. Whoever had babies in a given year will go first in the milking routine.
After some repetition, it was observed that the goats now knew their turns. They come together to line up according to their levels during milking time. If it is not their turn, they will stand their ground and watch as the others head for their milking. This research showed that goats could adapt to a patterned way of life.
Thirdly, another research showed how goats stared intensely at their owner when trying to complete a task. This trait is also observed in domesticated dogs but not wolves. So it was kind of surprising at first.
This research shows strong evidence that complex communication exists between goats and humans, as found between men and domestic animals like dogs, cats, or horses.
Although for the last 10,000 years, goats were solely used for agricultural purposes, they kept evolving to the extent that it is now closer to man. Hence the surprise the researchers got while studying the goats.
Another research was conducted in the same year to better understand the last research point. Thirty-four goats were trained to remove a lid from a box to receive a reward. They ran the goats through this test numerous times, but the last time, they made the box impossible and recorded how the goat reacted.
Also, it was observed that the goats turned their heads toward the person experimenting once they realized they were stuck. So it was guessed that the goats realized that a change had been made. Also, they realized that they were being watched; hence they turned back to look at the man.
In other words, the goats were modifying their behavior based on their human audience, which is only found in dogs, cats, and horses.
Are Nigerian Dwarf Goats intelligent?
Now my personal experiences made me break the belief that goats are stupid.
I have found out that goats recall their names just like dogs. I was in doubt earlier, but when I saw a friend calling her goat by its name and the goat immediately responded, I knew that they were not foolish as most of us have tagged them to be.
On the Discovery Channel, I watched a story of a goat who lived with a blind horse and faithfully guided the horse to the pasture and back to the barn daily. This story made me believe the second research that was explained above.
I learned that goats can detect danger like dogs, although not as intelligent as dogs. They know when some or something wants to impose harm or endanger them. They immediately run away from that person.
From this research and personal experience, you can attest that Nigerian dwarf goats are intelligent. They were never dull.
Goats are one amazing creature that has been wrongly conceived over the years. It is commending that this article has done justice to the truth. I will advise you reading this right now to try out all the above research personally and see the response you will get.