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What is a Nubian Goat?

By Deborah Walker
Updated Jun 04, 2024
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A Nubian goat, also known as an Anglo Nubian, is a breed of domestic goat developed in England. Some say that these goats have an aristocratic look with their pendulous ears and Roman noses. Although goats in this breed produce less milk than other dairy goats, their milk has a butterfat content of 4 to 5%. Nubians are susceptible to diseases common to many goat breeds, but, in general, they remain healthy if properly cared for. These are very social, intelligent animals, and make excellent pets.

This goat breed is a cross between the Old English Milch goat and the Zariby and Nubian goat breeds from India, Russia, and Egypt. The Nubian has long, floppy ears that extend at least 1 inch (2.54 cm) past the muzzle. The Roman nose is very distinctive among goat breeds and gives them a very convex profile. Eyes are small and set well up on the head. Horn buds are removed between two days and a week following birth.

Nubians are rather large compared to other types of goats. Females, or does, usually stand 30 inches (76 cm) at the withers and weigh at least 135 pounds (61 kg). Males, or bucks, stand 35 inches (88 cm) at the withers and weigh at least 175 pounds (79 kg). The breeding season is longer than that of other goats, which makes milk production possible throughout the year. The gestation period is about five months, after which the doe gives birth to up to five kids that weigh about 7 pounds (3 kg) each.

A Nubian goat is considered an all-purpose goat breed. These goats are used for milk, meat, and hide production. A Nubian doe produces about 1700 pounds (771 kg) of milk each year. People who drink goat milk say that the Nubian milk does not have the strong taste of other goat milk. With the high fat content, the milk can be made into butter, cottage cheese, and other foods.

The breed is susceptible to some common goat diseases. Mastitis, an infection of the udder, is typically treated with a wide-spectrum antibiotic. Abscesses of the lymph nodes around the head, neck, and shoulders are treated by lancing, collecting the pus, and giving the goat penicillin shots. Sore mouth, overeating disease, and foot rot are other diseases that a Nubian goat can contract. Infestations of internal and external parasites can be controlled with medication and/or insecticides.

Nubian goats are friendly, intelligent, and make excellent pets. They bond with their owners and will call out to them from the pen. Once a goat knows the milking routine, she will walk herself to the milking area and wait to be attended to. Children can easily learn to handle a Nubian goat because of the goat's docile nature.

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