|Facts About Miniature Goats|
Miniature Goats are members of the Caprine family. They are ruminants which means they are cud-chewing animals. Ruminants have four-chambered stomachs. The language of goats is called "bleating".
Male goats are called billys or bucks.
Female goats are called nannies or does.
Baby goats are called kids.
It takes a female goat five months to have a baby. Miniature Goats have babies twice a year. Most nanny goats have twins, sometimes triplets. Baby goats are weaned at two months of age.
Miniature Goats live up to 15 years.
The Miniature African Pygmy Goat originated from the forest districts of West and Central Africa. The breed is a low-maintenance source of meat and milk in its native land. The Pygmy Goat measures under 22 inches tall at the withers. The average height is 16 inches and the average weight is approximately 35 pounds.
Miniature Goats are very affectionate and love to be talked to, rubbed and brushed. They are very intelligent and easily learn to walk on a leash, can be housebroken, and can be taught tricks. Miniature Goats require little feed, can be kept in a small yard and do not require fancy housing. They make wonderful pets and are great lawn mowers and weed eaters!
The following "general" tips are provided as a guideline to care. There are many books available for pygmy goat owners that can can provide much more detailed care instructions, and the "tips" provided on this webpage simply identify the practices that we have incorporated into and utilize on our farm. That said, one should always be prepared to contact a licensed veterinarian when necessary.
1. Hay – A good quality should always be available. “Free Feed” your hay.
2. Water – Provide fresh, clean water on a daily basis. Goats will not drink stagnant, poor quality water. In winter, warm water is appreciated, but not required.
3. Grain –
a. Doe: 1 to 2 cups a day, divided equally between two feedings (morning and night). Pregnant does, during the last four weeks (and lactating does) should have their grain ration doubled.
b. Buck (or Wether): Do NOT overfeed. It is recommended that bucks not receive more than ½ to 1 cup a day, divided equally between two feedings (morning and night).
4. Trace Minerals – A trace mineral block should always be available for your goat to get the minerals necessary to promote its health. Consult with your local extension agent or veterinarian to determine the minerals necessary to promote the greatest health of your herd.
5. Worming – You should worm your goat(s) at least 3 to 4 times per year. It is recommended that you worm in the last month of pregnancy and again just before or right after kidding to further protect the kids. However, ensure that the wormer is safe for pregnant does.
6. Hoof Trimming – Hoof trimming should take place every 4 to 6 weeks, but more often if necessary. Untrimmed or poorly trimmed hooves cause the goat great discomfort and can lead to serious lameness, foot rot, or splayed toes. Simply trimming the hooves on a regular basis (monthly) can keep your goat’s feet healthy.
7. Housing – Should be clean, dry and draft free…with a stall available a week or so before kidding. A simple 3-sided shelter should be sufficient if it provides protection from sun, rain and wind. But no matter what type of shelter you decide on, it should be kept clean and dry to keep your goats happy and healthy. Goats also love to climb and jump, and appreciate “toys” in their pasture. Items such as large rocks, picnic table, or a constructed platform that encourages them to climb helps build muscle and encourages proper leg movement.
8. Fencing – Fencing should be from 4 to 6 feet high, and strong enough to protect the goats from predators trying to get in. I’ve found the 48” Hog wire to be perfect for our farm. Tethering a goat outside of their fencing is very dangerous for the goat as it makes them more susceptible to predators by limiting their escape.
9. Vaccinations – The following vaccination schedule is provided as a reference, however, you should always consult with your veterinarian to determine the best program for your specific herd.
i. 5-6 weeks. 1 dose of Clostridium Perfringens C&D vaccine and 1 dose of Tetanus Toxoid (these two vaccines are also available in a combined vaccine commonly referred to as “CDT”).
ii. 9-10 weeks. 1 dose of Clostridium Perfringens C&D vaccine and 1 dose of Tetanus Toxoid (or one dose of CDT)
b. Pregnant Does. Vaccinate your pregnant doe with one dose of the CDT vaccination 3-4 weeks prior to kidding to allow a transfer of antibodies to the kids through her colostrum.
c. Adults. – Bucks and Does should receive 1 dose of the CDT Booster on an annual basis. We generally booster our herd in January or February.
d. ATTENTION: Any medication given to an animal by injection has the potential to cause an “anaphylactic” reaction (allergic reaction) to the vaccination. As such, it is critical that you monitor your goat for a period of 10-15 minutes, watching for symptoms of a reaction (e.g. restlessness, difficulty breathing, loss of muscle function, seizures, etc.). If a reaction does occur, take your goat to the nearest veterinarian IMMEDIATELY as this is a medical emergency!
10. Ear problems
Actually ear infections are rare unless the goats get caught in a cold wind and get wet and chilled.
The Clinical Signs are :
Use a Q-tip and antiseptic cream to gently clean the gunk out of the ear.
Apply a few drops to each affected ear.
If you notice small white specks near the base of their hair this is lice nits.
Give this to your new mom as soon as she delivers for that much needed energy boost.
5 QT lukewarm water
4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp soda
1/2 cup sugar
Wisk until disolved.
If your mom dies or rejects the baby and you need to feed them
Newborns: follow directions on the side
Follow directions on bag (NEVER cold or cool water!)
Here is a rough feeding schedule for the baby pygmy goats:
1-2 wks - 6xday
3-4 wks - 4xday
5-6 wks - 3xday
7-8 wks - 2xday
Be patient with them the first couple of days as they transition from Nanny to Mommy...but you'll love the bond that you'll have with them.
Once they get used to the bottle, let them determine when they are full.
1-2 wks old - try to get 1-2 ozs down them at each of the 6 feedings.
3-4 wks old - try to get 2-3 ozs. down them at each of the 4 feedings.
As long as they have clear urine, they are not dehydrated. I would also start introducing water to them when they are about 4-5 wks old...just put some in a dog dish and have it available for them. I would also keep a little clean hay for them to pick through during the day...and maybe a tablespoon of grain (sweat feed) for them to peck at as well.