Pygmy Goats are popular breed because they are so small and cute. They grow to be about knee high, and have very round bellies once they finish filling out. They love playing on things like spools, climbing up ramps and pretty much anything they can get on top of. Pygmy goats are more than a farm animal because they are a popular pet. They are safe for kids of any age to play with. They are very tame and friendly and love any attention they can get. They are even more tame when they are botlle fed. This doesn't happen often but sometimes the mothers get sick, die, or have triplets and end up desserting a baby or two. Then the babies become know as a "bottle baby." They need fed at least 6 times a day at the very beginning and as they get older it can be lessened because they are starting to nibble at grain. They normally start nibbling at grain at 2-3 weeks because they are curious as to what their mommies are doing at feeding time. Goats can have any kind of goat ration. They should also have minerals to pick at at all times in their barn or shed where it will stay dry. Pygmy Goats love treats. They eat about anything you can think of. They love animal cookies and macaroni noodles. They also eat carrots and celery but not often. Pygmy Goats do not need a large fenced in area or large buildings. The fenced in area needs to be big enough for them to run and play but doesn't have to be bigger than 30x30, depending on how many goats you have. Some people use dog houses for their goats or small garden sheds. Again this depends on how many you have. Most people if they just have them for pets, only have like two or three. If this is the case a dog house or small shed will do just fine. Also, this brings up another point because Pygmy's always need at least one companion. They need a buddy to play together, and cuddle with so they don't get lonely.
Pygmy's need health care too. They should have their hooves trimmed at least every 6-8 weeks depending on what kind of grounds they are on. From my experience, I had a goat that walked on our cement blocks all the time and wore her hooves down enough that they never really needed trimmed. They should also be wormed or more often depending on how clean their area is kept. They also need vaccinations like tetanus and vaccines against diseases in Pygmyies. Pygmy Goats are born with horns and should be dissbudded for you and your goats sake. They can be dangerous since they are so huggable and playful. They can get dissbudded by using a disbudding iron. Alot of farmers have these and you can take them their to get this done for a couple bucks or they may offer to do it free. It only takes a couple minutes to do this. Their pens should also be kept clean at all times. Especially if it rains or snows; it needs to be dry. It should be cleaned out often to keep bugs and illness away from your goats. You want healthy, care free animals so you can enjoy their entertainment and love.
Lets go over some terms before I explain kidding. The mother goats are called Does and the dads are called Bucks. Once the moms have kids, they are called Nanny's and a fixed boy is called a wether. Kidding time can be very exciting. When babies are born, it is called kidding. The babies are called kids. Kidding time can be very exciting but their are a few things you need to know. The time they are pregnant is called their gestation period. Their gestation period is five months. When it gets close to kidding time the mother may act distraught and go off by herself to be alone. She may not be interested in grain, and if this occures you will probably have kids within hours. The mothers will start scratching and laying around a lot and eventually they will have some contractions. When the baby or babies offically born the mother will clean them, but you should help her. They need the sack cleared away from their noses as soon as they are born so they don't breathe that in, because if they do, they will breathe it into their lungs and possibly die. Their belly buttons should be about three inches when the umbilical cord breaks, and if it is too long then you can take floss and tie it and then cut below where you tied it to shorten it, but make sure it is tied before cutting or else they will bleed to death. After assessing the umbilical cord, make sure you iodine it to keep it from getting infected. The baby or babies normally will not walk until about five minutes after they are born. They should have a drink of the mothers milk at least within a half hour after they are born. First make sure her udders are ready by squeezing some milk out, but not too much because the first of her milk is colostrum which is the best and they should get alot of that the first day. It may get frustrating at times because the babies wont drink, but don't give up. The babies will act tired, but don't stop trying until they drink some. Keep holding them up to the mothers udders and help them get a hold of it in their mouths and maybe squeeze some in so they get a taste and realize what it is. Most of the time the babies figure these things out on their own because nature takes hold and they know exactly what to do. That is the beauty of this. It is amazing to see the miracle take place, not only watching the birth, but to see the mother and the babies know exactly what to do.
This has been a passion of mine since I was little. I was about 8 years old when I got my first Pygmy Goat. She was a triplet and the mother neglected her and only took care of the other two. I named her Jasper and fell in love instantly. I know what your thinking; Jasper for a girls name! Come on, I was only 8 years old! I bottle fed her 6 times a day for the next couple of weeks. I kept her in a box in the garage, and a lot of the time she was in the kitchen. After about two years I got her a companion. She should have had a companion from the beginning but I lived out in the pen all the time and had her in the kitchen to play a lot of the time so a companion didn't seem necessary. Then i decided I wanted to start breeding her and her buddy Dakota. I then started my own flock. I have been having baby goats every year since then, and showed them at fairs through 4-H. 4-H was a great place to be. I learned so much about health care, responsibility, book keeping/record keeping and had so much fun. We did community service with our club and took our goats mutlitiple places like nursing homes or kids activity fairs and pretty much any place imaginable. We did obstacle courses for our goats some years and would run them through water puddles on tarp, accross balance beams, on top of a stack of hay bales and much more. It was no surprise when our goat would lay down because they insisted they werent going any farther or came to a complete stop within seconds because they realized we were going to run them through water, because they hate walking in water. They have a mind of their own but are such a loving pet to have.
Here are some links that explain how to care for them in further detail: Cute Home Pets They love playgrounds: Whitman Barn Yard More on how to care for them: Goat WorldLast updated April 26, 2012