Pygmy, Nigerian Dwarf and Pygora are the popular miniature goats. Among the different types of miniature goats, the Pygmy goat which originated in West Africa is very popular. Miniature goats are kept as pets by individuals. Irrespective of their smaller size the Pygmy goats have good resistance and they are unaffected by climatic changes. While Pygmy goat is meat breed Nigerian Dwarf is dairy breed and Pygora is fiber breed. These miniature goats are quite friendly and they attract us with their good nature. Ofcourse they are stubborn and want to be independent. The blend of stubbornness and friendly nature make them really exciting pets. Apart from keeping them as pets, the miniature goats are widely used to produce milk. The Pygmy goats produce milk with 4.5% – 11% fat content. However these goats yield milk only for 4 – 6 months in a year. The pet quality miniature goat can be bought for around $70. The goats that are from registered breeders and having breeding ability may cost not less than $350. Among the miniature goats the Pygmy goats are the smallest in size and a healthy female goat weighs 60 – 75 pounds. Though Pygmy goats are excellent companions it is not desirable to allow them inside home. Those who want to grow miniature goats have to provide 200 square feet for each goat. The shelter for the miniature goat should ensure protection from rain as well as cold. Normally, the miniature goats leave for 12 – 14 years and some of them live longer also. The most outstanding quality of the miniature goats is that they are very social. They easily get along with sheep, cows, horses, donkeys, cats and different types of dogs. The Pygmy goats like clean and dry shelters and they cannot withstand rain. In fact the miniature goats do not like rain at all. The female goats as well as the neutered males are free of odor whereas the male goats which are uncastrated produce a bad smell. These goats always need companion. If left alone, they become noisy.
Food for miniature goats
The miniature goat will consume daily 3 – 4 pounds of hay. The hay can be either grass or legume and they eat hay minimum 2 times a day. While alfalfa and clover are considered the best hay, dry grass hay which is eaten by horse can also be given. In addition to grass the goats eat brush and forbs. The miniature goats drink plenty of water. These goats are likely to develop bloat as a result of over-eating. In case a goat develops bloat it may die within 24 hours. Over-eating can also lead to diarrhea or scours. While roaming around the yard the miniature goats eat grass, grass clipping and weeds. Though the miniature goats require very little food only their appetite is really big.
Why Nigerian Dwarf is more expensive?
When compared to Nigerian Dwarf, the Pygmy goats are less expensive. The higher price of Nigerian Dwarf is because it is a dairy breed miniature goat. Both Nigerian Dwarf and Pygmy goats are of similar size and appearance. Nigerian Dwarfs come in a variety of color combinations. Nigerian Dwarf is known for its nice blue eyes. Nigerian Dwarf has the structure of milk goat. Their necks and legs are long as well as lean. Because of its slim body it is quite easy to milk this goat. Per day the Nigerian Dwarf will yield 2 – 3 quarts of milk. Another outstanding feature of Nigerian Dwarf is that they give the creamiest and the sweetest milk. Those who consume the milk are of the opinion that the milk of Nigerian Dwarf is almost similar to cow milk.
Though small in size, the miniature goats also fight among themselves for dominance in the herd. Since the female goats are easily submissive, the male goat easily assumes dominance. When the herd is exclusively of female goats they keep on butting the horns till one among them is able to defeat all others. When there are two males in a herd they crack horns until one defeat the other one. However, it will not be a bloody fight unlike the larger breeds. The advantage of keeping a male goat in the herd is that it protects the female goats when they are out on pasture.
More about Pygmy goats
The miniature goats are highly energetic as well as playful irrespective of their smaller size. They want to play and climb and never like to be caged or tethered. They always want sufficient space to run around and to jump. They enjoy climbing on rocks, tree branches, raised platforms and tables. The miniature goats also enjoy kicking around large balls. The Pygmy goats can be easily trained just like other pet animals. Though Pygmy goat is not tall it will get a little chubby. The male Pigmy goat can weigh up to 85 pounds and the female Pygmy goat will weigh upto 75 pounds. The male Pygmy goat is called buck and the female is called nanny or doe. When Pygmy goats are treated with love and affection they will also remain loving and affectionate. Another great advantage of Pygmy goat is that they easily adapt to all climates. Hence it is easy to manage Pygmy goats in any season. Pigmy goats enjoy staying in an open place and they go sad if they are kept in a cage. Pygmy goats are in fact the most playful pets and they are talented leapers. Apart from being very friendly as well as loving the Pygmy goats are very easy to nurture. Despite their small size Pygmy goats produce considerable quantity of milk. Pygmy goats will not drink muddy or contaminated water. They require only fresh water. Pygmy goats are very productive breeders. They start to breed when they are 2 months old. Every year the female Pygmy goat gives birth to four kids. They keep them busy always. The Pygmy goats will be of different colors. Normally, they appear in white caramel, red caramel, dark caramel, solid black or patched black. They enjoy human touch, human love and human contact. They also love the company of sheep. Since Pygmy goat is a herd animal, it enjoys more the company of another Pygmy goat.