do I want pygmy goats?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by warcard, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. warcard

    warcard Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 4, 2008
    SE Indiana
    So I agreed to a trade for two pygmy goats (two males, 4+ mths). They are coming with some feed, harnesses & leashes, which he says they are good on (they were supposed to be 4-H for his daughters, but they peed on her when she had her monthly so she said 'no way')

    My husband keeps bringing up goats which is why I agreed to the trade, but I really don't think we're ready. We still don't have a winter coop for the birds yet, and feed and gas prices aren't helping.

    Anyway, what do these guys need? There are no girls around so can they stay together? What kind of housing do I need, both immediate and long term if we decide to keep them?

    What we have now:
    10'x10'x6'tall dog kennel, need to put chicken wire around the bottom to close some holes. This is just for when we aren't home & at night, other times we plan to tie them out places to eat brush.
    Two large plastic dog houses
    The feed coming with them (all-stock)
     
  2. Chatychick

    Chatychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2007
    Blue Mound, Kansas
    First ?? are they wethered or still bucklings? If they are wethered then they are very easy keepers as all they basically require is hay and some alfafa hay or pellets/ Wethers you dont really have to feed alot as they dont require much . They do need their shots and worming when brought to a new home. Bucks need to be wethered or they will get smelly. I would band them soon if they still have thier stuff. Get the vet to do it if you dont have the equipment. Sounds like you have shelter for them and if you do tye them out keep a close eye on them as tying is a recipie for disaster. Goats can get tangled really quickly and even a stray dong can do damage. I would familiarize them to their area and let them go as they usually wont go far. If the dog houses are not big enough for them then just build a 3 sided shed for them. As far as a pen they need some space and the kennel sounds kinda small but fine for night keeping. They do need loose minerals and clean water. Also if they are wethers you might want to keep some Ammonium Chloride on hand just in case of UC. You may never need it but good to have on hand.If you decide to feed them during the winter they do well on oats. Dont feed them sweet feed or straight corn as its very fattening for goats and can cause urinary problems also. I just give mine oats and alfafa pellets in the winter and hay. Corn can founder them also and cause feet problems, also you need a pair of trimmers as sometimes they dont wear off their feet and they need trimming. Good luck
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2008
  3. goldensunriseranch

    goldensunriseranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 1, 2007
    Mays Landing NJ
    I agree with the wethering. You should have them banded asap, it's not too late. They will need a fresh CD&T shot when it's performed unless you are certain they've had all the proper shots. Can't imagine why the original owners didn't wether them for 4-H, wethers don't pee like the bucks do. All the other advice you've been given sounds like the same I would give. [​IMG]
    Were they at least disbudded (no horns)? Horns bring into play a whole new set of problems, nothing disastrous normally but they do learn to use them to advantage. If not, wethering asap will also cut out the testosterone that leads to the larger horn growth of bucks, making them slightly less destructive.
     
  4. goldensunriseranch

    goldensunriseranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 1, 2007
    Mays Landing NJ
    Forgot to mention, yes best to leave them together. They will get along fine especially if neutered. Mine all still bang heads wethered or not wethered, BUT bucks get into it alot more heavily, and if they catch wind of a doe anywhere in the vicinity even not at your place they can do some damage to one another with the drive of competition to breed and the heavier muscle mass of bucks.
     
  5. warcard

    warcard Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 4, 2008
    SE Indiana
    Thanks for the answers.

    I don't know if they are wethered or disbudded, guess I'll find out Wednesday when he drops them off. How much does it normally cost to have a vet do those procedure? I wouldn't know where to start. [​IMG]

    So the 10'x10' is okay for now (with monitored outings), but how much would be best for winter when they won't get out to roam as much due to us getting home from work right before the light dies.

    chatychick - what is a UC (a urinary tract infection?)?
     
  6. kinnip

    kinnip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    The USDA recommendation for loose housing is 15 sq ft/goat indoors and 25 sq ft/goat outdoors. Mine have more than that. You'll get a good idea of how much space they need when you see them in the kennel. The need to have some running and playing space. Toys help make happy goats too, but they take up more space. We have picnic tables and giant spools.
    All the advice thus far has been spot on, but I will emphasize again the importance of having free choice, loose minerals for goats, not a block. This is very important in preventing U.C., which stands for urinary calculi. This is caused, primarily, by an imbalance of the calcium to phosphorous ratio. It can cause the bladder to rupture and the goat to die fairly quickly. Prevention is the best medicine.
    If they aren't disbudded, just make sure they can't get their heads stuck in the fence.
    If they aren't wethered and you won't be breeding them, it would be in both of your best interests to have it done. Banding is by far the cheapest method. There are other alternatives, if you're willing to do it yourself. Do some research, see what you feel comfortable with.
    Insofar as tying them, I've not found it necessary. My goats free-range all day and some days they never make it off the porch. If you're there, they'll likely just follow you around being a pain in the tookus. I've always been surprised at how quickly mine go back to their house when I'm not around. I leave, they lose interest in free-ranging. Once it gets dark, they'll just want to go back to the goat casa.
    Enjoy the little boogers!!
     

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