What You Need To Know About Pygmy Goat Diet
Because pygmy goats have become such popular pets today, many people are wondering about pygmy goat diet. Before getting a pygmy goat as a pet, it is important to understand that, though small, they are still farm animals. They need pasture, space to exercise, plenty of fresh water and a little barn to stay safe and dry. They should be fed a sweet feed type of grain fortified with vitamins and minerals.
A pygmy goat is a ruminant. Their stomachs consist of four compartments. They like to browse and graze on bushes, trees, weeds and grass. It is important that their pasture area be spacious, shady and filled with good edible plants. Be sure there are no poisonous plants such as rhubarb, daffodil, larkspur, foxglove, Castor bean or any member of the nightshade family. It should also be very well fenced to prevent escapes and predation.
Water is a very important part of pygmy goat diet. You should have a large trough of fresh water always available. Be sure to run the water over daily to keep it fresh and clean the trough thoroughly at least twice monthly. Provide warm water in the winter by either keeping a trough heater in the trough or hand carrying it to your goats. Place a mineralized salt block near the water trough to encourage drinking and provide necessary minerals. This should be a cattle salt block, not a sheep salt block as the latter lacks copper, which goats need.
Because goats have a reputation for eating just about anything, many people feel they do not need to get special food for goats, but this is incorrect. A pygmy goat can live healthily for up to twelve years with good nutrition. Just as with dogs, you will want to select a type of food that is right for your goats’ age and level of activity. Goat feed is manufactured as sweet feed grain mix, and it also comes in various pelleted forms. Pellets are more concentrated and should especially be fed if your goat is pregnant or nursing.
Pygmy goat diet should also be determined by your goats’ condition. If your goats are too fat, you will want to change to a grain based diet and feed a little less. If they are underweight, pelleted foods are better. You must be sure to provide the mineralized salt to ensure good health. It will help with immune system function, digestion and reproduction if you wish to breed your goats. In addition to grazing and browsing, your goats will also need hay. A good legume hay, like alfalfa, is recommended.
In addition to good feed, hay, fresh water and mineral salt your pygmy goat will need regular hoof care for good health. You can learn to trim your goats’ hooves yourself or enlist the aid of a farrier. Be sure to brush your goat every day or two to keep the coat clean and shiny and assist with shedding in the springtime. With proper care and feeding, pygmy goats can enjoy a long and happy life and make excellent pets.
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