A few Pygmy Goat questions

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by WillH, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. WillH

    WillH Guest

    2
    Dec 15, 2009
    Hello I am new here and have a few questions!

    My room mates and I are college students, and we really want a couple of goats for the start of the next school year. We will have a house and good sized yard for them. After researching extensively, we have decided that Pygmy goats are the ones we need because they make good pets and still have the ability to provide milk for our home. The ideal situation for us would be to have two goats: a doe that is milking, and preferably one of her own babies. I was just wondering if it is hard to buy goats in the sort of combination? We really just want goats that will be attached to each other. Will a milking doe and any other baby goat still get along well?

    Also, can a doe that is old enough to be milking still be trained well, and be just as responsive to its owners as a goat purchased as a baby?

    Thanks so much!
     
  2. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    It's usually not too hard to find and purchase a doe along with her kid(s). Happens quite often around here.

    As for training an adult doe to milk, yes it can be done. Is it easy?

    Talking from experience, I've brought home all of my adult does as wild critters, and trained each to accept my touch, get on the milk stand, and milk without too much fuss.

    It takes a LOT of time and a LOT of patience and plenty of distraction in the food manger.

    :thumbup:
     

  3. myfainters

    myfainters New Member

    Oct 29, 2009
    Lancaster, CA
    I don't know if Pygmy's are the easiest goats to milk.. but they sure are cute. :- )

    As far as a friendly pet goes.... with our goats (not Pygmy's... but should have the same potential outcome) we socialize them from the minute they are born so that when they go to their new homes they are able to adapt quickly and bond well to their new owners because "people" are their friends. We take them on car rides and to show and tell at kindergarten and the park. I had one wether go to his new home (at 7 months old) and he is now their trail goat. They take their horses on trail rides and he tags along!!! LOL We are even starting to train some in agility! So as long as you find a breeder that socializes their Pygmys... there shouldn't be any reason to stop you from getting an adult that is bonded to people. :- ) I actually just set up a page on my website ( Goats enjoying playtime) because I get this question a lot from people looking for a family pet... it is still under construction but it has some cute pictures of goat and family interaction.

    Also, an unrelated doeling with an adult doe would be fine but you will need to find a more submissive adult. Also, you will need to watch at feeding time to be sure that the kid is getting her share of food as goats tend to get bossy with each other during feeding time. Once they get past the "determining who's boss" phase, they would end up being pals.

    Good Luck in your search! :)

    Happy Holidays,
    Jess
    Faint-Hearted Ranch
    http://www.faintheartedranch.net
     
  4. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    Oh yes, Pygmies can be difficult to milk, although some can and do milk them to great effect!

    Have you looked into Nigerians?

    Also, a point I forgot to make, if you bring home a doe and her daughter, her daughter will likely nurse off of mom...forever. At least it will feel like forever! And they can cut into your milk yield, and it is VERY difficult to wean a baby on the same property I've found.
     
  5. WillH

    WillH Guest

    2
    Dec 15, 2009
    Thanks for the quick replies.

    We are renting the house, and I think their is a 50 or so pound weight limit imposed on animal, but it may not be all that strict. Still, we need a fairly small goat, which is why we probably need to go with a Pygmy (although Nigerians look like a good option as well). As for the milk, we really do not need a lot of it because we just have four guys living in a house. A gallon a week is about right.

    Really, we just want a couple of goats that will make loyal and loving pets, with the capability of milking one so that we can use the milk for a mulititude of reasons.

    I am currently attending Baylor in Waco, Tx. Hopefully breeders in the area are as good with their goats as you are, "myfainters."
     
  6. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    if milk yield is one of your main ideas then I suggest you look into a pygmy mix or a nigerian dwarf.

    A doe and a wether companion will suit you well but remember that to continue the milk supply she will need to be bred -- so maybe two does would be best so you can have continual supply without a pause in the production. :thumb:

    A milking stand should be built or purchased as this will make for the easiest milking :thumbup:
     
  7. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    I'll be flat out: Good breeders who tame their kids in Texas are rare and far in between!

    There's a few of us in the vicinity of College Station, but that's a bit far from where you are.
     
  8. citylights

    citylights Member

    824
    Jul 3, 2009
    Southern California
    Hi, I raise pygmies, but I'm with some of the others -- you should check out the Nigerians. They, too, are a dwarf breed, so should be within your weight range. Also, most of them are raised as bottle babies and a mature doe is most likely used to being milked -- right, gang? I would not want to teach one of my adult pygmies to milk!

    And, are you sure you guys want to milk goats? That's an everyday kind of thing. Others on this forum can help you with that...
     
  9. RowdyKidz

    RowdyKidz Senior Member

    Apr 2, 2009
    NW Ohio
    There are tons fo great pygmy breeders out there.

    As for milking, my pygmies milk real well. Not too difficult. :wink:
     
  10. crocee

    crocee New Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Northeast Arkansas
    I am going to be the wet blanket here, but as with everything, there are 2 sides to consider.

    Pygmies are great little goats but can be a bit hyper as they like to jump around. They will need very good HIGH fences. Think small deer and their jumping/leaping.

    Goats are not dogs and can't be fed as such. You can't put hay in a bowl and expect it to be enough for all day/night. They need a lot of hay available at all times so a lot is wasted. Unless you are out there to rake it up several times a day it will ruin the grass in a backyard. They will also eat/attempt to eat any landscaping plantings.

    Goats need a lot of attention just like a dog but they do not learn as such. They can not be trained to stay off fences, out of neighbors flowers, off cars, or not to destroy screen doors.

    They need shelter that will protect them from wind, rain and cold, heat.

    City ordinances consider goats as livestock and most municipalities don't allow them within residential backyards(some do). Please check with your local animal codes to make sure you can have one.

    IF you have goats of any kind make sure you are prepared for the time needed. They also don't do well with a lot of noise (parties), or strangers visiting. Vacations become time spent in the goat pen unless you have an EXPERIENCED goat sitter.

    I am not trying to turn you against getting a goat but rather only pointing out some of the potential problems that may arise.

    Goats are cute and funny but when new to goats folks get them they tire quickly, especially when they find out there is work involved. They are not cheap to raise and are not lawnmowers. Worms can kill a goat faster than you can make it through a yellow traffic light. If you have a milking doe you must watch for mastitis and calcium imbalance. High calcium, high protein feed is a must for the milking doe.

    These are only a few things that need to be considered but there are many more.
     
  11. RowdyKidz

    RowdyKidz Senior Member

    Apr 2, 2009
    NW Ohio
    I agree with Crocee except for the above quote. My goats aren't at all hyper (never known 1 to be such) and none that jump out of anything. once that happened, but it was a tiny pen for a baby goat and it wasn't hard for any (smart) goat to get out of. It was only knee high.
     
  12. crocee

    crocee New Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Northeast Arkansas
    I have only seen Pygmies is one location and they were hyper little things. This was what I was basing the information on. Sorry for lumping all Pygmies in the same category :oops: . Actually any goat can jump a fence of good height if they decide they want on the other side.
     
  13. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I've not had any of mine be jumpers....I truly think they are too heavy to get their butts off the ground :wink:

    I totally agree with everything crocee said...goats are animals that have alot of needs, time and love are just two of those needs. Comittment as well as research and asking questions will be your best way to get the basics, the rest is a live and learn type experience.

    I too have milked my pygmy and my nigi/pygmy cross does, they learn just as you do AND there will be plenty of spilled milk while learning. My one pygmy doe was giving just under 2 quarts a day with twice a day milkings, so yes the little girls will provide plenty.
     
  14. dobe627

    dobe627 Senior Member

    Oct 16, 2007
    southeast PA
    I have pygmys too and have only have one that was a jumper and I believe her to be a nigi/pygmy. Also another thing you should talk over with your roomates should you decide to get goats is, what will happen when you are done with collage? will someone be willing to take care of it? Plus you should consider summer breaks and such, if you all go to other locations. As mentioned they do take more work then one may think, and contrary to popular belief "goats won't eat anything and everything" they are actually fairly picky. They waste alot of hay by it hitting the ground. And also you will want to check your yard for toxic plants. Not trying to scare anyone away by any means, just adding some things to think about. That being said I love my pygmys and wouldn't trade them.
     
  15. smwon

    smwon Member

    168
    Aug 2, 2008
    Northern California
    I have ND's and so far my doe is very easy to milk. She started out with tiny teats but they grew! Nigerians (as well as pygmies I think) come in many different colors and are the cutest little goats when they are born... they are tons of fun for sure! They love to jump and run with their hind legs flying... as well as nibble on your hair and clothes while you milk.

    Last June...

    Buckling, mom, and doeling

    [​IMG]

    Doeling and buckling

    [​IMG]

    This Dec...

    Wether (age 2) in the background. Doeling and mom in the foreground. Mom is due again in march.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. smwon

    smwon Member

    168
    Aug 2, 2008
    Northern California
    Oh ya and the care - it takes time and energy to care for these little guys 365 days a year. There is no break from caring for them it goes on even when you don't feel like it. The cost isn't really all that much, but taking care of them is time consuming. I love my little goats, but I am getting older and I did think of giving them up. Now I have reconsidered and am working on ways so that I personally can take a break from them every now and again. I don't really keep my goats for pleasure, although they are not short on that! I keep them for milk. This year I will have two in milk this summer and am really looking forward to having more milk this year...
     
  17. RowdyKidz

    RowdyKidz Senior Member

    Apr 2, 2009
    NW Ohio
    Well put...And sorry if I seemed a bit defensive as I most certainly did not mean to come off that way. ;) My pygmies are actually pretty lazy. :roll:
     
  18. crocee

    crocee New Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Northeast Arkansas
    I didn't take your post as offensive and its good that you corrected me. I have only seen the little guys 1 time out of a picture. Sorry 2 times, the first was at the auction and he was REALLY HYPER and trying to "jump" the wethers.