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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