This post was last updated on 16 February, 2019
One thing I love about pygmy goats as pets is that they are adorable. Based on that raising or breeding them is enjoyable and pleasurable. As said in the previous post about pygmy goats, they are from West Africa—precisely from Cameroon. While they are raised in Africa for goat meat purpose, western countries such as the United States and Canada, raise them as pets.
Characteristics of Pygmy Goats
Let’s briefly discuss the characteristics of Pygmy Goats. Pygmy goats are lovable and friendly unlike other breeds of goat. The wethers are far better goat pets than bucks (adult male) and does (adult female). Pygmy wethers do not give off the pungent or offensive billy goat odour.
An adult pygmy goat has an average body weight of 75 lbs or 34 kg and they are known to attain maturity faster. They possess smaller body sizes and like to forage rather than grazing. In fact, a female pygmy goat can get pregnant as young as three (3) months. This is why it is advised to separate the male kids from the female kids so as to avoid unwanted or uncoordinated mating which would lead to unwanted pregnancies. Amazingly, this particular goat breed has the ability to give birth to two or more kids. Isn’t that so amazing? Additionally, these goats have a lifespan of about 10-12 years.
The purpose of this post is to discuss raising or breeding pygmy goats either as a pet or meat production. Remember, they are a dual purpose goat breed. Just like other goats, pygmy goats hate been bred or raised in isolation. Goats are herd animal and would always want to associate with their co-goats. Therefore, if you plan to keep them, you should have at least two pygmy goats (a buck and a doe).
They can survive for about 10 to 12 years. Pygmy goats are like other available goat breeds, except their size. Their basic needs are almost same like other goats. Raising pygmy goats as pets is a good idea, they make excellent pets. But they are herd animal like other goats for company, and you have to keep at least two pygmies together. However, read more about how to raise pygmy goats, including their feeding, housing, fencing, disbudding, etc.
When building a house for your pygmy goats, some standards should be maintained. The shed must be facing the south and should be big enough to accommodate the pygmy goats as well as the goat housing facilities. A small shed or barn should be built if the pygmies are many and if you live in a colder region—this is to protect the animals from extreme cold. The house should also have playing facilities that the goats can use whenever they want to catch fun or play, like jumping and climbing. Some of the facilities should be earth mounds, old picnic tables, teeter-totters, tires set in the soil and so on. The goats will definitely like to play with them. Though it isn’t bad to keep pygmy goats inside the house you live, it is always advisable to build a separate shed or house for them because they can damage many things inside your home.
Adult pygmy goats have horns. However, if you want to raise them from kids, it’s highly recommended to remove their horns, called disbudding. Generally, goats have the habit of butting people and each other. This could be very dangerous if a goat with horns butts you. For example, the horns could injure you in the process. They can also injure others. When you dehorn or disbud your pygmy goats, they won’t get stuck in fencing or in the bush. The best age to disbud your kids is when they are 2-week old of age.
The pygmy goat likes to graze very well. The best means to provide adequate feed for them is by establishing a pasture for them. The pasture should be full of edible legumes and grasses, and it must be well maintained. You should also provide the pygmy goats with salt and mineral licks. They can be fed with hay or silage, but ensure that they have access to clean, fresh water.
Giving grains to pygmy goats is unnecessary. However, pregnant and nursing does (nanny) should be fed with grains. Growing kids or baby pygmies can also be provided some grains to feed. There are also commercial goat feeds that are very rich in essential nutrients and energy required by the goat.
If you want to raise pygmy goats, you must make provision for good fencing. This is good for security reasons and to prevent your goats from moving to your neighbor’s house to damage their things. Pygmy goats have smaller bodies and owing to this, they can escape if no proper fencing is put in place. Woven wire with about 4 ft high could be used for the fencing. You can do this yourself or hire a professional to do it for you.