Pygmy goats are pretty popular among the goat lovers, because they are relatively smaller in size, need less living space and require low maintenance and care. They remain kicking for several years with a fresh supply of water, forage and quality feed.
They usually prefer a clean environment and require a very small living area. Pygmy goats are also good milkers and a Pygmy doe provides a considerable amount of milk, compared with milk production of larger animals.
However, a goat can be underweight for many reasons. For example illness, stress from moving or due to other aggressive goats in your herd who are not allowing your goats to eat sufficient amount of food. Although the most common reason of underweight of your goats is ‘worms’.
The main symptoms of worms in goats include anemia, lethargy and a rough coat. If your underweight goats have any of these additional symptoms, then you can reasonably suspect intestinal parasites.
Other causes of underweight in goats include lack of sufficient nutritious food, poor living space or any diseases.
How to Help A Pygmy Goat Gain Weight
There are some ways for increasing body weight of your Pygmy goat. Here we are describing about how to help a Pygmy goat gain weight.
Feeding quality foods and clean water is the key to keep your goats healthy. Always try to feed your Pygmy goats unlimited grass or hay for preventing weight loss.
Sometimes you may notice your Pygmy goats are losing weight (even with an ample amount), if the forage is not high in nutrients. In such cases supplement the diet of your Pygmies with a quality commercial feed for Pygmy goats.
But ensure that, you are not overfeeding the commercial feed. The digestive system of Pygmy goat is sensitive and designed to thrive on hay and grass or forage.
If possible, perform a weight assessment on your Pygmy goats regularly. The current weight of your goats may be perfectly normal, what you may think is thin. The right weight varies depending on the size of your Pygmies.
On an average, an adult Pygmy goat weights about 50 to 85 pounds. Your goats may also loss weight due to viral or bacterial infection like pneumonia. In such cases consult with your vet.
Vaccinating & Worming
Perform worming program according to the suggestion to your vet to help keep internal parasites from invading your Pygmies and weight loss.
Sometimes the vet may take a stool sample and test for parasites (such as pinworms and roundworms), when treating an already thin goat.
Also never forget to vaccinate your goats timely. Your Pygmies should receive Enterotoxaemia and tetanus vaccination at about their 8 weeks of age.
Repeat the same dosage four to six weeks later. Administer a booster once a year and follow the recommendations by your vet.
Prevention of Weight Loss
Proper & nutritious feeding and watering is very important for preventing weight loss. Proper feeding and watering is not too difficult and this will help to keep your Pygmy goats healthy.
Sudden changes in the eating habit of your goat or sudden personality change etc. may be the indicators that something is not right.
Ensure that your goats have full access to sufficient amount of clean and fresh water at all time. They don’t like dirty water and a Pygmy goat may refuse to drink if the water is not fresh and clean.
This can causes dehydration and possible weight loss in your goats. So always try to provide them sufficient amount of clean and fresh water according to their demand. Follow a worming schedule strictly according to the suggestion of your vet.
Keep the new goats separate for a few days from your herd, if you get a new Pygmy. Keep the goat separated until you can properly vaccinate and worm the goat. Doing this will ensure that ‘no new parasites or diseases are introduced to the rest of your herd’.
These are the common practice that you can perform to help your goats gaining weights. Provide your goats with sufficient amount of nutritious food and clean water according to their demand. Thus you can prevent weight loss in your Pygmy goats.