Pygmy Goat Care Information:
Pygmy Goat Care: 9 Things To Remember When Caring For Pygmy Goats As Pets
If you are looking for an unconventional pet, then pygmy goats should be one of your choices. This particular goat breed is popular in some countries primarily because of their small size and friendliness. They have a unique way of caring for themselves, making it easy for you to rear them. Furthermore, the cost to take care of a pygmy goat isn’t that high, so you won’t have problems with the budget.
Pygmy goats are a resilient type of pet and can thrive well in different weather conditions. This is, however, backed up by their gentleness and their responsive nature. The pygmy goat care requires specialized attention and need not be kept alone. But before keeping a pygmy goat as a pet, there are some things you need to know about them.
- Construct the required enclosure
Pygmy goats need a good and well-designed shelter for their safety and comfort. A modern shed measures 2.4 meters by 1.8 meters and should have hay racks and benches. This size of the enclosure is suitable for only two pets, that is 15-20 square feet for each pygmy. There should also be a sufficient amount of light for the animals.
Aside from those requirements, the pygmy goat care also incorporates the involvement of some climbing structures in the pen. The shed should contain some climbing areas like the picnic table where they will enjoy themselves. You may also provide old tires as they make good toys for them. It is also advisable to keep more than one goat as the animals like being in a herd and prefer living in a social group. In case of multiple pets, the housing needs to include multiple stalls for each goat. The floor should be made of gravel with clay on top for easy cleaning. Moreover, hay is enough for bedding with troughs placed on strategic points.
Those who plan to venture into the pygmy goat care should be well conversant of the most captivating qualities. They should also be able to provide good and enough housing for the pets.
- Build the fences
Good fences create good neighbors, and this is equally true when it comes to the essentials of the pygmy goat care. Pygmy goats are known for their mischief like climbing on parked cars. With the fences, you prevent the animals from going out of the area and avoid undesirable circumstances like damage to properties and accidents.
The fences are also a form of protection. Other predators like the stray dogs and the coyotes eat pygmy goats. If predators can get inside the housing, then your pets will definitely be harmed. The shed/pen should, therefore, be surrounded with a well-woven wire fence at a height of, at least, 4 feet, providing an adequate space for fresh air, exercise and security.
An electric fence is also applicable for a maximum security. It is advisable to shun away from tethering as a means of restraining your pygmy goat. However, pygmy goats may not need a substantial shelter for those living in temperate climates. On the other hand, the pygmy goat care in places experiencing severe winters needs a full-on barn for protection of the animal.
- Prepare their diet
Just like any other domestic livestock, these small goats basically feed on hay, and they require clean drinking water to survive. Concentrates of 2 to 8 ounces should be used to supplement the diet daily, depending on the condition and age of the goat. Pygmy goats are a browser and not a grazer.
As part of the pygmy goat care, incorporating fruits and vegetables in the diet is recommended. Basically, barks, leaves, twigs, and some weeds are a few of the natural foods to be given to the goats. However, you should not feed them with plants that pose harm to them. These include walnuts, alder, laurel, laburnum, evergreen shrubs, hellebores, daffodils, privet, tulips, rhododendron, and yew.
In case you feel like including a new type of food, it should be gradual. All the foods ingested by the pet should be clean and untainted.
- Feed them well
The pygmy goat care may seem a bit complicated, but if all the recommendations are implemented, they grow faster and healthy. To make sure that they are kept healthy, pygmy goats should be served with a yellow mineral lick. You may also feed the animal with alfalfa, grains, iodized salt, and supplements such as vitamins D and A. Vitamin D helps the goat’s body absorb calcium, keeping their bones healthy and strong.
- Trim their hooves
This is necessary for the pygmy goat care, and you should do it every 4-6 weeks to prevent disease infestation. Prior to undertaking the practice, you need to use hoof shears, gloves, and hoof knife. People practicing the pygmy goat care from scratch should remove their horns while they are still young around 2 weeks old. Their horns may get stuck on fences or cause injuries to people, so disbudding is really ideal.
- Vaccinate them
Treatment against parasites like lice and fleas during the spring and autumn as well as warming once or twice a year is appropriate. Moreover, vaccinating pygmy annually is important as this helps to eliminate enterotoxaemia upon your vet’s advice. Injecting selenium is very vital in places where white muscle disease is prevalent. The injection protects the animal against the disease.
- Proper breeding
Pygmy goats have a gestation period of five months, and mating before the recommended age is possible but not ideal. To prevent unwanted mating, all the male kids are separated from females at the age of ten weeks.
Although kidding is usually not complicated, those involved in a pygmy goat care should be present when the practice is undertaken. Moreover, weaning is done between 12 and 14 weeks if well fed. But they should be left to suckle their mothers up to 7 or more months. Buying an entire male adult or kid is only advisable if you have more females or have been in a long term breeding program.
- Consider castration
Castrated male pygmy goats make an excellent pet where no drawback is associated with the stud. However, giving them the utmost care is imperative, not to encourage obesity that causes urethral stones but to keep them healthy.
- Clean them
To get the dirt out of the pygmy goat, it is necessary to use a sturdier brush followed by a soft brush, which combs through the goat’s hair. The presence of bumps on the goat’s skin is an indication of infections, scratches, or cuts. Bathing is only recommended if the animal is infested with parasites. This will require you to slightly warm some water, then lather the pet with animal shampoo using a washing mitt.