Wednesday, April 8, 2015

PYGMY GOATS

As soon as I started looking at pictures of these cute little goats, I knew we needed to have one right here in our house!  I told Mom so immediately.  Pygmy goats make excellent pets because they are small and gentle, and they are good with kids.  They eat stuff like alfalfa and grain and grass, so they wouldn't be trying to steal our dog food.  Also, they give lots of nice milk.

Photo from Belfast Zoo
I told Mom that if we had a pygmy goat, she wouldn't have to hire somebody to mow the grass.  And we could also take it for walks on a leash or to Petsmart, where Mom saw a woman carrying a little pygmy goat around one time.

But somehow I don't think Mom was convinced.  She said she didn't even know where to buy alfalfa and grain here in town. Also, a goat would eat all her flowers.  And she said that goats are very social, so if you just have one, it will get stressed and lonely and neurotic.  But I learned, while doing my in-depth research, that these little goats will bond with all kinds of other animals, such as sheep and horses and even dogs.  I'm sure that with a whole house full of dogs and cats, our little goat would never be lonely.



Mom said she would take my proposal "under advisement."  I'm not sure what that means, but I suspect it means "no."  Darn it!  Mom is always so unfair!

Okay, well, I guess I can go ahead and tell you all the other interesting things I found out about pygmy goats.  Originally, they came from the Cameroon Valley of West Africa, and they started being imported to the U.S. in the 1950s from European zoos.  At first they were put in American zoos and were used as research animals.



http://www.thegoatspot.net/forum/f184/need-pictures-pygmy-goats-pygmy-crosses-132944/index2.html
















After a while, private breeders got some of them, and the goats became popular as pets and in petting zoos.  They are friendly, animated, good-natured, and hardy.  Pygmy goats do well in all kinds of climates.  The females weigh between 53 and 75 pounds, and the males weigh 60 to 86 pounds.  The lifespan of the goats is 8 to 18 years.



Natural History Magazine
Photo by Brian Squibb
Pygmy goats are very good at producing kids, which what baby goats are called.  The females are known as does, and the males are bucks.  Does can produce between one and four kids every 9 to 12 months.  Usually, does are not bred until they are 12 or 18 months old, even though they would be capable of conceiving as early as 2 months of age.







DizzyMaiden, Tumblr.com

The baby goats spend about 5 months developing inside their moms, and then they are born.  They start nursing right away, and by the time they are a week old, they are already eating grain and roughage.  By 10 weeks of age, they are weaned.  Bucks are sexually mature by the time they are 9 to 12 weeks old, and does usually come into season for the first time when they are between the ages of 3 and 12 months.












http://nigerianpygmygoats.com/pygmygoats-children.html

If you have a goat of your own, you should provide it with some kind of shelter in your yard.  Also, you need a tall fence that the goat can't jump over.  Pygmies are usually not able to jump on top of cars, unless the car is very short.  Also, they don't jump on children, so in that way they are better than a lot of dogs.










Maryland Zoo, Baltimore

I intend to keep working on Mom, and maybe I can still convince her that every chihuahua needs a little goat.  Wish me luck!

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