Big Boys

The goats’ fecal test came back positive for pole worm. Keeping internal parasites at bay is very difficult. It’s not simply a matter of dosing them with chemicals, which, although is sometimes necessary, is not effective without careful management of the environment as well. I’m not an experienced goat keeper, and I’ve been relying on the wisdom of people like my friend, Sarah, at Cudzoo Farm (her goatmilk soaps, by the way, are absolutely wonderful and are for sale on line.)

In order to give the right dose of anthelmintic, I needed to weigh the boys. My goats are Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats. There’s a reason that the word dwarf is in their name. They’re supposed to be small. It’s one reason why I fell in love with them at the fair four years ago. Such adorable, petite, hoofed and furry animals! But, somehow, my goaties didn’t seem so small when I thought about weighing them.

I got out the bathroom scale and asked Steve for help. He talked to Caper about what he was about to do.

That didn’t make it any easier.

Picking up Pip was only slightly less awkward.

Caper weighs 96 pounds. Pip weighs 91.

The ideal weight for a Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goat is 75 pounds. Are my goat boys really that overly tubby?

The ideal height for for this breed is no more than 19 inches, although the bucks can be 23 inches tall.

Caper is 23 inches tall. And big-boned. Yes, that’s it. My boys are tall and have large, sturdy frames. Pip and Caper assure me that there is no reason, no reason at all, to cut back on their daily ration of hay.


  1. Oh my gracious..these pics are hilarious. I really did laugh out loud. I can only imagine what expression my crazy goat would have if he was getting this kind of attention.
    Thanks for the info.

  2. DOH! Hittin’ myself on the side of the head. I was wondering, “How is Steve going to get that goat on that tiny scale?” sigh…I love you sharing your goat tales, as I have been told my farm would be ideal for goats and I am gathering information.

    Hey, it snowed yesterday at your place and the hens, and the goats, surprisingly did not go out? What are they, chicken??? It was fun watching all the activity inside, though. They were going to bed at 3:45. Is this what a snowfall does to them, lol!
    I look forward to my hens’ first snow, to see what they do!

  3. Even if the boys are a little over weight they’re still so cute. I love the picture of Steve talking to Caper and how Caper is staring up at Steve listening to what he has to say. I talk to my animals all the time and I tell them just what I’m going to do to them before I do it. Some people think I’m crazy but animal people understand. Terry do you routinely have the goats tested for worms or were they showing symptoms? Hope the treatment takes care of the nasty worms.

    • Yes, I test the goats yearly for worms. This is the first time that they tested positive, so I’ll do it more often now. They don’t show symptoms and the count was very low. I’ll wait to use Ivermectin until it’s frozen solid out there, and I can remove all manure to break the cycle.

  4. LOVE the look on Caper’s face! PIcture 1 getting the talk from Goat Maid’s husband – so serious. You sure married a great guy Terry! Do the goat boys have a yearly check up?

  5. Your story and pics are hilarious! My favorite is Steve and Casper hunched onto that scale, Steves big boots taking up the whole top of the scale, while he holds onto Casper with all his life. I see a story submission for Hobby Farms the making. So glad you had your camera, thank you!

  6. The trick is to make them think it is their idea. Not always easy. Love the picture of Caper and Steve having a heart to heart.

    • Great excuse for everyone! Here in New England, in the winter, we wear layers of sweaters and vests and coats. You don’t see what someone really looks like until Springtime. I don’t think you can do that in southern California.

  7. That is so funny. Coincidentally I had the same fleeting though as the other Carol “how is Steve going to get the goats on that small scale?”
    All the pictures are so funny and cute but I also agree the heart to heart is so endearing.

  8. last time I went to the doctor she weighed me at 11 stone (about 154 pounds in your terms, assuming your pounds are the same) and when I said to her ‘but I do have jeans and long boots on’ she simply replied, ‘whatever….’
    Some people have no idea how to accurately tailor information to the individual. I expect the goats have their heavy winter coats on? That’ll be what it is.

  9. OMG! That was hilarious! Like the lady in the books “Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency” called herself “traditionally built”…yes…that is them! Thank you for the laugh..I needed it today!

  10. Well, I hope they are de-wormed soon. This is not an uncommon problem for goats, though, and other animals too. What you do to keep them in check is nothing short of amazing. Sample and testing the pooh-pooh, weighing them, administering medicine then re-checking them. Recall a few months ago when Pip at too much greens and had to be given Pepto-Bismol. But they are wonderful goats and I’d do the same if they were mine. I enjoyed the photos. Steve’s a real trooper.