How to Raise Pygmy Goats – Basic Guide

How to Raise Pygmy Goats – How to Raise Pygmy Goats. Whether you are a farmer with many acres of land or just a small land owner, if you are looking for an easy, fun and hardy pet for your yard, consider the pygmy goat. They make great pets! First found in Africa and originally known as Cameroon dwarf goats, they were imported into the United States in the early 1950s to be displayed in zoos and used in research facilities. Because of their friendly personalities and ease of care, they quickly became popular with private breeders. In fact, pet pygmies have been likened to having dogs as pets since they can be affectionate and will bond with their human companions. Some people have even house-trained them!

They are smaller than most goats, growing to be between 35 and 80 pounds, not unlike many other pets. Females, called does, and castrated males, called wethers, make the best pets. Males that are not castrated, called bucks, are not typically found to be pets. While likable enough, they have an odor that many people find offensive and unpleasant. Bucks are also quite strong, often have biological urges to mate and therefore can be quite difficult to live with.

Pygmy goats come in three main color categories – caramel, agouti and black. Caramel shades range from white to buff to dark tan undercoats. Agouti shades include grey, brown or black colors intermingled, or grizzled, with white hairs. Blacks are pretty self-explanatory, with a solid black body pattern. Sometimes pygmies also have white markings on their belly or legs. Many of these white marks are considered mismarks by the breed standard, but pet owners find them interesting and actually prefer these out of the ordinary marks for their pets.

Keeping your pet goat is fairly easy. All that they require is a small shelter to protect them from inclement weather conditions, preferably with a ledge or shelf which they like to jump and sleep on. Make sure to have fresh water available for them at all times and feed them a diet of hay and grain.

As with any pet, keeping one is a commitment not to be taken lightly. However, if you are looking to add a pet to your family, consider a pygmy goat. You will not be disappointed!

The Pros & Cons

Normally these little guys are not used for the purpose of getting meat or milk like the larger breeds. They appear to be used almost exclusively as pets. You don’t need too large of a backyard for them to be happy in. Make sure there aren’t any restrictions against having pygmy goats in your area before planning to get your new pet.

Pygmy goats are very playful and intelligent and can easily become bored if they don’t have company to play with, which help to make them wonderful pets. As their name implies they are very small compared to regular goats. There is a lot of energy packed into them and they will almost behave like a dog. The will enjoy being handled and will follow you around if allowed.

They are extremely robust and will adapt easily in cold climates by creating undercoat which is thick and woolly. This goat breed is among the handful of animals which are able to reproduce outside of their regular season. For this reason, they are able to deliver several baby goats for each season.

Perhaps, one of the main reasons why these goats are kept as pets compared with others is because they love people and are extremely sociable. When they are brought home as pets, it is a must that the horns are removed to avoid harming individuals or even other goats. These animals can also be infamously inquisitive and sometimes manage to stick their horns into fences or any other restricted places.

Tips For Caring Pygmy Goats

As mentioned before, they will adapt to almost all environments. Their diet should primarily consist of grains and greens. It’s advisable to provide items that will enable them to play and enjoy themselves because they like to jump and might even climb on top of small vehicles. When it comes to housing you should have a suitable open area and shed which is accessible all of the time.

If you have other animals at home it would be best to introduce your pigmy goat to this group carefully, because they could be harmed by them. They are classified as prey animals and as a result you should keep them in appropriate shelters, particularly during the night. It is a must that they are given fresh water daily, because it’s more than likely that they will not drink it if it’s not fresh.

In essence, if you have a pygmy goat for your pet you will not be disappointed because they love to have contact with humans. As long as you are giving this pet the best care in order to keep them healthy and fit, you will end up with the ideal companion for both adults and children.

How to Raise Pygmy Goats: Take Care A Baby Pygmy Goat

For sleeping, a baby pygmy goat must have a place that is free from any draft. A basic shed big enough to fit all your goats in will be suitable for this. There should be approximately fifteen to twenty square feet between each animal. Their bedding should be made out of sawdust or straw. This should always be kept clean and dry. If it has been manured or wet, then this should be cleaned out at least once every day. The flooring should consist of clay over gravel. This means that everything will drain well and will not smell or rot.

A baby pygmy goat should be fed with colostrum. This is its mothers milk. It should be fed the colostrum as soon as practically possible once it has been born. This gives the baby the correct antibodies and nutrition it needs to help it to live within its early stages of life. Fresh colostrum is what is recommended. However, powdered colostrum can also be used if necessary.

In terms of food, these goats should be fed according to what their ages are. If a baby is under ten days old, then it will have to have its milk approximately four times each day. From ten days through to eight weeks old, they will require three bottles each day. After this age, it will go down to two bottles of milk every day right through until the weaning process has been completed. By then, the goat should be three months of age. A baby’s bottle is all that is required to feed your baby goat.

Once your goat has reached three weeks of age, they should now be ready for solid food. A small amount of gray and some hay will encourage it to keep on weaning. Weaning is a process that can take some time. As the goat continues to get older, you can introduce more solid food to what it is already having.

Fresh water must always be available for your baby pygmy goat. Especially when it begins to eat solid food.

Read: All About Basic Horse Nutrition Advice

A fenced off area should also be provided. This allows your goat to graze and play in this area. These kind of goats enjoy jumping from small niches. Small ramps and houses make great items for your goats to jump on or in. Especially if their pasture is not very nice or interesting.

The hooves of your baby pygmy goat should be trimmed every couple of months. You can do this with a small hand pruner.

In this article, we have learned how to raise pygmy goats. As with all animals, they need to be looked after well.

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