Often, people assume that raising pygmy goats would be an arduous task. They consider this breed rather dainty and frail, but that is actually the farthest thing from the truth. Pygmy goats are as hardy as their larger counterparts. And despite their miniature stature, these animals can be raised for meat, milk and fiber. Nowadays, more and more people are raising pygmy goats as pets. Taking care of these animals can be simplified if you follow a few basic guidelines, like:
1. Make sure that you have a good "stock" before you start any breeding program. Raising pygmy goats means breeding healthy does with healthy bucks. For this, you would need to study meticulously each potential breeder to see what desirable traits these animals might have. For example: goats with heavy body builds are excellent for producing meat. Goats that produce large volumes of milk and those that have denser coats are also favorable as milk and fiber producers, respectively. When it comes to raising pygmy goats as pets, you need to choose the more mild-mannered creatures.
2. Establishing the right feeds and the recommended volume of food should be done under the supervision of the veterinarian. Like all goat breeds, pygmy goats will gorge themselves whenever they can. But overweight livestock are not only unproductive, but tipping the scales can also affect their health considerably. And for this kind of small breed, being overweight can lead to a lot of medical complications like poor bones, constricted lungs and mastitis: a potentially disastrous condition when gas from eating too many grain-based food items can lead to intestinal infection.
If possible, try to keep the pygmy goats on a fresh diet of greens or plant based food items like fresh shrub leaves, tree bark, fruits, vegetables and pulp. Supplementing their diet with vitamins and minerals could be done through the formulated feeds that are available in goat supplies stores.
3. Pygmy goats would need more grooming that their larger counterparts. This is especially true if you are marketing the animals as pets or as fiber producers. Grooming would include regularly brushing their coats with a good bristled brush (similar to horse grooming brushes,) and trimming their hooves every month (or every 4 to 5 weeks.) A regular grooming schedule also helps keep parasites away, and prevent foot rot and splayed toes.
4. Lastly, it is essential that you provide your pygmy goats clean drinking water always. These animals are rather fussy with their drink, and are very unlikely to touch contaminated, discolored or mossy water. If these animals do not have a good water source, their health suffers visibly, causing their coats to become lank. In some cases, the goats would refuse food until they get their clean water.