Pygmy Goat: Everything You Need to Know About Them

Pygmy Goat: Everything You Need to Know About Them

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If you are thinking of owning a unique pet, pygmy goats are one of the best options for you. They are playful and fun, which are the perfect characteristics of pets that you should have at home. Consider thinking of getting a pygmy goat when you want to have a cute and loveable pet in your home. Not only that, they are a very docile breed, which makes them capable of adapting to different climates.

1. Pygmy goat characteristics

Like I mentioned above, pygmy goats are a loveable and docile breed. They are perfect for anyone who wants to take care of unique pets in their home. However, a person should have the effort to raise them properly. They would need proper shelter and care. These cute little babies offer never-ending fun as they are adorable and they love to play.

Pygmy goats have a wide range of characteristics, which include their adaptability. These cute furballs are considered an asset in different aspects. When it comes to climate and environment, they are very resilient. They are considered to be the smallest goats, where they range between 15 to 20 inches in their height.

The pygmy goat’s average weight is from 40 to 50 pounds, which makes the physical structure compact. These goats come in different colors, patterns, and shades. Their coats are usually medium long and straight. Their coats’ density depends on the weather and climate of the place they are staying in.

Also, adult males have beards while females do not. Aside from being the most lovable pet, these goats are also known for their milk production. A pygmy goat usually produces one to two liters of milk, which depends on the age of the female breed. These goats are usually non-seasonal breeders, where they can give birth to their young ones any time of the year.

The pygmy goats achieve their puberty after four to five months of their birth. Now, it is advisable to breed them after they reach nine to ten months. The average lifespan of these goats is from 10 to 15 years.

2. What do pygmy goats eat?

Pygmy Goat: Everything You Need to Know About Them

Now, like any other goats, pygmy goats are ruminant animals. They stay healthy and productive when they are appropriately fed. If you are feeding these goats, you need to consider their age, sex, and individual circumstances. They are less demanding when it comes to their food.

This means that they can feed on green grasses, corn, and other types of grains. It is best to let them have a natural grazing area. Also, make sure to provide plenty of hay for them to feed on as they wish. 

In order to help them with their digestion, roughage is the key. Roughage is fibrous indigestible material that is found in vegetable foods that can aid the passage of food waste through the gut. Make sure that your feeding and drinking stations are always clean and elevated off the ground. Remember, goats won’t eat solid food, so ensure to provide clean food.

Provide them fresh drinking water where they usually drink seven to 12 liters of water a day. Always make sure to have a keen eye on your pygmy goats so that they don’t have access to poisonous plants. Some plants you need to look out for are Laburnum, Azaleas, Yew, Alder, Laurel, Walnut, and Rhododendrons.

3. At what age is a pygmy goat full grown?

As I have mentioned above, pygmy goats hit puberty after four to five months after their birth. Once they have reached puberty, it doesn’t mean you can breed them during this time. It is best to breed them when they reach the age of 9 to 10 months. Now, a full-grown pygmy goat is covered with straight, medium-long hair.

However, when it comes to the female pygmy, they may be non-existent, terminated, or sparse. Mature male pygmies usually have abundant hair growth.

4. What are pygmy goats used for?

Pygmy goats are primarily meat goats. However, most people looking for a goat as a pet hate to hear some people use them as meat, but it is true. They have thick muscles, which makes them great for any meat production that you may have. There are usually two types of pygmy goats—those who are raised for meat and those who want to raise them as pets.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

5. How long do pygmy goats live?

Pygmy goats are also known as the dwarf goats, and they can live up to 15 years. Just like any other animal, they are commitments, and you should provide the right environment and time to make sure they live a full life. They are intelligent and affectionate, which can be compared to dogs. When given the opportunity, they will sit on your lap and make sure you feel loved.

Imagine getting so much love for 15 years. Knowing the dos and don’ts of taking care of this bundle of joy will make sure that they will live a full life.

6. Do pygmy goats have horns?

Pygmy Goat: Everything You Need to Know About Them

Yes, both male and female pygmy goats have horns. Unlike the regular goats that you may see wandering in farms, they tend to be smaller but can still deliver a painful butt. They can even accidentally jab you or their companions when they are excited. Now, since this would be likely to happen, it can be dangerous for children. You can remove their horns by a process called disbudding.

If you want your pygmy goat to go under this procedure, make sure to contact your vet. They will be put under general anesthesia since pygmy goats have thin skulls, and probing too deep may cause encephalitis. Now, there is also a small amount of chance of regrowth, which is called scurs. This often breaks off again and is rarely a big problem.

Disbudding is a matter of choice, and it doesn’t have to be done. If you do decide to go through the procedure with your pygmy goat, make sure it is done early, around two weeks old. If you are buying from breeders, you need to check this early on in the buying process. The reason for this is breeders don’t usually disbud their pygmy goats.

7. How much is a pygmy goat?

Now, the price for a pygmy goat would depend on their height, the number of registered generations, pedigree, and other factors. The bucks are usually sold between $550 to $1,800. Does are usually sold between $350 to $1,000, wethers are usually sold between $150 to $300. Depending on where you purchase your pygmy goat, the price can be much less or much more.

These prices may be a bit high, but you will get such a wonderful pet in return. As I have mentioned above, pygmy goats are lovable, and they can be such an excellent pet to have in your home.

8. What do pygmy goats need?

Pygmy goats would need good nutrition. Since they have a small body structure, it is important that they have specific nutritional requirements and should be considered to be kept in a good health condition. It is rare that they pile on the pounds. Make sure that your pygmy doesn’t put on too much weight, and they should have a low calorie or energy feed.

You need to make sure that they have enough access to forage and browsing material. This would help them keep their digestive system healthy and will satisfy any natural browsing behavior. Encourage your pygmy goat to chew because it stimulates saliva production and encourages rumination. Rumination helps to excrete phosphorus safely from the body through urine and feces.

Aside from the right food, they should have proper housing. Having proper housing can keep your pygmy goats safe and healthy. The main focus is to keep the goats safely contained from other predators. Making sure that they have a clean and cozy environment can help protect pygmy from seasonal or viral diseases.

When you have plenty of space, you can create a fence around an area with plenty of grass. It is crucial to provide the right shade during the summer if there are not enough trees around. Now, if you live in a hot climate area, you need to consider running a misting system during the afternoons. Shelters during winter will keep them warm and dry.

You should also make sure that they have suitable bedding, which is available in different types. Pygmy goats should have an area of hard standing adjacent to the field and their permanent shelter. Provide them a suitable play area where they can run and walk around. 

To make sure that they have optimum health, brush your goat’s hair. Make sure to brush your pygmy goats once every several days. Use a soft brush to brush your pygmy’s hair and look out for bumps on your goat since this could indicate an infection, cut, or scratch. 

Bathe your pygmies when they have parasites. They don’t usually need a bath, but most of the time, brushing is enough for your goats. If needed, bathe them with warm water so that it is not too cold. When soaping your pygmy, you need to wear wash mitts. After that, wash the soap off, which will make it easier for you to hold onto the collar if they have any.

Give them vitamin A and D. Just like us, goats also absorb calcium, which is critical for bone health, while vitamin A is usually found in green hay or from grazing. With these factors, your pygmies would be happy and comfortable in your home.

9. How big is a pygmy goat?

Pygmy Goat: Everything You Need to Know About Them

Male pygmy goats can grow up to 16 to 23 inches tall, and females can grow up to 16 to 22 inches tall. The pygmy goat’s height is measured at the withers, which is the highest point on their back. This is located between the shoulder blades.

They are small, cobby, and compact. Now, the pygmy goats are bred to be cobby and heavy boned. So, if you want them as pets, they are perfect for your home because they wouldn’t take up as much space.

10. Do pygmy goats stink?

The full-grown brethren can smell at times, which has to do with the yearly mating season. Male pygmy goats that have not been fixed are the worst offenders. At the same time, castrated males and females do not exhibit this characteristic to anywhere near the same degree. Having said this, a buck is most likely the one that is responsible for the stinky smell.

The male pygmy goat can produce a musky and unpleasant odor, which doesn’t mean it is because they are unclean by nature. Just like any other animal, they tend to groom themselves. The odor comes from their scent and urine glands, where it is most pervasive during the rutting or mating season.

11. Are pygmy goats easy to care for?

You would need to put in the effort to take care of pygmy goats. You need to make sure that the proper diet is followed, make sure that they have a comfortable home to stay in, and a place where they can graze. Also, it would be best if you watched where they graze because they might eat plants that are poisonous to them.

Just like any animals that you would have at home, they should be given the attention that they need so they can live a full life.

12. How many babies can a pygmy goat have?

The babies that pygmy goats can have would depend on their breed, but typically they have two babies per pregnancy. With this said, some breeds may have two to five babies at a time. A baby goat is referred to as a kid.

13. How long can you milk a pygmy goat?

Pygmy goats can milk 120 to 180 days, where on average they produce one to two quarts of 4.5 to 11 percent butterfat milk. The milking period is shorter than other dairy goats. They can generate about one to 2.5 liters of milk a day.

As I’ve mentioned above, they are considered as a dairy breed. They can be milked, but they have small teats and udders, which will make it a complicated process.

14. Can you keep pygmy goats in the house?

Pygmy Goat: Everything You Need to Know About Them

This is the number one question that people ask when they consider owning pygmies. Unfortunately, they are not ideal to be kept in the house. They tend to be destructive and can destroy anything inside your home. They also have the capability of climbing on top of things and breaking anything that you may have on your table.

Pygmy goats are curious animals and always love to test different things out. Aside from being destructive, they need to meet their eating requirements. They should have a field where they can graze, browse and eat when they need to. Most of their time is spent eating and drinking as well as searching for new foods.

Now, if you really want to keep them in your home, it cannot be easy. Since they eat and drink throughout the day, they would urinate and defecate multiple times throughout the day. Pygmy goats would need companions, but it’s not your cat or dog. They need another goat to live. With this said, having two goats inside your home can be double the destructiveness and not ideal.

15. Are pygmy goats noisy?

Pygmy goats do tend to be noisy at times. You can still keep them as pets as long as you let your neighbor know. Make sure that you communicate with the people around you that they might hear your pygmy goats at times. Excellent communication is the key so that you won’t bother or annoy any of the people around you.

16. Pygmy goat facts

Pygmy goats always require companions. Though they are friendly with humans, they need herd animals as a company. Your dogs, cats or any other pet doesn’t make the cut as a goat companion. With this said, they need another pygmy goat to keep them company. 

They are also known as Cameroon dwarf goats, and they have an outgoing personality. Pygmy goats are grazers and prefer to eat leaves, plants, twigs, shrubs, and vines over grass. They can also consume fruits, vegetables, and hay. Since they have a robust digestive system, they can eat tree bark, garbage, and tin cans. Now, they can be vulnerable when eating, so they tend to devour large quantities of food in open areas.

Pygmy goats are dated back to 7500BC. They are great as pets and farm animals because of their ability to survive where cows and sheep could not. Nowadays, people are breeding them as pets and for milk and meat. Since they have a friendly attitude, they can be seen in many zoos across the world.

So, if you are thinking of owning a pygmy goat, it is not always rainbows and butterflies. You would have to give them the attention and care they need. Provide them the things that they need to live a happy and full life.

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