Pygmy goat is one of the hardiest and productive domestic goat breeds. They are very suitable as pet and also for commercial production. Pygmy goat originated from the Cameroon Valley of West Africa. They generally raised for their meat production. But also works as milk producer. Some people raise them as pet as a hobby. They become very hardy, good-nature, alert and animated. They are also a good responsive pet, ecologically effective browsers and a cooperative milk provider. They are considered as an asset in a wide variety of settings. They can adopt themselves with almost all types of climate/weather. Pygmy goats were first imported into the United States in 1959, and now are being raised as pets and laboratory animals. Characteristics, feeding, breeding, housing and care of pygmy goat are described bellow.
- Full body of pygmy goat is covered with straight, medium-long hair. This hair varies in density with the seasons and climates.
- On female goat breeds, they may be non-existant, terminated or sparse. And in the mature male goats, they abundant hair growth is desirable.
- They are of various or mixed colored.
- Generally pygmy goats are small and compact animal.
- Their legs, head, neck etc are comparatively shorter than their body length.
- The body circumference in relation to height and weight is proportionally greater than that of other goat breeds.
- They become very alert, hardy and playful.
- The male goat gain maturity at the age of 30 months and the females gain maturity at 274 months of age.
- An adult male goat weights about 27-39 kg and an adult female goat weights around 24-34 kg.
Goats are ruminant animals. They remains healthy and productive only if they are feed properly according to their sex, age and individual conditions. Generally, pygmy goats demand less variety of feed. They can live healthy and good life by consuming simply fine green grasses, hay and some grain or corns each day. It will be great if you can make a browsing place for them. They will consume grasses or leaves from there. But don’t stop feeding them some hay. Always try to feed them some hay regularly. In the case of supplementary feed try to maintain the balanced ratio of protein, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium. The male goats for breeding purpose needs some special feed and care because they are burning up a lot of fuel. Try to feed them two cups of alfalfa pellets daily depending on their body size and activity. Be careful feeding the female goats. Don’t feed them excessive fatty feed. Because over-conditioned (fat) female goats faces difficulties in getting pregnant and delivering kids. The feed for pregnant goat should contain approximately 16% of protein. Milking goats requires two times more food than pregnant goat. In accordance with providing fresh quality good feed they also needs to provide sufficient amount of fresh and clean water regularly. Always keep sufficient clean and fresh water in front of them and inside their house.
Always keep a record of the breeding campaign of your pygmy goats. Try to keep the goats for breeding purpose separated from other goats. In proper care and management a female goat become suitable for the breeding purpose at their age of 7-10 months. The gestation period of pygmy goat is from 145-155 days. Keep them in separate place and take special care.
A good designed and facilitated goat housing keeps the goat safe and diseases free. In accordance with a good house, make a fence around your farm area. Try to provide for shade in the summer and rainy season. They always need and like dry places for sleeping, eating and exercising. Northeast faced three sided shed is very suitable for moderate climates. Make adequate drainage inside the house.
Pygmy Goat Care:
If you want to raise pygmy goats as pet or commercial productions you need to take some special care and management of your goats. Before starting raising this goat read the flowing tips very carefully.
- Make a good house for them and try to make a fence surrounding your farm area.
- Make a grazing place for them.
- Keep the male goats separated form the female and kids.
- You can feed them various types of food including alfalfa, has, leaves, grasses, corns etc.
- Always keep their living place dry. Because they don’t like dampy places and this situation occurs various types of diseases to them.
- Always serve them sufficient amount of clean and fresh water.