If you are thinking of raising pygmy goats as pets or for milk and meat production, then this comprehensive guide will show you how to care for them.
While many people in Africa keep pygmy goats for the purpose of meat production, raising pygmy goats as pets is very popular in so many countries in the west.
Pygmy goats are very popular as pets mainly for their small size and very friendly nature.
In addition to being friendly and lovable pets, pygmy goats provide milk rich in high-fat content.
One thing you should know is that people are different.
As a result, you will get different views from different people about raising pygmy goats as pets.
This is quite understandable because different people look for different things in their pets.
Some may have allergies having certain types of pets around while others may have their own favourites.
But this does not change the fact that pygmy goats are really cute and might just be the best pets for you.
They are smaller in size, easy to manage and also very friendly with humans.
To be successful at raising pygmy goats or any other animal as pets, you must have to learn about the animal perfectly.
You need to know their origin, characteristics and how best to care for pygmy goats.
But since you are here already, permit me to take you through this learning process.
What is the origin of pygmy goats?
The pygmy goat breeds are descendants of Nigerian Dwarf goats in West Africa.
The modern Pygmy Goat which is also known as the African Pygmy Goat, has its origins in central and west Africa.
It is one of the most productive and hardiest goat breeds.
This goat breed is compact and resourceful, and able to survive on limited high-quality forage no matter the climate conditions.
Pygmy were first imported into Europe through Britain, and eventually to the United States.
Originally they were imported as a curiosity, for zoos and shows, and remain extremely popular fixtures in petting zoos across the country due to their friendly nature.
In the 1950s, many private breeders who had interest in raising pygmy goats as pets adopted some of these little.
Since that time, many other people now feel keep pygmy goats as friendly companions.
Uses of Pygmy goats
The small stature and friendly personality of pygmy goats make them incredible show animals.
They also provide meat and milk for their owner.
Because of their small size, they don’t make a very productive meat goat.
In addition, they don’t produce as much milk as other breeds per lactation.
However, their milk is rich in high-fat content, which makes them desirable dairy goats for soaps, creams, and other goat milk products that require a high fat content.
Apart from offering milk and producing meat, pygmy goats serve as great pets as they are responsive, cooperative, and lovely.
Hence, pygmy goats are highly suitable for both commercial purposes and as pets for companionship.
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Raising Pygmy Goats as Pets
Before you think about raising pygmy goats as pets in your house, then you must have to know a few things about them.
This is essential so that you can match the habits, needs, personality as well as the temperament of the pygmy goats with what you are expecting and the facilities you can provide.
The satisfaction you get from having a pygmy goat as a pet will depend on how happy the goat is.
No one wants to see an unhappy pet, and it’s absolutely a sorry sight.
Because of that, you have to make provision that ensures that your pets are curious, happy, mischievous and playful.
Now, if you think you can handle the requirements, then consider raising pygmy goats as pets.
Features and characteristics of pygmy goats
To help you to understand the pygmy goat breeds better, this section explains the typical features and characteristics of pygmy goats.
This will help you to decide whether they match the qualities you demand from a pet.
If most of these sync with you, then pygmies may just be a good choice as pets for you.
Physical appearance of pygmy goats
1. Pygmy goats have small body size
Just like earlier stated, pygmy goats are miniature goat breeds having smaller body size and structure.
Their unique stocky look with compact, muscular and small size makes them different from the other goat breeds.
2. Average weight is 75lbs and height of pygmy goats is 16 – 23 inches
When it comes to weight, an adult pygmy goat weights about 75 pounds.
As for the height, they stand about 16 to 23 inches at the shoulder.
3. Pygmy goat comes in different colours
They come with a wide variety of colors. Usually they are found in agouti, black, tan, white or mixed colored coats.
One notable thing about pygmy goat is their babies.
Pygmy goat’s babies are too cute to resist.
Friendliness, temperament and moods of pygmy goats
While pygmy goats may not act excited when they see you like pet dogs do, they are mostly friendly.
In addition, absolutely not all of them will be delightfully pleasant companions.
The bucks are a little more independent, obstinate and stubborn.
On the contrary, the females and castrated bucks are very calm, quiet and are of good nature.
They are not aggressive and are quite easy to control.
So, if you are raising pygmy goats as pets, then consider having wethers or females.
If you start raising them from when they were babies, then they will easily adapt themselves with you and your home environment.
Pygmy goats, like every other goat, hate getting wet.
So, never try to wet them by bathing them under running water.
Instead, use a damp towel to clean them up if you need to, otherwise you might see changes in their moods.
Display of Emotions
Pygmy goats are social animals, and as a result, they like to have playmates.
What this means is that if you want to raise pygmy goats, then you need to consider getting more than one.
If you have a ranch with cows, donkeys and horses, then they can provide company for the goat to stay happy.
Because pygmy goats are playful and need love, they may nudge you here and there to seek your attention.
It will make them happy if you reciprocate by giving them that attention in return.
The goats are gentle and responsive to humans.
And they may show their emotion by wagging their tail momentarily while you are around them.
Pygmies can be very loud when they are demanding something or expressing their displeasure.
However, raising pygmy goats at home is one way to have loyal and faithful pets like dogs are.
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Daily activities of a pygmy goat
Pygmy goats are very playful and they spend most of their time by playing.
They love to clown around and prance around, which might seem to you that they are tipsy.
You will see them chasing each other over open fields.
Sometimes you can also see them having occasional mock fights (head-butt).
For happy living, you have to provide them with a stimulating environment that has a lot of scope for playing.
A good way to achieve that is by placing some wood stumps or other such things which they can climb on and jump from.
The pygmy goats also get bored very easily. So you have to make creative playing facilities for them.
How to feed pygmy goats
Raising pygmy goats as pets will require you to provide them healthy nutritious foods at all times.
If you have pasture, you can allow your pygmies to graze while grasses are abundant.
In times when you don’t have pasture, then feed your pygmies good quality grass or timothy hay.
You can also give them vegetables and fruits as treats.
If you are going to feed them goat mix then do so twice in a day and not more than 2 to 3 ounces.
This measure is important because pygmy goat have a tendency towards obesity.
So, to curb that, you must feed them moderately.
You need to feed the pregnant and nursing does properly to meet their energy needs, likewise the kids.
There are some foods you just avoid when it comes to feeding pygmy goats.
Never provide alfalfa hay to your pygmies, because alfalfa can cause urinary calculi.
Always try to keep them away from some poisonous plants.
For instance, avoid poisonous plants such as Laburnum, Azaleas, Japanese yew, Rhododendrons etc.
Finally, make sure your goats always have access to fresh, clean water and provide an iodized salt block for them to lick.
For more information, here’s a comprehensive list of food for goats.
Housing For Pet Pygmy Goats
You only need a simple structure to keep pygmy goats since they are very simple creatures.
The fundamental requirement for the pygmy goat house is the provision of adequate ventilation.
In addition, the goat housing must be strong and provide security for the goats.
Besides providing security for the goats, the goat housing should prevent the goats from escaping.
To prevent them from escaping, avoid building the goat house near the fence.
The goat can be smart enough to climb the roof of their pen and jump over the fence.
Pygmy goats usually prefer to live and sleep in a dry floor.
So, try to make their house in a higher place to prevent waterlogging and always keep the house always dry and clean.
Building a three-sided enclosure for your pygmy goats is just enough to make them happy.
But to make them happier, add some sleeping and playing things like old tires and wooden stumps inside their house.
Tips For Raising Pygmy Goats
It’s obvious that pygmies are little lovable animals that can make excellent pets.
So, if you’re able to take care of pygmy goats, then you should consider raising some as pets.
All you need is proper knowledge of how to handle them and provide for their daily needs.
In that regard, here are some tips that will help you in raising pygmy goats as pets.
Tips for raising pygmy goats as pets
- When you want to get pygmy goats, try to contact a registered breeder in your area.
- Always consider getting a female or castrated buck for raising as pets. Bucks are stubborn and give out a foul odour.
- If there are state laws in your area concerning keeping pets, then consult your county livestock regulations.
- To prevent the goat from hurting during plays, you should consider disbudding them.
- Perform regular hoof trimming after every 4 to 6 weeks to keep them clean.
- Vaccinate them timely and take them for veterinary examinations at least once every year. The vaccination should be for tetanus, pulpy kidneys and enterotoxaemia.
- Regular worming is a must for your pygmies (at least twice a year is necessary).
Pygmy goats are really lovely animals to have as pets.
The are small, cute and very friendly.
If you are thinking of raising pygmy goats as pets, then you must learn how to take care them.
Being able to take care of your pet is one way to make them happy and playful.
Seeing your pets happy and playful is just the satisfaction every pet owner seek from their pets.
It is so satisfying to watch pygmy goats clown around happily.
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