How To Breed Pygmy Goats 101
If you have ever wanted to own a pygmy goat, a domestic goat that is miniature in size, you are like the many thousands of people that own one already. They are primarily pets, not used as traditional goats are for meat and milk, and can be seen at many petting zoos across the nation. They do not get very tall, roughly 20 inches on average, and the pattern and color of their coats can vary significantly. If you would like to get into the business of breeding pygmy goats, here is how to breed pygmy goats 101.
How To Breed Pygmy Goats 101
It’s actually very easy to breed a pygmy goat. You need to make sure that you choose the proper age. Pygmy goat does can be bred as early as eight months, especially if they have reached a good size. Sometimes readers will wait until they are two years old as they find that this is the safest way to go. You should also avoid breeding them if they are over eight years of age, although some breeders will go up to 10. In general, they are both precocial and polyestrous, able to bear young every 9 to 12 months. They typically produced between one and four offspring, and you must wait until a five month gestation period is over, in order to see these beautiful baby goats.
Is It Better To Breed Them Young?
According to those that do goat breeding, they usually wait until they are 18 months of age. The newborn kids will actually nurse immediately, and then begin to eat roughage and grain about a week later. They can be weaned at 10 weeks, and then they are fully functional, able to grow and feed themselves. Some will exhibit polyestrous sexual behavior, which simply means that they will experience being in heat, and can come into milk production year round as a result of this. If you are using them for milk, and it is a priority, you can have a continuous supply by breeding two or more does alternately.
After Baby Pygmy Goats Are Born
Once they have been weaned from their mother, they will be able to function solely upon grains and greens. You simply have to provide them with a place such as an open area with a shed, and they can begin to develop independently. They are smaller animals, and especially the newborns, so protecting them from predators is an absolute must. If you are keeping them outside, make sure it is predator proof, preventing any type of predator that would feed upon the baby goats. Additionally, if the babies come during the winter months, it should be insulated, giving them the best possible chance of survival. If there are any cracks that can produce drafts, they may also be used to access the inner area of the shed, so make sure all of that is properly repaired.
Once you begin to breed pygmy goats, it will get much easier. You will become aware of when they are in heat, automatically know the gestation period, and the proper time to wean them from their mothers. It’s all about experience, but having a guideline to follow when you first start is necessary so that you can develop a pattern. Once you have done one, all of the rest will come much more easily, allowing you to breed multiple goats simultaneously. It is recommended that the males and females are kept in separate stalls until the breeding has occurred, increasing the odds that it will actually happen.
Finally, it is better to do this during the spring and summer months opposed to winter and fall, although it can be done. It simply makes it easier on the baby goats, helping them to adjust in the warmer weather, and also develop fully as they play and run around apart from any heavy rains or snow.
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