Pygmy goats are smaller breeds of domestic goats. Although they do produce a lot of milk for their small size, they are rarely bred for their milk, meat or hair. Instead, these goats are raised and sold as pets. Just like the regular domesticated goats, they are ruminants. This means they chew and swallow their food, regurgitate it and chew and swallow a second time. They have four compartments in their stomachs that performs this digestive process – rumen, reticulum, omasum and the abomasums. They enjoy eating woody plants as part of the diet.
Female pygmy goats are called doe’s and the males a re called bucks. An adult female weighs between 35 and 50 pounds, while an adult male weighs between 40 and 60 pounds. They do come in various colors such as white, dark red, grey, black and frosted shades containing several colors.
When you have a pygmy goat as a pet, you need to have a small house or shed to keep it outdoors. These are not indoor pets. The house should be free from drafts, but well ventilated. For bedding, a rubber mat covered with sawdust and straw and to make cleaning simple, the floor should be tilted toward the door. This will allow you to hose down the floor on a regular basis and the water will flow out the door. You won’t have to clean very often though because the goat will keep its bed clean.
Hay is the main ingredient in the diet. It should have lots of stems and be of a fine green color. You should have a feeder for the goat so that the hay stays off the ground. Although, you can feed the goat grain, you should only do so in the winter months and then only a pound a day. If they eat too much grain, goats can become ill. Bones should also be added to the diet for calcium and you should have salt and minerals available all the time. Water is also important and goats need to drink a lot of water. A good idea is to have a trough of water always on hand so that the goat can get a drink whenever it needs to.