West African Dwarf, African Pygmy, African Dwarf, Chevre de Fouta Djallon, Guinean, Guinean Dwarf, Chevre guineene; Cameroon Dwarf, Ghana Dwarf, Ghana Forest, Forest Dwarf, Nigerian Dwarf, Grassland Dwarf, Congo Dwarf; Chevre Naine, Chevre de Casamance,
Small African Meat Goat
Markedly dwarf with height of only 30 to 50 cm; males weigh 20–25 kg and females 18-22 kg; strong head and bulging forehead; head profile is straight or slightly dished; narrow muzzle with lower jaw slightly longer than upper; horns curl outwards and backwards in males, and are light, sharp and pointing upwards and backwards in females; ears are short to medium in length, and are carried horizontally; toggles occasionally present in both sexes; males normally bearded and with a weak mane; females occasionally have beards; heart girth is much greater than height at withers; back is straight and long; croup well developed; udder small but usually well developed; colour is very variable according to region, dark brown with black points possibly commonest but blacks, whites, reds, pied and mixed colours also occur; coat hair is short and usually stiff, but some sub-types have wavy long hair; more or less trypanotolerant; the skin is known to be eaten with the meat (Wilson, 1991).
The true type of this goat is considered to be confined to 15 countries in West and Central Africa, all of which except the Central African Republic having an Atlantic coastline (Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Zaire, Central African Republic); also found in Senegal; an experimental flock is maintained at Wageningen University in the Netherlands; there are many kept as pets and in zoos in the USA where they are known as African Pygmy for which there is a breed society; the total population in West Africa is probably about 16 million; essentially confined to the humid forest zones with more than 240 growing days and in excess of 1500 mm rainfall per annum; most of this zone is infested with tsetse fly and trypanosome infections are prevalent; the production systems are agricultural, peri-urban and to a lesser extent agro-pastoral with many ethnic groups (Wilson, 1991).
This goat type is achondroplastic Dwarf with lack of ossification at the cartilage joints; they probably evolved specifically in response to the conditions of the humid forest zone by selection of recessive genes for dwarfism (Wilson, 1991).