HOUSING & CARE
BASIC CARE FOR A PYGMY GOAT

Housing

Goats do not like to get wet and hate the rain and snow.  
This makes it important to offer your goat some sort of
enclosure that will shelter them from wet weather and wind.
They can handle the cold just fine as long as they can stay
dry.  Any three sided structure with a roof on it will work
just fine. I use structures that look like large dog houses.
Goats love to play and enjoy anything they can climb on
and jump of off. For this reason either build your structure
safe to climb on or tall enough your goat can not get up on
it at all. Providing some sort of fenced enclosure is a must.
They need a safe area to play and exercise. Fencing should
be at least 4' high (the taller the better).  This will keep your
goat in and predators out.
I never tether my goats out to
eat!!!
I think it is just plain cruel and a disaster waiting to
happen.  A goat tied to a fence or stake cannot defend its
self from danger-such as a dog- and it certainly cannot
untangle its self if it get tangled.   
Feeding

Pygmy Goats do not make good weed eaters or ditch bank goats.  They are simply too small.
Goats in general will not drink dirty water or soiled food and rarely do I see mine eating weeds.  

Feed a good amount of high quality clean hay. Grass, alfalfa or mix doesn't really matter as
long as it is clean, free of mold and fox tail. Goats can not tolerate either and will become sick.  
Use some sort of hay manger to keep the hay off the ground and from becoming trampled and
soiled.  This will minimize wasted hay and help reduce the ingestion of parasite.  Hay can be
replaced with pasture grass during the months it is available.


Unless breeding or showing, grain or COB (corn oats & barley) makes a good treat but is not
necessary in a goats diet. It is easy to over feed grain, especially for wethers since they easily
gain weight.  
1/4 to 1/2 C daily is plenty.

Salt and trace minerals are a very important part of a goats diet and should be available free
choice year round.  It is especially important for bucks and wethers to ensure they are drinking
plenty of water to help prevent urinary calculi (stones).  Both Purina and Sweetlix make a
mineral just for goats and can be purchased at most feed stores.


Health

A regular vaccination and worming schedule is a very important part to keeping a goat healthy.
They should be vaccinated annually and wormed quarterly.
ALWAYS Check with your vet first to set up a program that is best for you and your animal.

Hoof Care

Goat hooves grow rapidly so they should be trimmed as often as needed to prevent them from
becoming cracked, bent or infected. (see the
NPGA website for illustrated instructions)

A frequent good grooming and delousing is necessary to help control lice and other external
parasites  A livestock dust or liquid pour on for cattle works well. A medicated shampoo or lice
and tick powder for horses, cats and dogs can also be used.  Baths should be given only in
warm weather.  All of these products can be found at a feed store or a pet store.

FYI
Goat lice are goat specific, therefore it will not transfer to any other family pet or family
member.

The biggest mistake people make with their goats is playing the butting game.  Although it is a
fun and cute game when they are small, as they get older they will become more aggressive
and hard to handle.  To avoid this, never grab at their head or horns.  They will continue to butt
and play with the other goats but will know that it is not something they can play with their
owners.

We choose to dehorn or disbud all of our babies.  We feel it makes them less aggressive and
better pets especially around small children.  A goat with horns is also very hard on your
fencing.  Not only do they love to rub them on it but once they have put their heads through
they can not get back out.  Most times they have to be cut out.

Goats are a herd animal, therefore they are very social and prefer not to be alone. Goats are
much more secure and do better in pairs. If you choose to only have one, please be sure to
spend as much time with him as possible.

RECOMMENDED READING

Pygmy Goat Basic Owners Manual
Pygmy Goat Management and Veterinary Care
Best Of Memo I II and III
         
All can be purchased from the
NPGA Website


The information given is what has worked for me and my farm.  It may not necessarily work for everyone
and has been provided only as a guideline.  These are just some of my most frequently asked questions
and is only the most very basic care your goat may need.
CARE REQUIRED TO
PREPARE YOUR PYGMY
FOR THE SHOW RING
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