There’s a new kid at Franklin Park Zoo… a Nigerian Dwarf Goat kid, that is.
The new kid was born February 16 inside the barn at Franklin Park Zoo’s Franklin Farm. Shortly after birth, the little female was standing, and within hours she was observed nursing. This is the second offspring for mom, Leia, and dad, Lucky.
The kid recently underwent a medical exam, and she appears bright, alert and active. The goat kid, who has been named Chewbacca, weighed about four pounds at birth.
“We are thrilled to share the news of this birth and we hope people will stop by during this school vacation week to see this adorable new addition,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO.
Nigerian Dwarf Goats are noted for their wide range of color patterns, which include combinations of black, brown or gold mixed with white, as well as for their easy-going temperaments.
Adult males can reach a maximum size of 19–23.5 inches (48–60 cm), and females can grow to about 17–22.5 inches (43–57 cm).
These herbivorous miniature goats (Capra aegagrus hircus) are of West African descent. They have been domesticated as dairy goats and can be found all over the world. Highly adaptable, Nigerian Dwarf Goats can live in climates ranging from cold to hot and dry.
Despite their size, Nigerian Dwarf Goats are known for expressing a high quantity of milk. Their production ranges from 1 to 8 pounds of milk per day (one quart of milk weighs roughly 2 pounds), with an average doe producing about 2.5 pounds of milk per day. Their milk has a higher butterfat content than milk from full-sized dairy goats, making Nigerian Dwarf Goat milk excellent for cheese and soap making.
Nigerian Dwarf Goats are gentle, friendly, and can easily be trained to walk on a leash. Their size and temperament enable them to be excellent "visitor" animals for nursing homes and hospitals.
Zoo New England manages Franklin Park Zoo in Boston and Stone Zoo in Stoneham. Both Zoos are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Zoo New England's mission is to inspire people to protect and sustain the natural world for future generations by creating fun and engaging experiences that integrate wildlife and conservation programs, research, and education.