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Pygmy Goats – The Perfect Farm Pet

goat
The Cameroon goat or African pygmy goat is a breed of miniature domestic goat. Cameroon goats have the natural passion for high jumps and tree climbing.That is why they are jokingly called wood goats.

If you have ever been interested in owning a goat, you’ll want to learn more about the American Pygmy Goat. These adorable miniature goats are becoming increasingly popular among pet owners, farmers, and homesteaders!

From size to temperament and environmental friendliness, let’s understand why the American Pygmy Goat might be the perfect pet for your farm or home.

History 

pygmy goat
Playful young brown miniature goat kid in field, part pygmy, jumping in grass

In the early 1900s, breeders selectively bred Nigerian Dwarf goats with other small goat breeds to produce an even smaller animal with a docile temperament and high fertility. The result was the American Pygmy Goat, which gained official breed recognition in the 1950s.

Pygmy goats were originally bred as pets and companions for children on small farms. Their small stature and friendly nature made them ideal for families with young kids who wanted an interactive animal project to be involved in. 

This creature also gained popularity as weed-eaters and lawnmowers on small homesteads and urban farms. Due to their small size, they do not require much space or feed and can be a more environmentally-friendly alternative to gas-powered landscaping equipment.

Whether you’re looking for a child’s pet, an eco-friendly lawnmower, or just a fun addition to your homestead, the history, and origins of the American Pygmy Goat have resulted in a charming and useful breed of miniature goats.

Physical Characteristics of Pygmy Goats

American Pygmy Goats are affectionately known as ‘mini goats’ due to their small stature. The Pygmy Goat has an endearing, almost teddy bear-like appearance that adds to their popularity as pets or hobby farm animals.

  • Size And Weight – Mention that Pygmy Goats are quite small, usually only 16-23 inches tall and 35-75 pounds. It makes them easy to care for and less intimidating than larger goat breeds.
  • Coat – Pygmy Goats are sturdily built with compact, muscular bodies. They have short coats in various colors and patterns, including caramel, chocolate, white, black, and spotted or speckled combinations of those colors.
  • Horns – Pygmy Goats are easily distinguished from larger goat breeds by their small horns that curve outwards from their head. Horns range from 2 to 4 inches in length for both males and females.
  • Ears – Their ears are upright and pointy, and their face has a straight profile with a short muzzle. 

 Temperament

The American Pygmy Goat has an affectionate and social temperament. They are extremely friendly and love interacting with their human owners. Pygmy Goats are very curious and playful creatures that form deep bonds with their owners. 

Intelligent 

They are highly intelligent and can be trained easily with positive reinforcement techniques like treats and praise

Social

Pygmy Goats also tend to be very social with other goats and livestock. They do best when kept with other goats or compatible animals like sheep, as they can get lonely and even depressed without regular interaction and companionship. Their social nature and small size make them ideal for families with children, as they are gentle, patient and enjoy being around kids.

Herd Animal 

American pygmy goats are herd animals, so keeping them in pairs or small groups is best. They can also get along well with other livestock like sheep or cows. They do best when kept with other animals, as they can get lonely and even depressed without regular interaction and companionship.

Diet of Pygmy Goats

American Pygmy goats require a balanced diet with adequate protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. Commercial goat feed, available in pellets or grain mixes, can supplement their diet if they need more nutrients from hay or forage. However, feeding them a balanced diet and avoiding overfeeding is essential, which can lead to obesity and other health problems. Their diet mainly consists of grasses, hay, and forage. However, their dietary requirements may vary depending on age, health, and activity level.

Grooming

American Pygmy goats have relatively low grooming needs but still require some basic grooming to maintain their health and well-being.

Brushing

Brushing their coat removes dirt, debris, and loose hair. It also helps to distribute natural oils throughout their skin, making it shinier and healthier. A soft-bristled brush can brush their coat, avoiding sensitive areas such as the face and ears.

Hoof Trimming

American Pygmy goats’ hooves grow continuously and require trimming regularly. Overgrown hooves can cause discomfort, pain, and even infections. You can use hoof trimmers to cut your feet or seek the help of a veterinarian or a professional groomer.

Bathing

Bathing is not necessary for American Pygmy goats.  Use a gentle, mild soap and warm water for bathing them, and rinse thoroughly to avoid skin irritation.

Teeth Cleaning

American Pygmy goats’ teeth require cleaning regularly to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. You can use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste designed for goats to clean their teeth gently.

Ear Cleaning

 Regularly check their ears for dirt, debris, and wax buildup. You can use a soft, damp cloth to clean their ears and avoid using cotton swabs, which can push debris further into their ear canal.

Eye Cleaning

 American Pygmy goats’ eyes require regular cleaning to prevent infections and irritations. Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe away dirt or debris around their eyes.

Care

Goat shows tongue on grass, village, summer

Pygmy Goats have basic care requirements, including shelter, fencing, food, water, and hoof trimming. They can thrive in a relatively small space and don’t need as much food or care as larger goats. 

They are browsers rather than grazers, so they enjoy brush, leaves, vegetables, grains, and grass hay. Their docile, pleasant nature makes them ideal for family pets. They’re active and fun-loving animals that need less space to exercise.

Environmental Benefits

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The American Pygmy Goat is an environmentally friendly pet choice for several reasons:

  • They produce nutrient-rich manure that makes an excellent fertilizer for your garden or farm. Their droppings can be composted or added directly to the soil to provide plant nutrients.
  •  They keep weeds under control by grazing on brush and shrubs. Pygmy goats will eat invasive plants and brush that other livestock won’t touch. It can be useful for clearing overgrown areas or maintaining your property.
  •  They require less space or resources than larger goats or livestock. Pygmy goats can thrive on small farms or even in suburban backyards. They don’t need as much food or shelter, and they don’t produce as much waste.
  • They can reduce your need for mechanical landscaping and weed control equipment. By allowing Pygmy goats to graze on your property, you can avoid using gas-powered mowers, weed whackers, and other equipment that produces air pollution.

American Pygmy Goats As Pets 

White goat with small kids grazing on the grass.

American Pygmy Goats make wonderful and unique pets. While their small stature and silly antics can bring joy and laughter, they are also useful animals. From clearing brush and weeds to providing delicious milk and meat, these goats are practical and playful.

If you’re looking for an unusual but rewarding pet and companion for your homestead, the American Pygmy Goat is an excellent choice. With their small stature, playful personalities, and low-maintenance care, it’s easy to see why the American Pygmy Goat is rising in popularity.

Check out How Much Pygmy Goats Cost? And get one today!

Key Points

Summary Table: The Perfect Pet – Why American Pygmy Goats Rock

PointsDescription
Size16-23 inches tall, 35-75 pounds
CoatShort coat in various colors and patterns
HornsSmall, curved horns (2-4 inches)
TemperamentAffectionate, social, friendly, curious, playful
IntelligenceHighly intelligent and trainable
SocialForm deep bonds with owners, enjoy companionship with other goats or compatible animals
DietGrasses, hay, forage, supplemented with balanced goat feed if needed
GroomingBasic grooming includes brushing, hoof trimming, optional bathing, teeth, ear, and eye cleaning
CareBasic requirements include shelter, fencing, food, water, and hoof trimming; require less space and resources compared to larger goats or livestock
Environmental BenefitsProduce nutrient-rich manure, control weeds, require less space and resources, reduce the need for mechanical landscaping equipment
PetsWonderful and unique pets, practical and playful, low-maintenance care

Conclusion 

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Wrap up why Pygmy Goats can make wonderful and rewarding pets, companions, or hobby farm animals. Despite their small stature, they have big personalities and many benefits. If you’re looking for an unusual but practical pet, this animal may be the perfect choice.

Check out more of these interesting animals: What Sound Do Goats Make and Why?, Alpine Goat

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