Additionally, these creatures can fall prey to predators quite easily, and must have secure fencing to keep them safe. Miniature goats will eat grass, weeds, tree branches, hay, grain, and pellets. Pygmy goats prefer to browse. Farminence was founded as a way to educate people that are interested in becoming more self-sufficient. However, some also keep them in scrub forests, mountainous regions, woodland habitats, and more. Pygmy goats are very hardy and very adaptable. They need roughage in their diet as well. Their intelligence and eagerness to interact with both adults and children make them a favorite at petting zoos around the country. It has since spread to other countries as well, primarily for use in petting zoos. You want to purchase them from someone that has handled them frequently so that they are friendly and have manners around people. Provide them with some elevated sleeping areas to keep them entertained and off of the potentially wet ground. Your email address will not be published. The forbs are broad leaf plants such as dandelions, clovers, wild lettuce, etc. Friends with benefits are what most people like. All photos used are royalty-free, and credits are included in the Alt tag of each image. For fulfilling necessary minerals and vitamins demand, you can feed your goats corn, oats, sweet feed and goat ration. tall at the shoulder and weigh no more than 80 lbs. Like all goats, these mammals have hooves on their ends of their feet with two primary “toes” rather than a single hoof like a horse. Typically, pygmy goats are less demanding when it comes to their food. Pygmies can ease you into livestock ownership and are an excellent choice for those new to owning goats. Pygmy goats are short-day breeders. Like most goats, these little mammals are well known for their curious and friendly nature. Does are pregnant for 145-153 days, or about 5 months. The domestic goat is a subspecies of the wild goat (Capra aegagrus), and all of the various breeds share the same species. Pygmy goats are all ruminant animals. Always provide them adequate amount of fresh and clean water. A Pygmy Goat is one of many different domestic breeds of goat. These goats have highly social behavior, and you should keep them in groups. Check the photos below for some of the more common Put pygmies in a pasture with cattle, sheep or horses to clean up the brushy plants that other livestock won’t eat. Pygmy goats are best housed outdoors and not inside. Required fields are marked *. Bermuda hay is a good choice for goats. The Cameroon dwarf goats originated in the French Cameroon area. Some people also use them to clear bushes and shrubbery from areas. An 8×10′ shed will provide enough sleeping room to comfortably house four adult pygmy goats. Goats are messy when they eat hay and can waste a lot of it. Keep that in mind when imagining the height of the animal, as the head is not included in the height measurement, unless indicated. In winter, or when you have do not have pasture, nourish your pygmies great excellent grass or timothy hay. Three dwarf goats eat the combined amount of food as one regular size dairy goat. It’s interesting to note that goats are very efficient when they eat. Some landscaping plants are toxic or poisonous to goats. Nigerian Dwarf Goats have a refined overall body appearance. You may need to separate individuals before kidding or during a time of illness. We use these little stainless steel pails to milk our Nigerian Dwarf goats. Goats require a lot of water to digest their food properly and will quickly go off of feed if they don’t have water to drink. It’s better to provide them with a goat mineral mixture than a salt or mineral lick intended for all livestock. Many dairy breeds weigh around 120 pounds at maturity. Keep an ample supply of the mineral available to them. They will choose the most nutritious parts of plants as they graze, meaning that will proper area to graze, you’ll be out less on feed. How do you take care of them? When pastures die back, you’ll need to provide them with hay. Pygmies are extremely social and fun to be around. Throughout Africa there are several types of pygmy goats. Such plants as fescue, orchard grass, bluegrass, etc., are examples of grasses. Some of the plants can cause internal bleeding, goat polio, pregnancy abortion and other serious illnesses. When you’re buying feed for your goats, don’t purchase feed that is labeled for goats and sheep. However, you must provide ample space and pasture for them to graze and exercise, medical care, and shelter from the elements. Provided with proper nutrition, they are generally pretty healthy. Each adult animal will eat 1 to 2 pounds a day unless supplemented with grain. They will call to you when they see you, come when they are called and will follow you around for attention. What Do Pygmy Goats Eat. Though their ancestors originated outside of the United States, farmers created this breed in North America. They love to eat leaves, brush and other small shrubs and trees. Always make sure that your goats have access to clean, drinkable water. You can purchase heated buckets to make this easier. This means that in addition to grass they also eat shrubs, bushes, leaves, and virtually any edible plant matter. Just to show how and well, goats can actually do when it comes to clearing weeds, below is a short video: Add to Favorites . Grains are usually sold in bags and can be purchased at a local feed mill or farm supply store. Check the hooves for signs of damage, soreness or rain rot while you are trimming them. Plus, they fertilize while they clean up! They eat an incredibly variety of different plants. Pygmy does that have babies they are nursing will need additional water to produce the large amounts of milk that they make. While Pygmy goats can be milked, the udder’s primary purpose is for the nourishment of the young. A goat should eat between 2 to 4 pounds of hay on a daily basis. Just like any other domestic livestock, these small goats basically feed on hay, … mary says. They are an easy goat to raise and have a … They need plenty of space to exercise and forage for food, and most also need some additional hay or grain to supplement their diet. Provide your goats with a loose trace mineral grain that is intended for goats. Generally, people keep these goats on farmland or pasture with plenty of grass and shrubbery to eat. Many areas are low in selenium, which goats need in a larger amount. You can expect anywhere from 1-2 quarts of milk each day. The original ancestors of this breed came from Africa. Another thing to watch out for is the presence of barber pole worms. The pygmy exactly fits this description if you need milk. They typically have a very friendly demeanor. Adult goats drink between 2 and 6 liters of water a day. You can fulfill the carbohydrate needs of your goats by feeding them whole and rolled grains. Despite the small size, they are generally still too large for an indoor pet. Some are common in landscaping: oleander, mountain laurel, rhododendrum, azaelia, lily of the valley, larkspur, delphinium, foxglove, some lupines (blue bonnet), braken or brake fern, many mushrooms, groundsel, tansy, and yew. There is a very long list of plants that are poisonous to goats, as well as other livestock, available online. Pygmy Goats From Illness or Death Your Nigerian dwarf or pygmy goats will eat poisonous weeds or plants and it is important to check your lot or pasture before placing them out to graze. Pygmies are smaller than other livestock and can often squeeze out of fencing that other goats or larger livestock cannot. This breed, which people sometimes mistake for the closely related Nigerian dwarf breed, originates in Africa. This means that does will come into heat for breeding when the days start to get shorter. Overgrown brush is a big hazard when it comes to spreading wildfires. I’ll share my 20+ years of agriculture knowledge with you so that you can feel comfortable raising livestock, gardening, preserving food and cooking delicious meals from scratch. Also, it’s not easy to potty train them. People imported West African dwarf goats from coastal regions of West and Central Africa. How do you take care of pygmy goats? Depending on the soil in your area, there may be enough minerals to support your goats. Unlike cows and sheep, these creatures do not graze, but browse on virtually all plant matter. Some of these goats were captured and exported to zoos in Sweden and Germany where they were put on display. Goats are prone to getting hoof rot, which can be easily avoided by providing them a dry place to escape muddy pastures. But, they are a huge responsibility and one that deserves a great deal of consideration before jumping right in. There are several reasons why owning a pygmy goat may make sense for you. They do have shorter lactation periods than some of the dairy goat breeds and will only be in milk for 120-180 days before drying up. Keep mosquito larvae out of your goat’s water with mosquito killing disks. The floor should also remain dry. They eat brush and blossoms. Most goats don’t like to be exposed to rain or snow and will choose to be in a dry area if possible. Wethers need to eat grass hay, not alfalfa, which can cause urinary calculi. In the winter, goats will need help staying warm. Also, they goats should be vaccinated and have their hooves trimmed. The human being is always in need of friends no matter what it is. Pygmy goats were brought to the United States from European zoos in the 1950s, and were subsequently used in zoos and for animal research. They get their name due to the striped appearance that resembles a barber’s pole. Pygmy’s are considered a small or dwarf MEAT breed. Rain rot is a common problem with goats and is brought on quickly in wet, muddy pastures. Keep the minerals in a location where they will stay dry. If you have babies, you’ll need to provide them with a small bucket of water that they can reach. Copyright ©2020, Farminence. Goats get their energy by oxidizing the organic matter of food. People also give goats a small handful of grain during milking time to … The milk is super rich and can contain as much as 11% butterfat. Even mini goats need a decent amount of space. Too much grain is not good for any livestock, including goats. In the Western U.S., wildfires are a major concern for landowners. Learn how to do this by FAMACHA scoring your goats. Pygmy goats can be any color or color pattern. Remember, pygmy goats are livestock and still have some characteristics that you may need to really consider. However, they can’t always get them back through the fence. How are they different from standard sized goats? How are they different from standard sized goats? Pygmy goats are prone to obesity and can become fat quickly with too much feed. Goats can get some minerals from the soil. All Rights Reserved. It’s best to avoid these plants all together to keep your goats safe. If you notice a goat that starts to look pot-bellied and isn’t wormy, then you need to restrict the amount of feed they consume. Set aside at least a 10 by 13 ft (3.0 by 4.0 m) romping space for each goat. They primarily keep them as pets or use them in zoos, as well as breed them, show them, and use their meat. Like all goats, this breed has herbivorous feeding habits. I know it looks tempting and something that your goats would love to eat, but it can cause urinary calculi, or kidney stones to form. You can find pygmy goat babies for around $75 in the spring. They also eat brush and vines. Goat minerals provide ample selenium and other minerals to keep them healthy. They have a list of really helpful resources and breeders that can help you find the right goat for you and your family. Feeding adequate quality feeds to your goats is very important. You can lower the chances that your goat will get worms by making sure they always have pasture that is at least 4″ tall. However, pregnant goats or goats not on good pasture should be given a small amount of feed. They need annual vaccines, hoof trims every 4-6 weeks and occasional wormings when they show signs of anemia. They are versatile and can be used to clear land, provide milk and in some cases, provide meat. Usually a pygmy goat will require about ¼ cup of grain daily. You must do your research before deciding on this or any pet. We recommend talking to your breeder about the feeding requirements of your goat. Not all of these plants will lead to immediate death in pygmy goats. Diet of the Pygmy Goat Like all goats, this breed has herbivorous feeding habits. They will only consume what they need. Some adult meat goats can weigh close to 200 pounds. Most individuals also have a pair of horns. Make sure that your goats are getting the minerals that they need. One doe can produce 1-2 quarts of really rich milk per day. Eventually, the Pygmy goat was acquired by private breeders and began to be sold as companion animals. Just like any other goat, pygmies need proper housing. You can provide them minerals in a small feeder. Provide your goats with a barn or three sided shed for shelter. Many landowners prefer the look left behind from goats than that of heavy equipment. Read on to learn about the Pygmy Goat. How do you take care of them? In fact, many people choose to have pygmies because they can get milk from does and the doe will still be able to nurse her kids. Typically, the more kids, the smaller they are in size. Even pygmies that don’t produce as much butterfat out perform many dairy breeds by producing over 4% butterfat. Pygmy goats are browsers naturally. Fences should be at least four feet high and should be sturdy enough to keep goats in. They can feed on simply green grasses, corn, and other types of grains. Nigerian dwarf goats should have free and unrestricted access to clean and fresh water. After mating, the gestation period lasts about five months. This distinguishes them from Dwarf goats, which have a more refined appearance. You may be thinking that there is no way that a pygmy goat doe can successfully nurse four babies at a time. A large water trough can be filled up for goats, but make sure that the water trough isn’t too tall for your pygmies to reach. Make sure that if they are in your backyard, that the fence enclosing the back yard is at least four feet tall. The worms will bury into the lining of the digestive tract and they feed on the blood of the goat. If the goat shows signs of anemia, worm it immediately before bringing it home and spreading the parasites to goats you may have at home. The pygmy breed has an interesting history that began in Africa. This includes fencing and shelter from harsh weather. You’ll help reduce the parasite load of all the livestock involved and you’ll get even more out of your pastures. You may also have to supplement their diet with feed and minerals also. Provide a shelter or barn with a dry floor for goats to escape the weather in. You can keep them easily in your backyard as long as they have room to run and play. You can do this with a pair of hoof shears very easily. The worms can consume so much blood that they can cause the goat to become anemic. Unfortunately, most goats will that are affected with barber pole worms will not show symptoms until they are heavily infested with them. It would be great if you offer them a natural grazing area. A really popular reason to own goats of any breed is for land clean up. When free-fed, goats will only eat as much mineral supplements as they need. It is basically at your discretion what you want to try. You can put diapers on them, but you may tire of changing diapers. If you’re thinking about keeping a pygmy as a house pet, you might want to consider the fact that while these goats are small in size, they can jump and love to be on top of things. Field fencing is a good option for small goats. So it will be better, if you have a pasture for them, full with grass and other plants. Your pygmies can graze while blooms are plentiful In case you have pasture. The bones are flat and the ideal body build is more delicate, with the refined angularity of a dairy animal. Pygmies don’t require grains always, like other larger goats. Any hay that is wasted on the ground can be used to fill chicken nesting boxes or put into the composting bin. It’s easy to treat if caught early. Not long after birth, they will be running, playing and jumping in the pasture. Goats are ruminant animals who eat plants and digest them through a four-compartment stomach. The withers is the highest point on the goat’s back, between the shoulder blades. Goats and sheep may be of similar size and appearance, but they require different nutrients. Pygmy goats can live to be 10-15 years old. While it’s true that she only has two teats to nurse babies with, pygmy does are very successful when it comes to raising multiple kids. March 12, 2016 at 2:44 pm. Despite the small size of pygmies, they can be used as sufficient dairy animals. You can raise pygmies as pets, use them to clean up land, raise pygmy goat kids and even as milk and meat animals. 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