We all know that goats are farm animals, but, have you ever wondered if you can turn a goat into a domestic pet? If it is not too big, one could think that it is in fact, not such a silly idea after all. Surprisingly, many goat breeds can be potentially affected by a genetic disorder such as achondroplasia. If this term doesn’t ring a bell, achondroplasia is also called dwarfism. The mini goats (also called Pygmy Goats) generally have shorter arms and legs, but the torso is of normal length. Don’t worry, most breeders welcome this with open arms, and will raise the cute miniature goats as companion animals. In this article, we will introduce you to the world of miniature goats and everything you need to know about them.
Before raising a pygmy goat
Goats are undeniably good pets, but there are certain things you need to know before you throw yourself into a mini goat adventure. Here are four top facts to consider before adopting one:
Do you need a garden or a large yard to raise a goat?
First, if your house or flat does not provide a garden for the goat, then you should forget it. Indeed, achondroplastic goats are curious and friendly little beasts, but they need at least a backyard or some kind of open space in order to be happy. Goats do need a large yard of at least 135 square feet to run around which helps them stay healthy.
Are goats jealous animals?
As previously mentioned, goats are very curious and friendly. Moreover, they need at least a partner of the same type, as they are herd animals so that they will not die of loneliness. Take note that they can even get jealous and aggressive if you pay more attention to one over another. Therefore, make sure you love all your cuties equally to avoid any jealousy.
How to take care of your pygmy goat?
Of course, your goats will need attention like any other animal. The daily routine of a miniature goat is as follows:
- They eat grass, weeds, low branches, hay, grain, pellet feed, and other kinds of vegetation.
- Their long coats quickly become a mess if you’re not careful. This is why they require weekly washing and brushing.
- The non-castrated bucks’ pee smell very strong. Therefore, you have to take care of the smell.
Moreover, it is important to find someone who you can trust to look after your goats when you are away.
What are the health issues to look out for with pygmy goats?
You should ask your breeder if he normally tests for bacterial infection (Johne’s Disease) and Caprine arthritis encephalitis (CAE) in their herds. These diseases are the 2 main ones to look out for.
What’s the pregnant behavior of a goat doe?
Females are usually kinder than males. But when they are pregnant, does can become quite defensive. If you have no plans to breed them, you may want to castrate them to prevent headaches and also make them more obedient in the long run.
What are the top 5 most popular mini goat breeds?
Miniature goats are great pets for families as they are commonly fun, friendly, and gentle animals. Here are the top five species of dwarf goats you can pet at home:
Origin: They are originally from West Africa, particularly in Cameroon. There is also the American Pygmy Goat, which is basically the American version of the latter.
Raised for: Pygmy goats are often raised for local milk and meat productions as their milk is higher in calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and iron.
Personalities: They are also very sociable, so if you give them a lot of love and affection, you will get their love right back.
Size: The full size of a pygmy goat can grow up to 21 inches in height.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat
Origin: They originated from West Africa just like the pygmy goat.
Raised for: Nigerian dwarf goats are often raised as milking goats. If you feed them well, they will produce milk rich in butterfat, which is an excellent goat butter.
Personalities: What makes them outstanding is that they are so colorful and gentle animals. You will want to hug them every time they are around. Nigerian dwarf goats are also very social, even so, that they are often used as part of a show.
Size: Nigerian dwarf goats can grow up to 20 inches (17-19 inches for does (female goats) and 19-21 inches for bucks).
Origin: Kinder goats are a cross-breed of pygmy and Nigerian dwarf goat breeds.
Raised for: They are well-known for their milk, which is super-rich in butterfat and perfect for making your own cheese.
Personalities: These mini goats are very gentle and most of the time sociable pets.
Size: They are actually quite small, they only weigh around 100 to 125 pounds, which is adequate if you do not own a large garden/yard for them.
Origin: They are from the US, around the Arizona Reservation. They were bred due to the lack of textile fibers.
Raised for: They can produce different fibers, such as mohair (like full-grown angora goats), cashmere, and even a combination of mohair and cashmere.
Personalities: This breed is puffy and fluffy. They are so cute that you want to cuddle them at all times.
Size: Pygora goats have different sizes and weights between does and bucks. For does, they weigh around 65 to 75 pounds and can reach 22 inches. For bucks, they weigh around 75 to 95 pounds with an average height of 27 inches.
Origin: Nigora goats have the same origins as pygora goats, except that they are the result of breeding angora does and Nigerian dwarf bucks.
Raised for: They can grow the same kind of fiber as their cousins but produce better milk.
Personalities: They are very easy to raise as they are friendly and huggable. Moreover, they are less stubborn than pygora goats.
Size: Their weight is very similar to the pygora’s, but nigora goats are generally a bit smaller.