Do Pygmy Goats Make Good Pets?

Updated on April 9, 2017

Questions and Answers on Pigmy Goats as Pets

Have you ever wondered whether pygmy goats make good pets? I did, and I researched them before I made the decision to bring a couple home. They were not going to be working or show goats but simply pets. I would say that most people who own pygmies say, "Yes, they make wonderful pets." But like every animal, they aren't for everyone. They have specific needs and personalities, and one should examine one's expectations of goats as pets before making what should be a lifelong commitment to owning them.

Here's a few thoughts on pygmy goats as pets.

What are your county's regulations on livestock?

Pygmies are considered livestock. You can't necessarily stick one in your backyard. First check with your county's regulations office to see if you can legally own them.

What kind of housing do pygmy goats need?

Goats are fairly simple animals. While you can do with a minimum three-sided shelter or large Igloo-type doghouses, we keep our goats happy in a secure, ventilated small barn that has built-in sleeping benches. Most pygmies prefer to sleep up on something, rather than on the ground. Pygmies hate the rain and need a comfy place to head in when the weather's bad. I'll often see them poke their heads out of the barn and look up. If it's raining, they snort and duck back inside. We've encircled the barn with secure fencing, not only to keep possible predators out, but to keep the goats in. Goats are wonderful little escape artists. During the day when we are outside, we let them out to roam the property, run a bit and munch on blackberry bushes (their favorite!)

What do they eat?

My goats are wethers, which means they are castrated males. Wethers need to eat grass hay, not alfalfa, which can cause urinary calculi. Ours also graze on our grass and blackberry bushes, but if we're not watching closely, they'll sneak a bite of our flowers. They get the occasional handful of sweet grain and they love bread of all kinds and apples as a treat. Pygmies always need fresh water available.

There are a few plants that are poisonous to goats. Azaleas and rhododendrons may be the most common for the average homeowner. Be sure you don't have any of those where they could get to them.

What can I expect from my pet pygmy goat?

My goats are quite friendly and happily follow me around, looking for a handout. They will come when they are called, but they don't generally lay by my feet like a dog would. They have been known to come to the back door and yell, likely looking for an extra apple or carrot, but they are also content to lay in the grass and chew their cud without company. Aloof at times but friendly...that's how I would describe my own goats. However, all goats have a distinct personality. Some may be more aloof or friendly, depending on the goat.

Can I have just one pygmy goat?

My answer would be a definitive NO. Goats are social creatures that need another goat, horse, donkey or similar animal in order to be happy. My goats are twins and you never see one without the other within 20 feet or so.

Do pygmy goats play?

YES! Pygmies are absolutely the clowns of the barnyard. They will stand up on their hind legs and simultaneously come down and head butt each other. They talk to each other constantly. Provide them with benches to climb on or wooden cable spools and they will hop up and down on them. A bored goat is not a happy goat, so be sure to provide a stimulating environment.

For us, pygmy goats make great pets. They can be loud, however, so be a good neighbor and communicate with the people around you. We went to our immediate neighbors and asked if they would object to our having goats, and they all gave us the green light. Since ours are the only ones on the block, so to speak, they're celebrities in their own right. Our neighbors bring them treats and little kids love to come to our very own petting zoo.

Do your research and find out if pygmy goats would be the right pets for your family. It's a big commitment, so be sure your entire family is on board. I guarantee though, that at minimum, they will make you laugh.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        Pygmy Goat 

        2 months ago

        You want to know more about Pygmy Goat? Follow this link to know more: https://goatsz.com/things-you-need-to-know-about-m...

      • profile image

        Grace 

        13 months ago

        I hope there not loud

      • profile image

        Donna 

        5 years ago

        I'm getting a young one this weekend and will bottle feed him. Wish me luck....

      • profile image

        steve 

        6 years ago

        cool i have one to i have 2 of the minniture goats ha ha ha ha ha thanks

      • profile image

        chessi, age 13 

        6 years ago

        i have four pygmy goats and they are wonderful!!! you have to love them!! i have 3 does, pixie, tulle, and aaron, and one wether, toffee. toffee was a bottle baby who will climb in your lap if you let him! i am in the 4h pygmy goat project and i need to make a presentation about pygmys and this article was very helpful! thanks!!!

      • profile image

        Summer lawremce 

        6 years ago

        i would like a milking goat, i live in nowfolk if you got 1 or 2. let me no my facebook is Summer lawremce message me (if you got a facebook)

        thanks.! x

      • profile image

        Rachel 

        6 years ago

        Would it be better to own two wethers or is it okay to own a wether and a female? Also, do they make a lot of noise, and do they HAVE to have hay? (my dad is allergic) please email me at dreeserachel@gmail.com if you know! Thanks!

      • profile image

        Lisa 

        7 years ago

        Hi we have just bought 2 pygmy goats (12 weeks old) they have free run around our orchard, and are loving eating grass, brambles etc my only problem is they are not touching their goat mix at all. I bougth the one recommened to us (Allen & Page) any ideas?? Am concerned as we are new to this and I don't want them to become poorly from lacking in anything. Thanks

      • profile image

        Kristin 

        7 years ago

        I was informed that apples can be dangerous to goats, due to they have several stomachs and the apples can ferment, making them drunk and can kill. A slice or two every once in awhile is fine, but no more. We are currently preparing to bring two little girls home and I have been doing my research.

      • profile image

        norma hert 

        7 years ago

        I have a pygmy buck for my doe it really smells.Pygmies are sweet goats. They love to be pet. They are funny when one of them pull the tree branch and the other one eating the leaves .They follow me wherever I go

        around the property.Check craiglist website at farm and garden list and there should be some selling pygmies.

        craiglist at Farm and Garden

        area when interested.Not so expensive when buying unregistered one.

      • profile image

        norma hert 

        7 years ago

        I have a pygmy buck for my doe it really smells.Pygmies are sweet goats. They love to be pet. They follow me wherever I go around the property.Check craiglist at Farm and Garden area when interested.Not so expensive when buying unregistered one.

      • profile image

        kate 

        7 years ago

        i wont to get two pigmy goats but don't no were to buy them an much about them i have large garden i only no wot av read of internet some one plz help

      • profile image

        Natalie 

        7 years ago

        Hi, where do you find the county regulations? And would just 2 goats get along fine and not be bored?

      • profile image

        selena 

        7 years ago

        pygmy goats are soooo cute!

      • profile image

        mamma 

        7 years ago

        are pygmies suitable for milking?

      • profile image

        Kymmie :) 

        7 years ago

        I was just wondering if the goats like winter, because i was thinking of getting a couple goats but it's almost winter so i was just wondering if i should put them in a barn or outside with a walk-in shelter?

      • profile image

        Amanda 

        7 years ago

        Pygmy goats make great pets! They are very sweet and usually live up to 9-12 years old but I have one who is 13. Show quality pygmy goats vary from $150 to $400 (for the EXTREMELY fantastic ones) but pets range from $50 to $100 (usually $50 to $75 though) Hope this helped I have been raising pygmy goats for over 10 years now!

      • profile image

        Lynsay 

        7 years ago

        Hi, I am looking into getting a Pgyme goat. I also have a dog she is a springer spaniel and she is just 1yr old and she is about the size of a pgyme goat and I was wondering if I would still have to get two????

      • profile image

        Candy V. 

        7 years ago

        I have 2 pygmy's Billy Bob we got first we never intended to have a goat but we went to a flea market and they were selling him for eating!!I could not let that happen he looked at me and it was over I had him banded so he is a wether he is spoiled rotten!!,we had him for 6 weeks and now he has a friend her name is Willow my husband built them a jungle gym of their own it was rough at first Billy did not want to share me with Willow but now he is a happy goat he still loves his Momma but now he shares me with Willow I am still learning on taking care of them but we have 2 very happy goats.

      • profile image

        Goat lover  

        7 years ago

        How much would you say over all it would cost for 2 baby pygmy goats and pen etc?? and what sort of year are baby pygmy goats ready for sale??

      • profile image

        riggs 

        7 years ago

        Goats are a herd animal u can not only have one u need @ least 2. If u have only one they are unhappy and lonely. They need someone to talk to and be with when u not around.

      • profile image

        Jessica 

        7 years ago

        Hey were thinking about getting two nigerean pygmy wethers we have a BIG yard and lots of really friendly

        animals and i was wondering if you could train them to go to the bathroom in one spot kinda crazy but curios.:D

      • profile image

        Josh 

        7 years ago

        I got a Pygmy a few weeks ago. It was sad and seemed lonely for a few days, but she has adjusted very well. She plays with the neighbor's cats and kittens and follows me all around our back yard. I know gots are social creatures but they don't necessarily need to be around other goats. Like most pets they just need your time and affection. Our goat, dubbed "Frodo" by my 3yr old daughter, is a wonderful and happy pet with a very sweet disposition.

      • brennawelker profile image

        brennawelker 

        8 years ago

        What the cute pygmy goats, That pet! It is good to our house? :D

      • profile image

        cindy 

        8 years ago

        Its sad to me that anyone would only get one goat. When reading through these posts, and other sites online, it is repeatedly noted that they are herd animals and need at least one other to be happy. One should save enough money to have minimum of two, or not have any at all. To be a responsible pet owner, one must think of the pet's needs first.

      • profile image

        stephanie 

        8 years ago

        mine ride in the back of the car. i just put a tarp down to protect the carpet from any "accidents". DO NOT get just one goat or you will have spent good money to have no goats. One by itself is likely to escape its enclosure & get lost or worse...

      • profile image

        Horseeluvaa 

        8 years ago

        Soo ....I may be getting one....I don't really want two though, because money is SO tight these days ....anyone know the cheapest place in Colorado??? and do you need a trailer to take them home or can you just put them in your car? THANKS! :)

      • profile image

        bob 

        8 years ago

        someone posted a while bach asking if they get along with dogs. i have two miniature dashuds would they hurt the goat

      • profile image

        kayla 

        8 years ago

        hi i have goat and i just got it sunday...it seems like to me it dont want to be here..WHAT SLOUD I DO>>

      • profile image

        kayla.bowling 

        8 years ago

        I have one goest and he seems ilke don't want to be here...I don't no what to...

      • craftybegonia profile image

        craftybegonia 

        8 years ago from Southwestern, United States

        Wow! Interesting hub. I had a co-worker who had a goat and she said she used to play hide-and-skee with the goat and that she would always find him because he would yell excitedly shen she was coming near where he was hiding. That shows they are smarter than most people give them credit for. Thanks for sharing!

      • profile image

        LYNN 

        8 years ago

        DO GOATS GET ALONG WITH DOGS?

      • profile image

        Meggie 

        8 years ago

        Where can you buy these goats? I only find them online for 1000's of dollars :/

      • profile image

        hailey 

        8 years ago

        where can i get a miniature goat that's not very expensive well i don't care but where can i get them

      • profile image

        David from Sacramento CA 

        8 years ago

        I love my little goat. Wee Willie is the life of the party. He love the horses and the dogs. He is so cute , everyone who comes to my place wants to steal him.

      • profile image

        Sloan 

        8 years ago

        If you have the male goat castrated, he does not have a smell. These are called wethers. The urine smell is meant to attract a mate. The female goats, or nannies, naturally do not have a smell. My two pygmy nannie goats smell sweet to me lol!

      • profile image

        Stoops 

        8 years ago

        So could someone in the know please comment on whether the female goats will indeed always have milk? I want them as pets like my 6 hens (for eggs) but I want raw milk from the goats. Sencond, will two females get along? Will they play with my dogs? do I have to have two if I have hens and indoor dogs that will play daily? Can I leave them for several days at a time for travel (I'm a flight attendant) like the hens? I guess I need a book on milking a goat, eh?

      • profile image

        Veronica 

        8 years ago

        Do they have a smell? I'm thinking that I would get a male, and I know that some sheep rams smell so I'm wondering. Also, I would like to get a pygmy goat at a fair, that I will be going to in a couple weeks, are goats from fairs generally healthy? Thank you!

      • profile image

        TT 

        8 years ago

        How much do the vet bills cost? for a regular check up & oporations? This is important, so if u know email me at madhattress98@ymail.com . thnx :)

      • profile image

        Maros 

        8 years ago

        So, me and my parrents are thinking about having one.

        Pls we live on the perifery of Bratislava (There aren´t any any mountains round here) we have a house with some grass and garden in the backyard. We have 2 doggies: dutchhound and a shepherd. My question is do you think it is OK for having just one pygmy, but with two doggies? And what about milk? Do they make some or not?

      • profile image

        12345 

        8 years ago

        A nice pet wether costs about $40-100, but if you are interested in showing pygmies, a nice registered buck or doe can cost about $800-$1,500.

      • bd160900 profile image

        bd160900 

        8 years ago from San Diego

        loved this post. thanks for writing it

      • profile image

        Tronner 

        8 years ago

        How smelly are they? My small suburb is debating whether to exclude them from a livestock definition and allow them for smaller yards. One of the concerns is smell. (the other is noise and I think you were clear on that).

      • profile image

        Avery  

        8 years ago

        if you don't have two goats could you have for chickens as a companion?

      • profile image

        Rob, you are a cock 

        8 years ago

        Rob, this article is about goats. If you don't have anything to say about goats then please don't comment. Does correcting people's grammar on the internet give you a boner? Does it make you feel like a big man? Enjoy whacking off to your own sense of self-importance, dickhole.

      • profile image

        goat luver 

        9 years ago

        I luv them i have 2 they are Hercules and Herkemer. they love the little toy balls you can buy for a little kid. the ones you get at walmart in the summer. they are the most ornery animals in the world but i absolutely luv them. i show them in the county fair. they are wethers though.

      • profile image

        a person 

        9 years ago

        i might get one so this was helpful:)

      • profile image

        rob 

        9 years ago

        Goats, like everything else 'lie' down, not 'lay'! One lays bricks.

      • profile image

        Marlie Rose age10 

        9 years ago

        Your goats are so cute!! I am in love with goats. I don't have one but my grandparents live rate next to a buffalo farm, and they have pygmy goats. Almost every time I visit them, my grandpa takes me there. :-)!!! One time when I was nine, my grandma took me to a fair and there was a baby pygmy goat. It was so cute and it loved me and I loved it!!

      • profile image

        Melody 

        9 years ago

        Do the goats eat regular yard weeds/sand spurs?

      • Montana Farm Girl profile image

        Montana Farm Girl 

        9 years ago from Northwestern Montana

        We have five and are hoping three of our does are pg..... :-) They are sweet and naughty at the same time (read my most recent hub, "our goat broke my camera..." We named all of ours after candy: Licorice, Tootsie, Snickers, KitKat and Baby Ruth.... We love them completely!!!!! (Great hub)!!

      • profile image

        Gail 

        10 years ago

        I paid $35.00 a piece for my goats, I have six of them. They are all pets, five males and one female.

        The males are wethered. We have a four stall barn and fenced it in with a 60 by 60 foot area. We also built them a playground of wooden steps and decks to lay on. I let them out to graze in our pasture ONLY when I am there with them as we have coyotes and other predators. I keep my large dog with me, he is trained and leaves the goats alone.

        I will take my camera along and get lots of fun shots of the goats as they play. My goats are named Azurite, Dillywade, Aragonite, Buddy, Bandit and Skeeter. They are great fun and a delight to watch.

      • __anton__ profile image

        __anton__ 

        10 years ago from Palatine, IL

        Wow, I never even would have considered a goat, but these pygmies are too cute!

      • profile image

        :) 

        10 years ago

        How much do mini goats cost normally?

      • profile image

        l hershey 

        10 years ago

        i have a lot of wild cherry ,and i have 2 pygamys, will this harm them or do i need to get rid it.

      • profile image

        yasa 

        10 years ago

        How do you find out what your county's regulations is?? Thanks

      • profile image

        aalleexx 

        10 years ago

        can they be housetrained?

      • profile image

        logan  

        11 years ago

        what is the best part about them

      • profile image

        Mark 

        11 years ago

        Last auction I went to $50

      • profile image

        taylor bertoni 

        11 years ago

        do pygmy goats cost a lot of money

      • peacemaker765 profile image

        peacemaker765 

        11 years ago from Toronto

        That's so cute! pygmy goats are adorable! thanks for the great info :o)

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