FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Great Pyrenees

Do they roam? a.k.a. Do I really need a fence?

Yes, you really need a solid fence. Pyrs will roam if not in a fenced yard. These dogs were bred to watch over flocks in mountain pastures. They would rather explore what is on the other side of the hill than listen to a human command to “Come!” If you’re going to own a Pyr, a fenced in area is a must. Invisible fences and Pyrs do not do well. Most Pyrs will endure the electric jolt to go patrol the neighborhoods but not to get back in.

Why Fences.pdf

Source: http://www.cgpr.org/sample-page

That’s a big dog! How much does he weigh?

A mature male Pyr is generally 100-130 pounds, while the females are 80-110 pounds. Most people over-estimate the weight of the dog because the double-coat and mane around the neck make them look bigger and more intimidating. 

Source: http://www.cgpr.org/sample-page

Do they eat a lot?

Puppies eat a lot of puppy food, but a mature, indoor family dog eats about 2 cups/day of a low-protein kibble. A working livestock guardian dog (LGD), guarding sheep or goats, requires more food, which varies based on time of year, activity level, and weather conditions.

Source: Caroline Great Pyrenees Rescue

So are they good family dogs?

Very good family dogs. Pyrs seem particularly good with children, possibly because they view children as a flock to be protected.

Source: Carolina Great Pyrenees Rescue

How long do Pyrs live?

The correct medical answer is 10 –12 years, and occasionally older. The Pyr owner’s answer is – Never Long Enough.

http://www.great-pyrenees-club-of-southern-ontario.com/great-pyrenees-questions.html

Are they good with kids?

Natural guardians, Pyrs often seem to know instinctively that children are to be protected, and are endlessly patient with them. To ensure the best relationship between child and dog, and to foster the dog’s good nature and sound temperament, parents must educate their children as well as the new pup.  – Source Read More

Do they shed?

Pyrs shed twice a year; heavily in spring, when the warm weather arrives, and more lightly in autumn. If kept indoors, the dog will shed lightly all year round. The hair can be carded, spun, and woven into beautifully soft and very warm mitts, socks, headbands, and even sweaters.  Read more

What are they used for?

Pyrs have been used for many centuries to guard flocks and herds against predators – originally, wolves and bears. They are still used to guard flocks today from all wild life, including coyotes, wolves and wild dogs.  Read More

Is it a lot of work to keep their coat clean?

The Great Pyr has a double coat. The outside layer has long, straight or slightly wavy hair while the undercoat is a soft down which protects these big dogs from water, cold and to some degree, heat. Brushing once or twice a week is all that is required since the dirt falls out of the hair as it dries… these are “self-cleaning” dogs. The undercoat has to be slicker brushed and combed weekly to prevent matting, and particularly during the spring and fall as the dog “blows” coat.  Read More

What is a Great Pyrenees?

Great Pyrenees are a very large breed of 100+ pounds. Color varies from pure white to white with brown, gray or badger markings. Eyes and nose pigment should be very dark. These giants are known for their natural kindness to their “herd” while still being great guardians. This combination of gentleness and strength added to their unmatched beauty makes one of the best breeds available for working dogs, pets and/or show dogs.

Miniature Nubian Goats

Why Mini Nubians?

Everyone loves the floppy ears of the Nubian but standard Nubians get SOOOOO big! (many get well over 200 lbs while most MiniNubians are close to 100# or less)
Read More

What are the advantages of a Mini Nubian

Another advantage of the MiniNubian (especially for those with limited acreage) is that the Mini Nubian can produce 2/3rds the amount of milk as a Nubian on about half the feed. Talk about efficient! The MiniNubian makes the perfect home milker as they give lots of rich milk that is excellent for cheese-making, yogurt, butter etc as well as using in every way other milk is used. Read More – Source

What is a Mini Nubian?

The MiniNubian is a mid-sized dairy goat that is a blend of Nigerian Dwarf and standard size Nubian dairy goat bloodlines. The goal in breeding MiniNubians is to produce a mid-size dairy goat with good conformation, high milk production, and the pendulous ears and roman nose of the Nubian.

Check out my ‘How to Breed MiniNubians‘ page for more details.

How big is a Mini Nubian?

In height, the Miniature Nubian falls between the standard Nubian and the Nigerian Dwarf. Mini-Nubian Goat does normally stand from 22-25 inches at the withers and weigh under
100 pounds. Bucks can be larger with a height up to 27 inches and weigh under 135 pounds. Read More

How much milk does a Mini Nubian produce?

Miniature Nubian Goats have an average milk production of 1525 pounds in 305 days; that is about 5 pounds or 2 quarts of milk daily. Although small, they are dairy goats with production capacity and teats long enough to get your hands on. Read More

Nigerian Dwarf Goats

How big are Nigerian Dwarf goats?
There are two different height standards for the Nigerian Dwarf goat. The height standard maintained by the American Goat Society and the American Dairy GoatAssociation requires does to be less than 22.5 inches (57 cm) at the withers, and bucks to be less than 23.5 inches (60 cm) at the withers.

Nigerian Dwarf goat – Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigerian_Dwarf_goat
How big are Nigerian dwarf goats?

There are two different height standards for the Nigerian Dwarf goat. The height standard maintained by the American Goat Society and the American Dairy Goat Association requires does to be less than 22.5 inches (57 cm) at the withers, and bucks to be less than 23.5 inches (60 cm) at the withers.

Nigerian Dwarf goat – Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigerian_Dwarf_goat
How often do Nigerian Dwarf Goats breed?

Nigerian Dwarf Goats breed year round. Many owners breed their does three times in two years, giving the doe at least a 6-month break. Of course, this is a personal choice for each breeders. The gestation period for a doe is 145 to 153 days. For the most part, Nigerian goats are a hearty breed with few kidding problems. New babies average about 2 pounds at birth but grow quickly. Watch out for those little bucks! Bucklings can be fertile at as young as 7 weeks of age. Make sure you wean does and bucks separately to help you avoid unintentional breeding.  Read More

What is the difference between a Nigerian and a Pygmy Goat

To a newbie, Nigerian Dwarfs and Pygmy goats can look very similar. They can, many times, be the same height and weight, but pygmy goats tend to be stockier and have shorter legs. Pygmy goat’s genetics are designed for meat production, so they tend to have a much thicker build in general. Nigerian Dwarf goats have a more slender neck, and thinner, longer legs.

Pygmy’s tend to have a limited amount of colors and markings and only have brown eyes. Nigerians have lots of different color combinations and can have bright blue eyes.

Read More

Milk Production

MILKING PRODUCTION
Here’s where you’ll see a stark difference between Pygmy and Nigerian Dwarf goats. Pygmy goats have smaller teats and smaller udders. Their energy production goes into their thick muscles and not into their milk. Some people do try to milk them, but honestly, the small teat size and short legs make it much more difficult. Nigerian dwarf goats, on the other hand, are milking stars! They can produce as much as 2-3 quarts a day, though most produce about 1-1.5 quarts per day on average. Also, another little fun thing about Nigerian goats is the TASTE of their milk. It is known as the best tasting goat’s milk around. It’s sweet and creamy and nothing like any other goat’s milk you’ve ever tasted. If you don’t like the taste of goat’s milk, get a Nigerian. I’ve fooled many people into thinking my Nigerian’s milk is cow’s milk. It’s THAT good. Read More

Goat Terminology

Goat Terminology:
ADGA – American Dairy Goat Association
AGS – American Goat Society
Buck – intact male goat capable of breeding
Buckling – young intact male
Disbud – the act of burning a young goat’s horn buds so that horns will never grow
Doe – female goat
Doeling – young female goat
Freshening – birthing
Kidding – birthing
NDGA – Nigerian Dwarf Goat Association
Wether – male goat incapable of breeding (neutered)

Read More

How big is a full grown Nigerian Dwarf goat?

There are two different height standards for the Nigerian Dwarf goat. The height standard maintained by the American Goat Society and the American Dairy Goat Association requires does to be less than 22.5 inches (57 cm) at the withers, and bucks to be less than 23.5 inches (60 cm) at the withers.
Nigerian Dwarf goat – Wikipedia
Read More

How long can you milk a Nigerian dwarf goat?

Total milk per day is one quart or 7 gallons a month. If your doe is pregnant, then her milk will continue to dry up and at 10 months you should stop milking. If your doe is not pregnant, she may continue to produce milk for up to 2 years. It really just depends on the individual goat.
A Simple Guide to Raising & Milking Goats – Weed ’em & Reap
Read More

How much does a Nigerian dwarf goat weigh?

The Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goat is a miniature goat of West African origin. Its conformation is similar to that of the larger dairy breeds. The maximum height is 21 inches. The average adult weight is about 75 pounds.Read More

Are Nigerian dwarf goats good for milking?

Among the dairy breeds, Nigerian Dwarf goat milk has the highest levels of butterfat, making it so creamy that it’s often preferred over cow’s milk. Nigerian Dwarf milk has approximately 6 – 10% butterfat, as opposed to approximately 2 – 6% for other breeds.Read More

How long do Nigerian dwarfs live?

My landlady keeps telling people that the average lifespan of a Nigerian goat and Nigerian Dwarf goat is 5 to 6 years. She swears that since she has been raising goats for 10 years and her goats don’t live longer than that, this MUST be correct.Nov 14, 2011 Read More

Pygmy Goats

How long do goats live?

Approximately 8 to 12 years. Goats which are well cared for live past 15 years.

When do you wean baby goats?

Ideally between around 8-12 weeks… Some breeders wean as young as 4 weeks.

Can pygmy goats kid on their own?

A goat giving birth is called “kidding”. Pygmies are more prone to problems than other goat breeds, especially first time moms. Make sure someone is there when she goes into labor and keep a close eye on her. Be ready to call the vet if necessary.

How long before they give birth from the time of breeding?

145 – 155 days (approx. 5 months)

How old do you breed them?

Some breeders will say 1 year, 14 months is even better so that mom is more mature and less likely to experience kidding problems. In any case, it is a good idea if you plan to breed them to do it before they turn 2 years of age.

Do they have heat cycles or do they just get pregnant at any time?

They have heat cycles approximately every 3 weeks (will vary). Some goat breeds only have heat cycles during certain seasons, but pygmies will have heat cycles every few weeks, year round.

After they have babies how long before you can breed your doe again?

Pygmies “can” and will breed within days or weeks.  It is good to give them some time off and breed once a year.  Pygmies can have two kidding’s a year

How soon are pygmy bucks fertile?

Pygmy bucklings can be fertile as early as eight weeks and some have impregnated their mothers at this young age. it is important to wether them before this age if they are not going to be used as breeders. It they are going to be breeders, they need to be separated from mom and all other does at 8 weeks.

When do does start to come into heat?

Doelings usually have their first heat around 5 months of age, but there have been reports of 2-month-olds getting pregnant.

How do I know if my doe is in heat?

Signs of estrus are numerous, some obvious, some more discreet. The doe usually flags her tail side-to-side when around a buck, presumably to send attractive pheromones from her reproductive tract into the environment that a buck finds attractive. Her vulva may be more pink than normal, appear swollen, and have some clear or white-colored discharge with the consistency of egg white. This discharge usually starts clear and becomes whiter as the heat progresses. Others signs include more frequent urination and restless behavior. She may also talk more than usual, sometimes bleating very loudly at the edge of the fence line nearest the buck. Decreased appetite and milk production are also reported. The doe is in a standing heat when she stands willingly and lets a buck mount. Standing heat usually lasts from 1-24 hours. If a buck is not present, does often mount their herd mates or stand for other does to mount them.

What is the personality of a pygmy goat like?

Pygmy Goats are friendly when they want to be and always comical if you have a good sense of humor. Sometimes they will do things that you don’t necessarily think is cute but it is rather difficult to train them to stop doing goat things, But it is not impossible because after all, a goat does have an I.Q. of 60. By goat things I mean, like jumping on your car, pulling your clothes off your clothes line, or eating your favorite rose bush. Of course, they do these things only because they are curious, not because they don’t like you. You can, however; goat-proof your yard and everyone will be happy. All in all, goats do make really nice pets, and I know that you would enjoy having some. I say some because goats are herd animals and are not happy unless they have a friend. Does not necessarily have to be another goat but they do prefer them.

What type of housing do I need for a pygmy goat?

A sturdy, well ventilated, draft-free barn is a must for your pygmy goat. They really hate to sleep outside in the cold months and they actually panic if it rains on them. Without these qualities in your barn, there is a chance that your animal will become ill.

What type of fencing is needed for pygmy goats?

Using a standard woven livestock fencing–47 inches high with openings smaller on the bottom (4″x6″) and larger on top (6″x6″). If you have babies younger than 3 months, you may have to keep a cardboard collar on them until they grow too large to squeeze through the holes. If you have bucks, you may need to run a strand of hot wire about 12″ off the ground to keep them from tearing down the fence or use heavy duty cattle panels (this is what I use).

Can I get only one pygmy goat?

Goats are herd animals and are happiest with other goats. A minimum number is two goats, and I personally feel that three is a better number.

Can I keep a buck as a pet?

An unneutered male is a smelly animal. In order to make themselves attractive to females, they urinate on themselves. They also grow long hair and exhibit ‘odd’ behavior–blubbering, snorting. Etc. This is normal for a buck. Bucks do not make good pets. Often, bucks that are treated as a pet become aggressive as adults. If you need a buck for breeding purposes, provide a separate pen and a wether as a companion and do not treat it as a pet! Neutered males, called wethers, however, make wonderful pets. They will look very similar to a doe, won’t smell and can have wonderful temperaments.

Can Bucks and Does live together?

Bucks should be kept in a separate pen. If housed together with does, the buck will breed the does anytime they come into heat. This can result in does being bred too early (you wouldn’t breed your 12-year-old daughter just because she is ‘old enough’, would you?) or too frequently.

Do pygmy goats get along with other animals?

Pygmy goats have a good-natured personality and get along well with other livestock. I have mine in with a horse, chickens, and rabbits and have had sheep with them. The key is the temperament of the other livestock. I have sold goats to people with one horse who want companions for their horse and don’t want to care for another large animal.

How expensive are pygmy goats to keep?

Pygmy goats are inexpensive animals to keep, especially wethers or does not being freshened. I feed my non-breeding animals only 1/2 to one cup of feed per day and grass hay. Does that are nursing get 4 cups of feed a day and alfalfa mixed with their grass hay and growing kids get alfalfa in a creep feeder. They also have access to loose mineral salt and get selenium crumbles on their feed every day. Pygmy goats are very healthy animals for the most part and I have rarely had to take them to the vet.

Why does it seem that there are different types of Pygmy goats? Some are taller and have different heads than others I have seen.

Just as in any animal, let the buyer beware. I have seen many smaller goats sold as “pygmy” goats that are actually Pygora goats or some mixture of Pygmy and other goat breeds. Pygmy goats are a distinct breed of goat, and the only way to be sure that you are getting a true Pygmy goat is to buy registered goats from a reputable breeder. Also, within Pygmy goats, there are many different-looking goats, depending on the quality of breeding stock and how much effort the breeder is making to breed animals that look like the breed standard established by the National Pygmy Goat Association (NPGA).

Can a pygmy goat be potty trained?

Pygmy goats are a great, exotic animal. Though they’re best kept in a wide roaming area, such as on an acreage or farm, pygmy goats are a great domesticated pet and a fun addition to any family. Females grow to around 60 pounds and males grow to around 80 pounds. They grow to an average of 23 inches. This makes it feasible for a pygmy goat to live in a home. Unfortunately, goat feces have a pungent aroma, and goats often drop feces where they stand. This cannot be avoided, but urination can be trained. Training should start with a new baby goat for the best circumstances.
Read more: How to Potty Train a Pygmy Goat | eHow.co.uk http://www.ehow.co.uk/how_5703986_potty-train-pygmy-goat.html#ixzz10Fjsg0ak

What are your local regulations on livestock?

Pygmies are considered livestock. You can’t necessarily stick one in your backyard. First check with your county’s regulations office to see if you can legally own them.

Do pygmy goats play?

YES! Pygmies are absolutely the clowns of the barnyard. They will stand up on their hind legs and simultaneously come down and head butt each other. They talk to each other constantly. Provide them with benches to climb on or wooden cable spools and they will hop up and down on them. A bored goat is not a happy goat, so be sure to provide a stimulating environment.
For us, pygmy goats make great pets. They can be loud, however, so be a good neighbor and communicate with the people around you. We went to our immediate neighbors and asked if they would object to our having goats, and they all gave us the green light. Since ours are the only ones on the block, so to speak, they’re celebrities in their own right. Our neighbors bring them treats and little kids love to come to our very own petting zoo.

Do your research and find out if pygmy goats would be the right pets for your family. It’s a big commitment, so be sure your entire family is on board. I guarantee though, that at minimum, they will make you laugh.

What is CAE why is it important to buy from a tested herd?

Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE) is a virus that affects goats in multiple ways. Most often characterized by big knees, the virus also does irreparable damage to the lungs as well and affects the immune system leaving the goat defenseless against most common ailments. CAE is the bane of many goat producers and much emphasis is placed on raising “CAE free” goats.

What is Johne’s disease and what causes it and why it is important to buy from a tested herd?

Johne’s disease is a serious wasting disease of goats, which can lead to loss of production and death. The disease affects animals by causing thickening of the intestinal wall resulting in a reduction in the normal absorption of food. The disease is caused by a bacterium (Mycobacterium paratuberculosis) that lives mainly in animal intestines, but can also survive in the outside environment for several months. The disease is seen more often in dairy goats than meat or fiber goats, but all breeds may be infected if they come into contact with the bacterium. Goats acquire infection at an early age through eating contaminated pasture or drinking contaminated milk or water. The signs of disease develop slowly and the disease is rarely seen in young animals.

What is C.L. and why should I buy from a tested herd

Caseous Lymphadenitis is a chronic bacterial infection that causes external and internal lumps in sheep and goats. It is caused by a bacteria, Corynebacterium Pseudotuberculosis, which enters the body through a wound in the skin causing an infection and a slow growing, firm abscess. This infection may also travel to the regional lymph nodes causing a localized abscess there.

The disease is infectious and, under certain circumstances, can spread quickly through your herd. Not all abscesses are caused by this bacteria! In fact, relatively few abscesses are actually C.L. In order for the disease to be present, you must first have the bacteria in your herd or on your ranch. This usually occurs when an infected animal is brought into the herd. Secondly, there must be an entrance wound for the animal to get the bacteria into their systems. It is not necessarily true that an animal with no abscesses will not be carrying the bacteria because the lesions can be on any part of the body including the internal organs. Usually the disease is diagnosed when several animals in the herd are noticed to have a lump or string of lumps in the area of the lymph nodes. Abscesses can be removed or carefully cleaned out and, if there is no lymph node involvement, may not return. A sample of the pus in the abscess or of the animal’s blood can be sent to one of the laboratories, which specialize in diagnosing this type of disease, for analysis. Pus from draining abscesses contains very large numbers of bacteria and the organism can survive for long periods (months) in the environment. This disease is transmittable (although cases are rare) to humans! So if you suspect C.L., let your veterinarian be the one to handle the abscess.

What is the difference between a Nigerian and a Pygmy Goat

To a newbie, Nigerian Dwarfs and Pygmy goats can look very similar. They can, many times, be the same height and weight, but pygmy goats tend to be stockier and have shorter legs. Pygmy goat’s genetics are designed for meat production, so they tend to have a much thicker build in general. Nigerian Dwarf goats have a more slender neck, and thinner, longer legs.

Pygmy’s tend to have a limited amount of colors and markings and only have brown eyes. Nigerians have lots of different color combinations and can have bright blue eyes.

Read More

Goat Terminology

Goat Terminology:
ADGA – American Dairy Goat Association
AGS – American Goat Society
Buck – intact male goat capable of breeding
Buckling – young intact male
Disbud – the act of burning a young goat’s horn buds so that horns will never grow
Doe – female goat
Doeling – young female goat
Freshening – birthing
Kidding – birthing
NDGA – Nigerian Dwarf Goat Association
Wether – male goat incapable of breeding (neutered)

Read More

How big is a pygmy goat?

While larger goat breeds are still used primarily for milk or meat, in the West pygmy goats are primarily pets. That’s not true in their native Africa, where they’re meat goats. At maturity, pygmies weigh about 75 pounds and stand between 16 and 23 inches tall at the shoulder, the size of a large dog.Read More

Silkie Chickens

What is a silkie chicken?

The Silkie (sometimes spelled Silky) is a breed of chicken named for its atypically fluffy plumage, which is said to feel like silk, and satin. The breed has several other unusual qualities, such as black skin and bones, blue earlobes, and five toes on each foot, whereas most chickens only have four.

How big are silkie chickens?

Silkies in this country are Bantams. According to the American Silkie Bantam Club, the birds should weigh as follows:

Feather Legged Bantams –
Weights: Cock 36 oz. Cockerel 32 oz.
Hen 32 oz. Pullet 28 oz.

Check out the SOP for the breed here:

http://www.americansilkiebantamclub.org/standard.asp

Why are silkie chickens so fluffy?

The feathers on these fowls are textured and soft on the grounds that they don’t have thorns to hold them down. Rather every individual Silkie quill ripples and flies around her like a mobile plume duster. This can make Silkies get additional cool in the winter.

Do silkie chickens make good pets?

Because of the docile nature of these birds and the fact that they don’t make much noise and can barely fly, many people keep them as pets. They are very sweet and love to be held and pet.

Are silkie chickens good mothers?
  • It’s no secret that Silkies make wonderful mothers.  Their tendency to go broody (have the urge to sit on eggs) is much higher than any other breed.
How many eggs do silkies lay?
  • Silkies laya fair number of eggs, of a cream color, but production is often interrupted due to their extreme tendency to go broody; a hen will produce 100 eggs in an ideal year.
How long does it take for a silkie egg to hatch?

Eggs usually hatch in 21 days.

Can silkie chickens fly?
  • No Silkies can not fly. Because they do not have any barbicels to hold their feathers together, their wings will not hold air. They can sometimes partially jump &fly for a few feet with the aid of what wing feathers they do have, but they cannot flyfor extended lengths like some other breeds.
How long do silkie for?

Generally between 7-9 years depending on care given.

Where did the silkie chicken originate from?

Southeast Asia-believed to be China

Are silkie chickens considered hardie?

Silkies are still considered quite a hardy and resilient breed.