Pygmy goats are kept for pets, show, milk, meat and even mohair. They are easy to keep and
only require fresh water, pygmy goat grain ration, and access to good quality hay or pasture.
The amount of grain for each pygmy goat varies and is dependant upon their age, current
weight or body condition, the climate, and whether or not they are in kid.
Although goats of all kinds are ‘easy keepers’ they do require clean living conditions, including their water and feed. Goats would rather starve or thirst than eat or drink soiled or spoiled food and water.
You’ll also want to ensure your pygmy goats get the required minerals from a salt block – this does not need to be moderated or rationed, they’ll use it when their bodies need it.
Many small homesteaders today are raising Pygmy goats for show and pets for the children in the family.
If you’re still not ‘sold’ on a standard size dairy or meat goat’s value (Nubian, Boer, etc.) to
your family or homestead, Pygmies are a nice introduction. You might also be interested in
some of the crossbred, novelty or dual purpose breeds.
Although a milk or mohair goat can be sold for meat, and meat and mohair goats can be
milked, no one breed meets the needs of farmers wanting the best of all three worlds. In the
past 20 years however, many new breeds are being created and marketed as dual purpose
Registered Dwarf Breeds – Are dwarf goats with the small scale farmer or those wanting a goat as a pet in mind. Dwarf goats include the Nigerian Dwarf and the African Pygmy.
The Nigerian Dwarf – stands between 17-20 inches tall as an adult and weighs approximately 75 pounds. This goat easily produces one quart of milk per day (ample for a small family) and requires 1/3 the amount of space and feed that a full-size milk goat requires.
African Pygmy Goats – These are the goats you see at most petting zoos. They are small
(20-25 inches tall) and weigh around 50-60 pounds as adults. Their milk is higher in butterfat than any other goat (approximately 6%).
Keep in mind however, that goats are herd animals. You can’t buy just one or they will bleat
constantly and be terribly lonely and unhappy – to some extremes they will waste away or run away at all costs.
Small farm hands like to raise Pygmy goats because they are easy to handle, are affectionate
and lovable, not to mention playful!
Full grown does, bucks and wethers range from 16 to 23 inches at the withers and usually
weigh 40 to 70 pounds.
Pygmy goats usually birth 1-3 kids weighing in at 2-4 pounds each.
Pygmy Goat Colors
Agoutis are dark goats ranging from silver-grey to black, and have solid stockings darker
than the main body color.
Caramels are light colored goats ranging from white to light brown and have light vertical
stripes on the front of dark stockings.
Solid Blacks are, well solid black and are without stocking or white patches anywhere.
Blacks are also without stockings but may have a secondary color around eyes, ears, and
How to Raise Pygmy Goats
Myotonic or Fainting goats are wonderful pets they stay small do not require milking and
breed and kid easily.
Pygmy goats are cute and cuddly and provide many valuable services. For example, they
keep the vegetation on your property cut, they produce natural fertilizers that you can use for
your garden, and they also help control populations of fleas and ticks on your property.
Build your herd. Pygmy goats, like other goats, are herding animals. To preserve their mental
and physical health, you will need at least two pygmy goats for your herd.
Create a secure and safe enclosure. Pygmy goats are skilled at demolition, so use cattle
fencing to keep them in a specific area and keep out predators. Make sure you provide the
pygmy goats with enough space for play, from a half acre for two goats to several acres for
larger herds. Large dog houses provide great daytime shelter from wind and bad weather. A
barn stall is needed for night time and winter shelter.
Feed pygmy goats a well-balanced diet. During the spring and summer, your goats will get
most of their nourishment from grasses and brush. However, you will need to supplement
their diet with goat rations to ensure that they're getting all the minerals they need. When wild grasses and brush are not available, feed your goats sweet feed and goat rations.
Worm your pygmy goats every couple of months
Limit how often you breed the pygmy goats. While pygmy goats can give birth more
than once a year, it is not recommended to breed them more than once a year. You
will produce much healthier kids with a single pregnancy a year. Does should be about
18 months old before they are bred. If your does are having a hard time feeding their
kids, bottle-feed the babies when necessary.
Provide toys for your pygmy goats. Picnic tables are a great recreational item for goats.
The pygmies can climb on the table and even chew on it. Other toys include boulders,
balls and tires. Select items that are non-toxic and capable of withstanding abuse from
Courtesy of Laura Childs