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Is a Pygmy Goat a Good Pet?

When it comes to unusual and fun pets, pygmy goats stand out because they’re delightful, smart, and undeniably adorable. Their small size makes them easier to care for than their bigger relatives, but their active and social nature adds a unique energy to any home or farm. 

This article will help you answer the question, “Is a pygmy goat a good pet?” and give you more information about having them as pets.

Highlights:

  • Some of the things that make these animals great as pets are their small size, friendliness, adaptability, and intelligence. 
  • To take care of them, you’ll need to give them shelter, companionship, and healthcare.
  • In captivity, these animals can live for up to 22 years.

Is a pygmy goat a good pet?

If you know how to take care of them, and have the proper housing, pygmy goats can be great pets. They’re small, social, and friendly creatures that like to play and are naturally curious. These animals are also smart and can get very close to their humans, but they need good care, a balanced diet, enough room to move around, and social interaction. 

Pygmy goat
pygmy goat by Andrew Martin from Pixabay

Pygmy goats make great pets because they’re known to be friendly, playful, and smart, making them very interesting creatures. These lively species like to play and explore, so it can be fun to watch them.

But people who want to own these small goats should remember that they need a lot of care and attention. Additionally, as herd animals, they need the companionship of at least one other goat to thrive. Owning just one can lead to loneliness and stress for them.

Despite the challenges, for those who are prepared for the responsibility, pygmy goats can provide great joy and companionship. Their unique traits and ways of behaving make them excellent pets.

Characteristics and behavior of pygmy goats

1. Size

Pet pygmy goat
Pygmy goat | image by Pygmy Goat via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Pygmy goats are much smaller than other types of goats and take up less space. Adult males, sometimes referred to as bucks, often weigh between 50 and 70 pounds, and adult females, also referred to as does, typically weigh between 40 and 70 pounds. Their height ranges anywhere from 16 to 23 inches when measured at the shoulder.

2. Appearance

In terms of appearance, they have a robust physique with a thick coat of straight, medium-long hair that can be any one of several colors, including black, white, brown, gray, or a mix of these colors.

3. Sociability

Pygmy goats are known for their high level of sociability and friendliness. They don’t do well when they’re alone and perform best when they’re with others of the same species. It’s also common knowledge that they get along nicely with the other animals on the farm.

4. Playfulness

Petting a pygmy goat
Petting a pygmy goat | image by Brad Greenlee via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

These animals are known for their playful and curious nature. They strongly desire to learn about their environment and participate in physically demanding activities such as leaping and climbing.

5. Feeding Behavior

Pygmy goats are ruminants and prefer browsing to grazing. They like consuming a wide variety of foods and mainly prefer eating fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, and hay.

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6. Breeding

When it comes to reproduction, these cute goats are polyestrous, which means they’re able to have kids at any time of the year. They have a gestation span of around five months and typically give birth to anywhere from one to four offspring at a time.

7. Adaptability

Pygmy goats
Pygmy goats | image by stanze via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

These species are strong and capable of adapting to various temperatures and situations, which is why you can find them in almost every region of the planet.

8. Vocal

Pygmy goats are known for their loud and distinctive bleating. They transmit their various wants and feelings to one another through various noises.

9. Intelligence

Just like other types of goats, these adorable goats have a high level of intelligence and are naturally curious. They can solve problems and learn new tasks quickly.

Diet of pygmy goats

Pygmy goat eating hay
Pygmy goat eating hay | image by Glen Bowman via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Their food should come from the wild, like grass, leaves, and hay, which are high in fiber and good for their digestive systems. Pellet feed or grain can be included in their diet but in moderation, as overfeeding can lead to obesity and other health issues such as bladder stones. 

A mineral block or free minerals made just for goats can help them meet their nutritional needs and make sure they get vitamins and minerals that they might not get enough of from grass alone. Also, clean, fresh water should always be available to keep people hydrated and help them digest their food. 

How to take care of pygmy goats

If you are interested in pygmy goats, here’s a very general guide on what’s involved in caring for them, and what an owner has to do to keep them healthy. 

1. Provide appropriate shelter

Pygmy goats need a clean, dry, and warm place to live. The shelter should keep them safe from bad weather and have enough ventilation. Bedding such as straw or wood shavings can provide additional comfort and warmth.

2. Ensure adequate space

Pygmy goats are active animals that need space to roam, play, and exercise. A fenced outdoor area is best, but make sure the fence is strong because goats are good at climbing and getting out.

3. Feed a balanced diet

As mentioned earlier, their diet should be mainly composed of foraged food such as grass and hay. There should always be fresh, clean water.

4. Social interaction

Pygmy goats are social creatures and need companionship. The best way to keep them is in pairs or small groups.

5. Regular health checks

To ensure your goats are healthy, you must have a vet check on them regularly. Vaccinations, deworming, and taking care of the hooves are some of the regular things that need to be done to keep them healthy.

Remember that taking care of them is a long-term responsibility, so make sure you have the time, money, and determination to give them the care they need.

How long do pygmy goats live as pets?

Pygmy goat and kid
Pygmy goat and kid | image by Seattle Parks and Recreation via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Pygmy goats have an average lifespan of eight to twelve years, but with proper care, they may survive for up to fifteen years or even longer. In some exceptional cases, They’ve been known to live up to 22 years in captivity.

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It’s essential to keep in mind that the length of their life can be affected by many factors, including diet, healthcare, living conditions, and genetics. 

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, pygmy goats make good pets because their lively personalities and engaging behaviors provide a lot of joy, company, and curiosity. These small but lively animals can form strong bonds with those who care for them and give your home a new ambiance.