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Care Sheet - Pygmy Goats


Pygmy Goat Doe Pygmy Goat Doe

PEGASUS VALLEY
395 N. Rangeline Rd.
Pleasant Hill, OH 45359
Ph/Fax: (937) 676-2058
email: oaao@erinet.com

 

You'll find that these little goats make the best pets. To keep your goat healthy and happy, there are several things you can do:

1) Buy him or her a mate. This may not be practical if you live in a residential area. A single pygmy goat can be kept as a pet in most residential areas because they are not used for meat, wool, milk or breeding.

2) FEED: Feed your goat a medium quality hay (or pasture in summer) and some grain. We use crimped or whole oats or a mix of oats and corn. Corn needs to be crimped or cracked so that it's small enough for the goat's little teeth. You may want to have your feed store add some liquid molasses for sweetness. Or, your feed store will carry a goat or sheep mix that is very good. Keep a salt block available at all times, preferably both a white block and a brown (trace mineral) block.

HELPFUL HINT: It is best to keep the goat's hay and grain OFF the ground. A simple hay rack with small openings for the goat to pull the hay through is best, and any type of clean dish is good for grain. Hay left on the ground can be contaminated by the goat's walking on it; and this can spread disease in your goat or other animals sharing the same hay.  

3) WATER: Keep a low sided container of fresh water available. If you are using a deep water trough, put blocks in it so that the goat can climb out. Goats hate to get wet and will drown if they cannot jump or climb out.

4) HYGIENE: Keep your goat's area clean and dry to help prevent disease. Goats are susceptible to parasites which thrive in dirty or damp areas, particularly where manure is not removed regularly.

5) SHELTER: A sturdy doghouse or an enclosed stall or barn will provide adequate shelter for your goat. Some extra straw in cold weather will help keep him or her warm and cozy.

6) MEDICAL CARE:  We worm our goats four times a year. Several different wormers are available at your feed store or veterinarian's office. We normally use a liquid ("Ivomec") two of those times, since it is good for external (lice) as well as internal parasites. Additionally, it is wise to use a coccidia preventive type solution which can be added to the goat's drinking water. We do this four times a year as well. It is available at most feed stores in a gallon container. The gallon treats our herd of fifty, so it goes a long way. Coccidia-preventive medications are especially helpful if your goat will be in a confined area where the risk of contamination is high. We strongly recommend that you NOT  confine your goat in an area with chickens or even in an area where chickens have been kept, since this is a prime location for coccidia. Coccidia can be deadly in goats. A tetanus vaccine is available from your veterinarian. If you have or have had horses or have ever had tetanus on your property, it would be wise to have your goat vaccinated. We also recommend vaccinating for enterotoxemia and caseous lymphadenitis (cysts). There is a vaccine available now that protects against all three - - - tetanus, overeating and cysts.

 As you clean your goat's area, take note of the "droppings". They should be individual little round pellets, or "marbles". Variations in diet will change this somewhat (more grain or a better quality hay may produce a softer, "clumpier" stool). Any unusual stool lasting more than 1-2 days may be a sign of problems. A good idea is to take a stool sample to your veterinarian, who will analyze it for a small charge to determine if there are any parasites, and can prescribe the proper medication.

Your goat's hooves may need to be trimmed occasionally. On normal pasture, ours seldom need trimming. If you goat is on concrete or rock a lot, he or she will tend to wear down the hooves naturally.

Your goat should always appear bright and alert. Lethargy and/or loss of appetite may be signs of trouble, so learn to "know" your goat so that you will be aware if he or she is not feeling well.

We hope that you will be happy with your new goat. We think you'll find a goat is the friendliest, funniest, most entertaining pet you'll ever have. Should you ever decide you cannot keep him or her for any reason, please call us first. And if you have any questions at all or just want to let us know how he or she is doing, please call.

Polly & Gary Ward

Bottle-feeding: Should keep on bottle until at least 8 weeks old. At about age 5 weeks, can be cut from 3 feedings/day to 2 feedings/day if she's eating hay and/or grain. IMPORTANT: If manure should become "loose", feed her the same number of ounces, but feed it weaker (more water) until manure returns to normal.