African Pygmy Goat

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Other common names: Pygmy Goat; Cameroon Dwarf

The basics:
While most domesticated goats trace their roots to Asia, the African Pygmy Goat originated in Africa. These hardy goats produce a good amount of milk for their size, and were originally kept as dairy goats in the Cameroon Valley of West Africa. Pygmy goats were first brought out of Africa as additions to European zoos, and in the 1950's made their way into North America. Originally found in zoos and research facilities, Pygmy Goats quickly became popular pets because of their unique, friendly personalities, low costs to keep, and hardy constitutions.

Appearance / health:
A miniature in the truest sense of the word, the body conformation of the pygmy goat is very similar to that of larger breeds. Pygmy goats are nearly as wide as they are tall, and they are typically less than two feet tall with males usually being taller than females. Pygmy goats come in a variety of colors and patterns; however, there are only three basic colors (black, medium brown, and dark brown) that form the color base for the breed. The nine color patterns that cover the vast majority of pygmy goats are: black, black/grey agouti, black trim caramel, medium brown, medium brown agouti, medium brown trim caramel, dark brown, dark brown agouti, and dark brown trim caramel. White spotting may or may not be present on any of these color patterns. The hair of pygmy goats is straight, short, and smooth. Both sexes are naturally horned, but many choose to have their pets dehorned before bringing them home.

In general, pygmy goats are healthy, hardy animals. The healthiest of goats will appear bright and alert with no discharge coming from their eyes or nose. Some major health problems that can affect pygmy goats include Caprine arthritis encephalitis (CAE), Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL), and Johne's Disease; however, purchasing from a reputable breeder who regularly tests its herd for these diseases will greatly reduce the chances of receiving goats with health problems.

Behavior / temperament:
Pygmy goats are generally active, friendly animals that are happiest in a herd. However, they will also bond with other animals should they not have at least one other goat companion. These affectionate creatures are quite smart, and can easily learn tricks and be house trained. Ultimately, African pygmy goats provide their owners with years of companionship and entertainment.

Housing / diet:
Pygmy goat housing ranges from the simple, homemade construction to the elaborate, custom-ordered creation. The important thing is that housing provides a safe place from predators and the elements. Allow for approximately 15 to 20 square feet per goat, and create a place for pygmies to sleep off the ground. The roofing should be leak proof, and the proper insulation should be used with consideration to the climate. The housing should also contain bedding consisting of fresh grass, straw, or hay. Putting fencing around the housing should be considered so that the pygmies can have access to an area to graze and play. Fences need not be high – about four feet – however they must be secure to keep the goats in and the predators out.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember about feeding pygmy goats is that they require a clean feeding and drinking area elevated off the ground for optimum health. Pygmy goats will stop feeding before they eat soiled food, so check their feeding area often to make sure it is clean and there is plenty of water available. Goats eat grains such as oats, goat ration, sweet feed, and corn. Each goat should be fed 1/4 cup of grains twice daily. A mineral/salt block should also be available to pygmy goats to ensure they are getting the necessary vitamins and minerals.


high butterfat, BIG personalities, small family farm, good first goat, sweet goats, hardy little goats


escape artists, Arthritis Encephalitis CAE, fenced enclosure, Caseous Lymphadenitis CL


loose mineral salt, great fence jump, social animals, good browsers, 4H programs

African Pygmy Goat Behavior Tip

African Pygmy Goat

From starletblue Jun 24 2015 4:51PM


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