Pygmy Goats as Pets-Everything You Need to Know


Pygmy Goats as Pets-Everything You Need to Know

The pygmy goat is famed for its miniature appearance. This goat breed originates from West Africa, precisely the Cameroon Valley. Consequently, the pygmy goat was introduced to European and American zoos by the 1950s. Compared to the typical Nigerian dwarf goat, pygmy goats are less refined and equally less compact. The male adult pygmy goat has significant beard growth while the female typically doesn’t grow beards.

Pygmy goats are smaller than your regular goats, with a height range of 15-20 inches. The pygmy goat’s coat has medium length and is remarkably straight. Indeed, this coat comes in a broad spectrum of colors. This ranges from dark caramel to lighter tones. In some cases, you could see pygmy goats coming in solid black, or dark grey agouti. Depending on the season, the coat density would change. Pygmy goats have an average weight span of 35-50 pounds, although the males can be heavier. It is possible to have a male pygmy goat weighing as much as 60 pounds.

The pygmy is an amazing animal, distinct for its height, temperament, and social needs. Possibly, you are curious if the pygmy goat would make a good pet. You may also want to know how this goat feeds, its breeding, and how long its gestational period is. How about we learn about all these in this guide?

Costs of Owning a Pygmy Goat

Admittedly, the price of the pygmy goat is not definitive. The major factors determining the cost is the breeding capacity of the goat and their registration.

Typically, if you are looking for pet quality, you can budget somewhere around $40-70 for your pygmy goat. However, if you are looking for an intact and registered variant, you could be planning around $350 for your pygmy goat.

Caring for Your Pygmy Goat

The pygmy goat is a very social animal that needs a significant amount of care and attention. Considering the natural curiosity of the pygmy goat, expect it to roam a lot. This necessitates building a fence to prevent the possibility of your goat escaping.

These are active animals with a vehement need for entertainment and stimulation. You could integrate playgrounds into their pens. Surely, being small compared to other breeds, you wouldn’t need to bother about procuring much space for raising your pygmy goat. A small farm is excellent or can do with keeping your pygmy goat in a small attachment to your home.

You would have to feed them quality grass mixed with a moderate quantity of molasses-free grain. You could supplement this with trace mineral salt. Also, you can resort to introducing selenium if your region doesn’t have a sufficient quantity of nutrients to enrich the grass. Also, pygmy goats need an appreciable amount of freshwater to stay healthy.

Pygmy Goats Behavior and Temperament

Pygmy goats are active and very responsive to human interaction. Yes, they love and thrive when given ample affection and attention. They are typically gentle when interacting with humans, especially their owners.

When pissed off or disturbed, pygmy goats are notorious for being loud, even when they need something pressing from the owner. On the other side, these goats have incredible levels of loyalty.

The pygmy goat is very social and detests being left alone. Consequently, it is a terrible idea to attempt to raise a pygmy goat alone in its pen. It is crucial to breed your pygmy goat with other grazing animals to satiate its acute social appetite.  

Do Pygmy Goats Make Good Pets?

Yes, pygmy goats make excellent pets. Generally, they are very welcoming to human company and interaction. They could be aloof, but are overall friendly.

It is also important to point out that these goats can be intermittently strong-headed, displaying streaks of independence, which can be frustrating for the owner. However, such stubbornness can be reasonably tamed with sustained training.

How Big Do Pygmy Goats Get?

Pygmy goats are miniature in appearance. Their dwarf-like appearance means they have a stocky body sitting on relatively short legs. Also, pygmy goats have a rounded muzzle and small nose with erect ears.

These goats have a height range of 16-23 inches. They weigh around 50-75 pounds on average.

Are Pygmy Goats Destructive?

We can’t say that pygmy goats are outrightly destructive.

Pygmy goats have specific temperaments and traits that can degenerate into being destructive if the owner does not promptly arrest these traits through good training.

For example, the pygmy goat, as we said, is naturally inquisitive and active. This energetic nature may manifest in its jumping over your furniture and possibly destroying your lovely sofas. Also, their prying nature could get them chewing on your curtains and pillows.

However, you can eliminate all these adverse behaviors by teaching your pygmy goat your acceptable code of conduct. With consistent rewards and reprimands, your pygmy goat will learn to behave the way you approve.

How Long Do Pygmy Goats Live?

Pygmy goats can live anywhere from 10-15 years.

Do Pygmy Goats Smell?

Bucks tend to smell bad. This explains the prevalent reluctance to raise bucks as pets. However, female pygmy goats barely smell that bad, making them great pets.

Do Pygmy Goats Need to Be Milked?

Necessarily, pygmy breeds are not dairy by nature. That means it is not mandatory to milk the female pygmy goat. However, the milk produced by pygmy goats has high levels of nourishment. The milk production capacity of a female pygmy goat primarily depends on its age.

Averagely, a female pygmy goat should produce 1-2 liters of milk daily. The milk produced by the pygmy goat has a butterfat content of 4.5%-11%. A female pygmy goat would produce milk (after the birth of its baby) for 4-6 months. You will agree this span is relatively short compared to other dairy goats that would produce milk for 12-24 months.

Can You Potty Train a Pygmy Goat?

Yes, you can potty train a pygmy goat. Certainly, this has to start from the very nascent age of your pygmy goat. To start the exercise, you have to place the baby goat outside immediately it finishes a bottle.

You can also place it outside the minute the kid wakes up. This is because the baby pygmy goat is most likely to urinate after finishing a bottle or waking up.

You can train the baby pygmy goat to command codes like “Go pee-pee?” Now, wait for some time for your pygmy goat to pee. If it does urinate, you have to reward it to consolidate this as an approved habit. You can pay it with treats or some petting, precisely some nice scratching behind the ears (which goats especially like).

For best results, you should have a devoted treat you give the goat only after it excels at its potty training exercise. Endeavor that your pygmy terribly loves this treat so it can specifically associate that treat as a reward for good performance. This way, it is likely to sustain its potty training behavior.

You could also use a diaper considering that goats generally can’t regulate the position their feces drop. This could readily be a baby diaper, but ensure to change it hourly to reduce the discomfort on your pygmy goat.

Do Pygmy Goats Need Companions?

Pygmy Goats Need Companions

Yes, pygmy goats are very social and need company. We highly discourage raising a pygmy goat alone. It is unhealthy for the goat and could trigger destructive habits in it.

What Do Pygmy Goats Like to Play with?

Pygmy goats have a particular penchant for playing. They are energetic and relentlessly in love with stimulating exercises. You will notice a high frequency of jumping and running from your pygmy kids. This is even more pronounced in that baby pygmy goat once it gets active.

With this intense love for play, your enclosure for pygmy goat must have sufficient clearance. This would give them the space to satisfy their physical and sporting needs.

Sometimes, you could see younger pygmy goats engaging in mock fights. These are playful scuffles that end in minutes with no hard feelings. Given the high activity levels of pygmy goats, they could get bored easily if their enclosure isn’t reasonably furnished with entertainment facilities.

Do Pygmy Goats Get Along with Dogs and Cats?

Pygmy goats are not aggressive. Due to their pronounced social needs, they need company. Although their preferred company is another grazing animal, pygmy goats are also cool with cats and dogs. The only problem a hunting dog (if kept with your pygmy goat) can prey on it.

Are Pygmy Goats Noisy?

Undoubtedly, pygmy goats can be occasionally loud. This can be a disturbance, especially when the pygmy goat is pressing for something or is generally disturbed. It is wise to consult your immediate neighbors before if they have reservations about you bringing pygmy kids into the neighborhood.

How High Can Pygmy Goats Jump?

Pygmy goats are ecstatic jumpers. Their energetic nature makes them very agile in addition to their inquisitive nature. It is not abnormal to see your pygmy goat attempting to jump over its fence. Nonetheless, it is very rare to see a pygmy jumping higher than 4 feet into the air. Therefore, it is optimal to nail your fence at this height.

Pygmy Goats Diet

Pygmy goats relish forage and feed. They would love being free to feed on a variety of leaves, weeds, shrubs, and herbs. Allowing them to choose the pasture they feed keeps them lively and healthy.

Agreed, the pasture available would vary (in quality and magnitude) through the season. Alfalfa hay is the pygmy goat’s favorite. If you are keen on the quality of the milk your pygmy goat produces and its health, you should procure only the highest quality of hay for your goat.

We specially recommend alfalfa hay for its high calcium content. Certainly, such premium calcium content is vital for the production of milk and also for (your pygmy goat) raising its kids.

Admittedly, alfalfa hay doesn’t come cheap. If this is turning too expensive for you, you can go with other premium hay and supplement it with alfalfa pellets. If your pygmy goat is producing milk, it helps to supplement its diet with grain.

The quality of your pasture should majorly determine your choice of supplement. This depends on the nourishment from the soil (in terms of its mineral content). If the quality of your hay is good enough, you would only need to supplement it with very reduced quantities of trace minerals.

We prefer going for minerals that are specific to goats or cows, avoiding supplements for sheep. Sheep supplements don’t contain copper (which is highly essential for goats and cows) as it is toxic to sheep.

The advantage of free-feeding your pygmy goat is that it can feed itself fat with mineral supplements. Vegetables and fruits are also excellent additions to the diet of your pygmy goat. Yes, you can readily get these fruits and veggies from leftovers gathered from your kitchen. Veggies and fruits are best served as treats and not part of their staple diet.

Taking into account the tendency of pygmy goats to get obese, it is advised you don’t feed them goat mix more than 2 times daily.

What Can Pygmy Goats Not Eat?

It would be wrong to mistake pygmy goats for lawnmowers. They are more selective in their diet for health and delicacy reasons. When feeding pygmy goats, keep poisonous plants like privet, yew, laurel, and alder out of their reach.

Other plants your pygmy goat shouldn’t feed on include evergreen shrubs, honeysuckle, laburnum, walnut, bulbous plants like tulips, or green content from flowers like hellebores and delphiniums. We also discourage feeding your pygmy goats leftovers or food wastes gathered from other farm animals.

What are Pygmy Goats Good for?

Pygmy goats are great for pets. Their friendly and agile nature makes them very welcoming additions to your family. Your kids could enjoy the very playful nature of pygmy goat, although they could be stubborn at times.

Pygmy goats are also great for milk production and for meat. If you are raising pygmy goats primarily for their meat, you should differentiate between meat goats and show goats. Clearly, their raising patterns are different.

The relative compactness of pygmy goats makes them more delicious and sellable. Also, this meat has reduced fat content, making them healthier compared to the likes of mutton. What more, given that pygmy goats mate out of season, they breed every 9-12 months, readily multiplying your meat source.

Pygmy goats, as we have said, are great for milk production. You can expect about 2/3 gallon of milk from a healthy female pygmy goat daily. This milk stands out for its deliciousness and healthiness.

It has a wealthy bank of vital minerals like potassium and calcium. Also, the sodium content in pygmy goat milk is far reduced compared to that obtainable from other goat breeds.

What Vaccines Do Pygmy Goats Need?

Pygmy goats are healthy goats with minimal diseases. Although this majorly depends on your location as goats raised in the United States have lesser diseases they would be vaccinated against. Nonetheless, it is recommended you vaccinate your pygmy goat against diseases like tetanus and enterotoxemia.

It is optional to vaccinate your pygmy goat against rabies. Other than this, you may not need any vaccination for your pygmy goat unless it has been infected by a distinct disease, necessitating other vaccinations.

What Colors Do Pygmy Goats Come in?

Pygmy goats have a wide variety of colors. Their coats color ranges from light caramel to dark grey agouti. Your pygmy goat could also come in solid back or have its black adorned with frosted points.

How Do You Tame a Pygmy Goat?

Truth is, it is not easy to tame pygmy goats because of their independent nature and inherent nature for living life on their own terms. Taming a pygmy goat requires diligence and sustained application of a defined training regimen.

To win your pygmy goat over, you need to give it sufficient attention and guidance. Yes, some treats could come in as well. It is important not to reprimand the pygmy goat too harshly. You also need a minimal application of force when taming your pygmy goat. Avoid chasing your pygmy goat.

This is because you essentially want your pygmy goat to give in to your authority not to be scared of you. When you introduce them to a new environment (say a new home), give them some time to acclimate to their new environment.

Don’t jump at them either. Just sit around in a non-threatening poise. Pygmy goats are naturally curious. Mostly, they would wander to you on their own.

Pet them, especially with some gentle squeezes behind their ears. Also, have some treats like raisins and corn chips in hand to show them more love. If this is done consistently, you will win them over in no time.

Would a Fox Attack a Pygmy Goat?

Foxes would rarely attack adult pygmy goats. Foxes prefer preying on smaller animals like chicken. However, in the kidding season, a fox could frequent your pygmy goat to prey on its baby. 

There are also cases where a fox can attack an adult pygmy goat for food, especially a new mom. This is because the pygmy goat would be reasonably exhausted from childbirth and be vulnerable.

Can You Keep Pygmy Goats in Your Garden?

Yes, you can. You just need to ensure the garden has sufficient space for their roaming and should be reasonably fenced.

How Long is a Pygmy Goat Pregnant?

Your female pygmy goat could be pregnant for approximately 5 months. This usually spans 150 days.

How Many Babies Do Pygmy Goats Have?

In a single childbirth, your pygmy goat could have 2-4 kids.

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