Raising Pygmy goats is funny and enjoyable. Actually the Pygmy goat is an African goat breed. In the West, pygmies are raised as pets. But in Africa, they are raised for meat production. An adult pygmy goat weights about 75 pounds and stand about 16 to 23 inches tall at the shoulder. They are very friendly in nature and lovable. Pygmy wethers make far better pets than doe and bucks. Wethers also don’t give off that musky billy goat odor. Pygmy doe gain maturity very fast. They can get pregnant as young as 3 months. Keep the bucks separated from the doe for avoiding unwanted pregnancy, till they reach their first birthday. Pygmy does can give birth to triplets, even sometimes quadruplets.
Raising Pygmy Goats
Pygmy goats 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.
Pygmy goats are good grazer. So it will be better, if you have a pasture for them, full with grass and other plants. They also eat brush and vines. Feed them good quality timothy hay or grass during winter season or if you don’t have pasture facility. Always provide them adequate amount of fresh and clean water. Also provide them an iodized salt block to lick.
Pygmies don’t require grains always, like other larger goats. Although you can provide some grain to the nursing and pregnant does and growing kids. You can also provide them some commercial goat feed. This type of commercial feed will help to meet up their energy needs.
A south facing run-in shed provides the basic pygmy housing needs. A big sized dog house will be sufficient enough for providing housing facilities for a couple of pygmy goats. If you have numerous pygmies and if you live in a colder climate, then you have to make a small barn or shed for them that can protect them from cold. Pygmy goats love climbing and jumping. So provide facilities for your goats to indulge in their favorite pastimes, along with their basic shelter needs. Tires set in the ground, teeter-totters, old picnic tables, earth mounds etc. are suitable for this purpose, and it will provide them hours of fun. Some people who raise pygmy goats as pets, keep them inside the house. Although keeping them inside the house is not so easy. They can damage a lot of things inside your house. So it’s better to keep them in a separate house or shelter.
Good fencing is a must for raising pygmy goats. Pygmies are smaller in size. They can escape easily through the fence, if you make the fence by keeping in mind the larger goats. You can make good fencing for pygmies by woven wire with 4 feet high. Good fencing also help to prevent your goats from disturbing your neighbors, and it keep your goats safe from predators. So make a suitable fence for your pygmies.
Have the pygmy babies disbudded (horns removed), if you are raising pygmy goats from kids. Have them disbudded when they are very young. Goats usually butt. It’s can be very dangerous if you are butted by a goat with a full set horns. There are some other advantages of disbudding. It will help your goat’s horns not to get stuck in fencing or anywhere a curious goat tries to go. When your kids reach 2 weeks of age, disbud them. Consult with your vet while disbudding.