Feeding Your Pygmy Goat or Nigerian Dwarf Early cut grass-legume mix makes a fine, all-purpose hay. Some of the plants can cause internal bleeding, goat polio, pregnancy abortion and other serious illnesses. In the summer you’ll notice that water troughs can become welcoming breeding grounds for mosquitoes. It’s okay if goats aren’t right for you, you can still be a homesteader, you can still be self-sufficient. Pygmy goats are quite tame and very friendly so they can be let out of their pen for eating: grass, shrubs, weeds, herbs, and leaves. A variety of human foods are okay to feed your goats. You'll need about 135 square feet (12.5 m 2) of space per goat that you have in your herd.Nigerian dwarf goats are very playful, and they love to romp and climb on things. How are they different from standard sized goats? Pygmy goats can be any color or color pattern. Your email address will not be published. What is a pygmy goat? Just like any other domestic livestock, these small goats basically feed on hay, … You can raise pygmies as pets, use them to clean up land, raise pygmy goat kids and even as milk and meat animals. 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. In fact, pygmy kids will usually be up and nursing within a few minutes after birth. Use a mineral supplement designed for goats or cattle, and avoid supplements designed for sheep, because goats and cows require copper, which is toxic to sheep. Some people also use them to clear bushes and shrubbery from areas. Despite the small size, they are generally still too large for an indoor pet. They eat an incredibly variety of different plants. Feeding adequate quality feeds to your goats is very important. Pygmy goats can produce a ton of milk for their small size. They can, however, live happily in your backyard. In winter, or when you have do not have pasture, nourish your pygmies great excellent grass or timothy hay. You can expect anywhere from 1-2 quarts of milk each day. How do you take care of them? The pygmy exactly fits this description if you need milk. Farminence was founded as a way to educate people that are interested in becoming more self-sufficient. When you’re buying feed for your goats, don’t purchase feed that is labeled for goats and sheep. What do pygmy goats eat? You can also put them into a pasture with horses or cows. In the Western U.S., wildfires are a major concern for landowners. They also eat brush and vines. The human being is always in need of friends no matter what it is. Despite the small size of pygmies, they can be used as sufficient dairy animals. Provide your goats with a loose trace mineral grain that is intended for goats. Technically, a pygmy goat could be a housepet if you really wanted it to. Insufficient water consumption can cause various health problems. Learn how to do this by FAMACHA scoring your goats. You can find registered breeders though the National Pygmy Goat Association here. There are good goat feeds available. Bred does will have 1-4 kids at a time. Even pygmies that don’t produce as much butterfat out perform many dairy breeds by producing over 4% butterfat. We recommend talking to your breeder about the feeding requirements of your goat. So it will be better, if you have a pasture for them, full with grass and other plants. Pygmy goats prefer to browse. The most common color is agouti, which results from a mixture of light and dark hairs, making a grizzled pattern. It is a charming and lovely animal which you will never feel lonely if you have it around you. Goat minerals provide ample selenium and other minerals to keep them healthy. Females give birth to between two and four offspring, known as kids. Pygmies reach sexual maturity at as early as 4-5 months of age. Because of this, it’s important to check your goats frequently for anemia. You can keep them easily in your backyard as long as they have room to run and play. mary says. You may need to separate individuals before kidding or during a time of illness. Plus, they fertilize while they clean up! Required fields are marked *. They are an easy goat to raise and have a … While Pygmy goats can be milked, the udder’s primary purpose is for the nourishment of the young. You can put diapers on them, but you may tire of changing diapers. Unlike cows and sheep, these creatures do not graze, but browse on virtually all plant matter. The worms can consume so much blood that they can cause the goat to become anemic. The pygmy breed has an interesting history that began in Africa. It would be great if you offer them a natural grazing area. They need roughage in their diet as well. 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. Goats absolutely must have a free choice mineral with copper in it. 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. They are a favorite at zoos and petting zoos because of their curious and lovable personalities. People imported West African dwarf goats from coastal regions of West and Central Africa. Goats are messy when they eat hay and can waste a lot of it. All photos used are royalty-free, and credits are included in the Alt tag of each image. One doe can produce 1-2 quarts of really rich milk per day. 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. 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. Throughout Africa there are several types of pygmy goats. The floor should also remain dry. Make sure that the area is well-ventilated but free from drafts. The worms will bury into the lining of the digestive tract and they feed on the blood of the goat. Pygmy goats are prone to obesity and can become fat quickly with too much feed. The Cameroon dwarf goats originated in the French Cameroon area. Bermuda hay is a good choice for goats. When looking for a pygmy goat, it’s important to purchase them from a reputable source. Your email address will not be published. Do you own pygmy goats? There is a very long list of plants that are poisonous to goats, as well as other livestock, available online. Put pygmies in a pasture with cattle, sheep or horses to clean up the brushy plants that other livestock won’t eat. If you decide to raise pygmies as pets, there are some things that you should be aware of. It’s interesting to note that goats are very efficient when they eat. Pygmies don’t require grains always, like other larger goats. Read on to learn about the Pygmy Goat. Pygmy goats are best housed outdoors and not inside. So if you have 3 goats, for example, you'll need about 405 square feet (37.6 m 2) of space. CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. However, pregnant goats or goats not on good pasture should be given a small amount of feed. A regular diet of pygmy goats must include protein enriched foods such as grains, fresh greens and oats. Pygmies themselves are small and adorable, but the kids are just too cute. They primarily keep them as pets or use them in zoos, as well as breed them, show them, and use their meat. Pygmy kids are weaned at 8-12 weeks of age. People fully domesticated this breed of goat many years ago. You may also have to supplement their diet with feed and minerals also. There is nothing cuter than a pygmy goat kid. Pygmy goats are good grazer. Check the hooves for signs of damage, soreness or rain rot while you are trimming them. However, a well-bred,registered and well-taken-care-of pygmy goat can cost as much as $500. Pygmy goats can live to be 10-15 years old. You want to purchase them from someone that has handled them frequently so that they are friendly and have manners around people. The milk is super rich and can contain as much as 11% butterfat. If you give your goats feed, make sure that you aren’t giving them too much. They will call to you when they see you, come when they are called and will follow you around for attention. They will only consume what they need. A Pygmy Goat is one of many different domestic breeds of goat. After mating, the gestation period lasts about five months. You can find these easily at your local feed stores. If you think you can handle raising a pygmy goat, know that they make really good pets and they are fun to own. Not all of these plants will lead to immediate death in pygmy goats. Pygmy does that have babies they are nursing will need additional water to produce the large amounts of milk that they make. Pygmy goats, like other goat breeds, have unique mineral requirements. The original ancestors of this breed came from Africa. If you’re interested in goats for dairy purposes but don’t have much room, then pygmy goats may be the best option for you. What do they eat? Some adult meat goats can weigh close to 200 pounds. When measuring goat size, there are two main ways that you can measure them. Diet of the Pygmy Goat Like all goats, this breed has herbivorous feeding habits. Learn how to do this by FAMACHA scoring your goats. This makes them an easy target for predators, especially if the goat is vocal about having his or her head caught. It’s better to provide them with a goat mineral mixture than a salt or mineral lick intended for all livestock. Pygmies can ease you into livestock ownership and are an excellent choice for those new to owning goats. Friends with benefits are what most people like. You must do your research before deciding on this or any pet. find registered breeders though the National Pygmy Goat Association here. Pygmy goats are all ruminant animals. You can do this with a pair of hoof shears very easily. They need plenty of space to exercise and forage for food, and most also need some additional hay or grain to supplement their diet. A handful of grains, fruits, and vegetables can all … Although most goats prefer to browse, they still enjoy to eat grass. If you’re considering getting goats, then you might want to start off with pygmy goats. For fulfilling necessary minerals and vitamins demand, you can feed your goats corn, oats, sweet feed and goat ration. Your pygmies can graze while blooms are plentiful In case you have pasture. Pygmy goats are a really fun pet to own if you have the space and resources to take care of them. Another thing to watch out for is the presence of barber pole worms. But, they are a huge responsibility and one that deserves a great deal of consideration before jumping right in. Many dairy breeds weigh around 120 pounds at maturity. S o you’ve had chickens for a while and are enjoying those awesomely flavorful homegrown eggs. Always provide them adequate amount of fresh and clean water. Does are pregnant for 145-153 days, or about 5 months. March 12, 2016 at 2:44 pm. All Rights Reserved. The bones are flat and the ideal body build is more delicate, with the refined angularity of a dairy animal. No, they don’t ‘eat everything’ and they shouldn’t anyways. The reason why it would result in a faster clearing is that the Boer goats will consume all the tall shrubs and weeds while the pygmy goat will take care of small plants and weeds. Yes, these little goats can make wonderful pets to the right people, but they are not indoor pets. One kid born will be larger than if the doe has three kids. Most individuals also have a pair of horns. Set aside at least a 10 by 13 ft (3.0 by 4.0 m) romping space for each goat. It’s best to avoid these plants all together to keep your goats safe. How do you take care of them? Add to Favorites . Goats being the very picky eaters that they are will usually pick-out the stuff they want to eat and leave the rest. While their ancestors lived in a variety of arid African habitats, nowadays these goats live in primarily manmade habitats. Goats are ruminant animals who eat plants and digest them through a four-compartment stomach. Put the hay in a feeder and don’t put it on the ground. This means that does will come into heat for breeding when the days start to get shorter. Barber pole worms are an internal parasite that affects goats. Goats are well-known for their ability to forage on anything from fresh grass to woody shrubs. The average pygmy kid weighs between 2-4 pounds at birth. These goats have highly social behavior, and you should keep them in groups. Pygmy goats are very hardy and very adaptable. Copyright ©2020, Farminence. Any hay that is wasted on the ground can be used to fill chicken nesting boxes or put into the composting bin. The withers is the highest point on the goat’s back, between the shoulder blades. Provide a shelter or barn with a dry floor for goats to escape the weather in. Depending on the soil in your area, there may be enough minerals to support your goats. People have used these mammals for a variety of purposes. Most goats don’t like to be exposed to rain or snow and will choose to be in a dry area if possible. Do you own pygmy goats? You can find pygmy goat babies for around $75 in the spring. 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. A hay feeder will reduce the amount of hay that is wasted by your goats. Just like any other goat, pygmies need proper housing. A goat should eat between 2 to 4 pounds of hay on a daily basis. Too much grain is not good for any livestock, including goats. Goats eat primarily hay or pasture. Pygmy goats are small and have compact little bodies. They quickly garnered popularity and spread across the United States. To prevent accidental breeding, separate bucks and does when they are 8 weeks old as there are a few documented cases of goats breeding that soon. I love what you have learned.I am interested in the Nigerian more for milking. Goats that stand in muddy pastures for extended periods of time will quickly develop hoof rot. Pygmy kids should be up and trying to nurse within an hour after they are born. Although you can provide some grain to the nursing and pregnant does and growing kids. Overgrown brush is a big hazard when it comes to spreading wildfires. 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. Always make sure that your goats have access to clean, drinkable water. In the 1950’s, the breed was established. It will provide enough nutrients and is highly palatable for goats. They love variety so they’ll eat up your trees, bushes, & weeds before they’ll nibble on the grass. You can lower the chances that your goat will get worms by making sure they always have pasture that is at least 4″ tall. 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. They can weigh as much as 85 pounds and could easily tear up things in your home. This distinguishes them from Dwarf goats, which have a more refined appearance. Goat feed often has added minerals like copper and selenium, which sheep don’t need as much of. This is where height is measured. Reading Time: 6 minutes Keeping goats with chickens is possible and can benefit both species. Usually a pygmy goat will require about ¼ cup of grain daily. Hay is the most natural food source for goats, and eating it as the staple of their diet will help keep their ruminen in check. Most grow to a maximum of 20 in. tall at the shoulder and weigh no more than 80 lbs. This means that they will choose to eat the leaves of trees and shrubs rather than graze on pasture grasses. Reply. They are more like deer regarding nutrition, than they are to sheep or cattle, which eat a lot of grass. With these goats, farmers selectively bred the American Pygmy and the Nigerian dwarf breeds. Make sure that your goats are getting the minerals that they need. Keep an ample supply of the mineral available to them. You may want to consider disbudding your goats if you use field fencing. True to their name, pygmy goats are small in size and are much smaller than standard sized goats. Each adult animal will eat 1 to 2 pounds a day unless supplemented with grain. Join the Farminence community to get exclusive tips and information that only the Farminence community receives. (Besides the fact that they are just so cute!). The grass always seems greener on the other side of a fence and goats can easily get their heads through the fence with horns. They love to eat leaves, brush and other small shrubs and trees. 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. However, some also keep them in scrub forests, mountainous regions, woodland habitats, and more. This makes them much smaller than many of the standard breeds. Provided with proper nutrition, they are generally pretty healthy. Not long after birth, they will be running, playing and jumping in the pasture. When you purchase a goat, it’s always a good idea to check for anemia using the FAMACHA scoring method. Ours also graze on our grass and blackberry bushes, but if we're not watching closely, they'll sneak a bite of our flowers. The forbs are broad leaf plants such as dandelions, clovers, wild lettuce, etc. Provide them with some elevated sleeping areas to keep them entertained and off of the potentially wet ground. 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. Additionally, these creatures can fall prey to predators quite easily, and must have secure fencing to keep them safe. Vaccinate your pygmies for tetanus, pulpy kidneys and enterotoxaemia. In the winter, keep your goat’s water from freezing. Fences should be at least four feet high and should be sturdy enough to keep goats in. The holes are small enough to keep both adults and kid pygmies inside of the pastures. It’s easy to treat if caught early. Typically, pygmy goats are less demanding when it comes to their food. Some people also recommend good quality alfalfa mix hay and … If you can, purchase feed that is formulated specifically for goats. As with all goats, the most important feature of their diet should be free-choice, good quality hay or forage. Keep mosquito larvae out of your goat’s water with mosquito killing disks. Pygmies are smaller than other livestock and can often squeeze out of fencing that other goats or larger livestock cannot. I do adore Nigerian Dwarf Goats, and in my opinion, the good far outweighs the bad. Miniature goats will eat grass, weeds, tree branches, hay, grain, and pellets. Wethers need to eat grass hay, not alfalfa, which can cause urinary calculi. Like any domestic breed, this goat would not exist without human interaction. Pygmy’s are considered a small or dwarf MEAT breed. Prepare their diet. Goats and sheep may be of similar size and appearance, but they require different nutrients. Kids should begin exploring feed, hay or pasture by one week of age. In the winter, goats will need help staying warm. The National Pygmy Goat Association is available to help new pygmy goat owners and future pygmy parents. A flake or two of a quality square bale is generally enough for a day. Don’t let your goats graze their pastures down to the soil. They have big personalities and are both docile and playful. The domestic goat is a subspecies of the wild goat (Capra aegagrus), and all of the various breeds share the same species. Some landscaping plants are toxic or poisonous to goats. This means that they will choose to eat the leaves of trees and shrubs rather than graze on pasture grasses. Originating from the Cameroon Valley of West Africa, the Pygmy goat is a popular breed of miniature domestic goat. Though their ancestors originated outside of the United States, farmers created this breed in North America. Grains are usually sold in bags and can be purchased at a local feed mill or farm supply store. In addition, have plenty of hay for them to feed as they wish. They have a list of really helpful resources and breeders that can help you find the right goat for you and your family. Goats will need extra copper and selenium, both of which are found in mineral mixes made for goats. Nigerian dwarf goats should have free and unrestricted access to clean and fresh water. When free-fed, goats will only eat as much mineral supplements as they need. Do not feed your pygmy goats alfalfa hay. Does can be brought into heat sooner by keeping them in a stall that is dark and shortening the day for them. Pygmy milk has been shown to have as much as 11% butterfat. You can fulfill the carbohydrate needs of your goats by feeding them whole and rolled grains. You’ll be able to have does that can both nurse kids and provide milk for the family. They need annual vaccines, hoof trims every 4-6 weeks and occasional wormings when they show signs of anemia. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Animals.NET aim to promote interest in nature and animals among children, as well as raise their awareness in conservation and environmental protection. If you have babies, you’ll need to provide them with a small bucket of water that they can reach. The descendents of these goats are the pygmies found in the U.S. today. Barber pole worms cannot live in the digestive tract of large livestock, so co-grazing reduces the parasite loads. You may be thinking that there is no way that a pygmy goat doe can successfully nurse four babies at a time. However, they can’t always get them back through the fence. 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. 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. Pygmy goats were brought to the United States from European zoos in the 1950s, and were subsequently used in zoos and for animal research. Feed them good quality timothy hay or grass during winter season or if you don’t have pasture facility. Maple leaves or oak leaves in large amounts, Dead leaves from cherries, plums, prunes, peaches, nectarines, pluots, apricots, and chokecherry plants (fresh are OK in small amounts). Rain rot is a common problem with goats and is brought on quickly in wet, muddy pastures. Field fencing is a good option for small goats. To do this, they should get (free choice) good quality hay, goat mineral supplement, and water. Goats are prone to getting hoof rot, which can be easily avoided by providing them a dry place to escape muddy pastures. Pygmies are really popular as farm animals and pets. They are versatile and can be used to clear land, provide milk and in some cases, provide meat. Goats are used as a natural way to clean up overgrown land to reduce wildfire risk. Nigerian Dwarf Goats have a refined overall body appearance. A heat lamp and deep bedding is usually sufficient to keep goats comfortable. Eventually, the Pygmy goat was acquired by private breeders and began to be sold as companion animals. It’s interesting to note that goats are very efficient when they eat. Pygmy goats are a popular animal raised on farms for a reason. This breed, which people sometimes mistake for the closely related Nigerian dwarf breed, originates in Africa. A really popular reason to own goats of any breed is for land clean up. It has since spread to other countries as well, primarily for use in petting zoos. You’ll help reduce the parasite load of all the livestock involved and you’ll get even more out of your pastures. Such plants as fescue, orchard grass, bluegrass, etc., are examples of grasses. Despite popular belief that goats eat virtually anything, they do not eat everything, but due to their curious nature they will nibble and investigate anything that they deem particularly interesting. Also, it’s not easy to potty train them. They will be happier and so will your budget. Pygmy goats are a popular breed of goat to raise due to their social nature and small size. Pygmy goats are short-day breeders. Three dwarf goats eat the combined amount of food as one regular size dairy goat. If you only have a budget for one dairy goat, then get 3 dwarf goats. There are times when you’ll need to provide your goats with hay. My goats are wethers, which means they are castrated males. Though females reach sexual maturity at just a few months old, ideally, they should not breed until they reach about six to nine months of age. This charismatic little breed has a number of interesting traits and behaviors. They were very different in appearance from the large standard-sized dairy goats that were found in European countries at the time. Trim the hooves of your pygmy goats every 4-6 weeks. Foods like fruits, dried fruits, veggies, graham crackers, cheerios, Cheetos, and even corn chips. This includes fencing and shelter from harsh weather. You can als… Remember, pygmy goats are livestock and still have some characteristics that you may need to really consider. We use these little stainless steel pails to milk our Nigerian Dwarf goats. Learn more about what makes them unique, below. If you find your goat with hoof rot, learn how to easily treat it: treating hoof rot in goats. Goats can get some minerals from the soil. A basic diet of hay when supplemented with goat mix is a great choice. Goats like to graze and they make good use of forages they eat. How are they different from standard sized goats? An 8×10′ shed will provide enough sleeping room to comfortably house four adult pygmy goats. They eat brush and blossoms. When hoof rot is left untreated, it can cause hoof damage. Many areas are low in selenium, which goats need in a larger amount. Unfortunately, most goats will that are affected with barber pole worms will not show symptoms until they are heavily infested with them. Their small size means that they require much less in the way of feed than standard size goats. You can expect them to get excited when they see you. It’s important to consider the size of the goat when you start thinking about housing and fencing needs. Textured feeds usually have a sweet molasses added as well as several ingredients such as corn. Provide goats with an ample supply of hay. Make sure that if they are in your backyard, that the fence enclosing the back yard is at least four feet tall. Generally, people keep these goats on farmland or pasture with plenty of grass and shrubbery to eat. Avoid making your pygmies sick by giving them the proper feed. There are several reasons why owning a pygmy goat may make sense for you. You can also feed your Pygmy goats fruit and vegetable scraps from the kitchen to add variety to their diet. Check the photos below for some of the more common Unlike cows and sheep, these creatures do not graze, but browse on virtually all plant matter. They can feed on simply green grasses, corn, and other types of grains. They get their name due to the striped appearance that resembles a barber’s pole. Pygmy goats are browsers naturally. This recommended amount varies based upon the maturity of the goat, stature (miniature goats, standard goats), and takes into account the enhanced caloric needs of pregnant or nursing nanny goats. Adult goats drink between 2 and 6 liters of water a day. 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. This will cause an unbalanced diet. There are three kinds of forage plants - grasses, forbs and browse. They love attention and can be extremely social. Pygmy goats are generally pretty healthy when they are taken care of properly. Sunflowers (the entire plant), beets, mangel beets, pea vines, Jerusalem artichokes, pumpkins, carrots, kale, turnips, squash, and sweet corn (husks and stalks) can all be added to their diet. Even mini goats need a decent amount of space. A goat that eats too much, especially of the wrong thing (like snacks given by well-intentioned keepers) can also contract another potentially deadly disease: bloat. People who give boluses give those in addition to free choice minerals because they have a challenge like sulfur in their well water, which causes the goats to absorb less of the copper in their feed and minerals. Their distinguishing characteristic is their small size. The pygmies that led to the pygmy goats found today in the United States are descendants of the Cameroon Dwarf goats. The Rhue family in California and Catskill Game Farm in New York imported the first pygmy goats in 1959. Just remember to introduce any new plants slowly and observe carefully to make sure that the new food is not adversely affecting the rumen microorganisms. When pastures die back, you’ll need to provide them with hay. The original ancestors of this breed came to North America from Africa. They typically have a very friendly demeanor. They eat an incredibly variety of different plants. Like all goats, this breed has herbivorous feeding habits. This means that in addition to grass they also eat shrubs, bushes, leaves, and virtually any edible plant matter.

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