A pygmy goat is a breed of a goat that can be kept as a pet or a livestock. Even though, this goat can be used as a milk producer. The goat is quite, can easily adapt to a new environment hence it is suitable for the novice. The fact that the goat can easily adapt to a new environment gives it a plus making it ideal for novice keepers.
It’s important to note that the pygmy goat is a miniature goat. The female is called ‘’does’’ and weighs about 24- 34kg while their male counterparts are popularly referred to as the bucks and weigh about 27- 39 kg. The color and the patterns of the goat vary greatly. They can be categorized as caramel patterned, black patterned and agouti patterned. These categories can also be differentiated depending on the color. There are those with black markings, brown markings, gray agouti, white & black marking and solid black.
Pygmy goats can mate and bear between 1- 4 young ones in a span of 12 months this makes the breed ideal for those who are breading the pygmy goats for the first time. At the age of 12 months, this bread is ready to mate and if the female kids are not separated from their male counterparts they can conceive. The newly born kids are easy to nurse and can feed on roughage and grain within the first week. The pygmy goats should be weaned when they are at age of ten weeks.
The goat has polyestrous sexual behavior and can experience heat and produce milk throughout the year. This means that if you are a novice and you are keeping the goats for milk production, you can be guaranteed of milk throughout the year if you have at least two goats.
This goat is thought to have originated in Cameroon Valley of West Africa and imported into USA zoos in the 1950s as research animals but they were eventually sold to private breeders who started breeding them as pets. They also used them for exhibition purposes because they exhibited good personalities and were friendly.
The fact that the goats are adaptive to most of the environment makes them ideal for the novices who are domesticating the Pygmy goats for the first time. They feed on greens and grains making them economical for breeders who do not have enough resources and space. The goats can thrive well in a shed, can easily be transported because of their ability to jump into small vehicles and be moved to another location. The goats attract predators and should be sheltered in a predator-proof area at night.
These goats must be given fresh water at all the times and may not drink dirty water. Note that the goats are affectionate and thus making sure that the goats are comfortable and warm is a must during the winter season.
If you are keeping the goats for the first time, ensure that you feed them on lukewarm food and lukewarm water. In addition, you must ensure that the living quarters are free from drafts and create an environment that will make them happy.
Anyone planning to keep the pygmy goat must address certain consideration and issues to ensure that he sets up an appropriate environment where they can live. In addition, one must adequately prepare the feeding bedding and be ready to meet some of the veterinary bills that are likely to crop up even if the goats are well provided for. The cost will also depend on the number of goats you keep and the purpose of keeping the breed.
If you are a novice, there are a few legal requirements that you must meet before being allowed to keep the goat. You may be required to answer a few questions including the location, the activities you have to undertake any other question that the veterinarian think must be fulfilled before you are allowed to keep the goat. In some areas, you may be required to have the goats tagged on the ears the tag should have a number related to the person from whom the goat was purchased. There are a number of tags you may be required to have. The button tags are however popular and are used by many of the breeders because they are easy to fix and do not damage the tagged ear.
If you are a novice in keeping the goat, it is important that you secure a license if you are transporting the goat to other areas. After the goats have been transported to their destination, contacting the veterinary agency situated in that area is necessary.
Also, it is important to remember that goats are herd animals thus if you are planning to start rearing them, you must buy at least two animals. Similarly, you need to make a distinction between the pygmy goats bought for the purpose of being used as pets and those bought to be bread as livestock. Also, breeders buying the goats as pets may consider buying those that are castrated or castrating them as soon as they purchase them. If they are females, ensure that they are faulted. This is to ensure that the animals don’t display some of the characteristics exhibited by males when they want to mate. Not that some males have some characteristics that make them wild and very difficult to keep especially during the mating season. These types are not recommended for the novice.
If you are a novice, buying a breed that you can easily keep is advisable. One may have to consult a regional advisory so that he can be advised on the best breed to keep and the approach he can use. Consulting an experienced breeder in your area should be done if you want to get some ideas on how to take care of the breed you intent to buy. This can also help you avoid buying breeds that are mediocre and thus you will be able to improve on your herd. Lastly, when buying a quality pygmy goat, ensure that you get a letter of transfer of ownership from the seller.