As the proud owner of pygmy goats, I would say they make wonderful pets... but they're not for everyone. Here's why.
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.
Are you allowed to keep pygmy goats as pets?
The answer depends on what your county's regulations on livestock are.
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 pygmy goats 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.
Do pygmy goats make good pets?
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.
Sheep on June 09, 2020:
Greg Ducey on November 04, 2019:
Can l keep a Pygmy goat inside and train them like a dog
Pygmy Goat on March 09, 2019:
You want to know more about Pygmy Goat? Follow this link to know more: https://goatsz.com/things-you-need-to-know-about-m...
Grace on April 24, 2018:
I hope there not loud
Donna on August 12, 2013:
I'm getting a young one this weekend and will bottle feed him. Wish me luck....
steve on October 26, 2012:
cool i have one to i have 2 of the minniture goats ha ha ha ha ha thanks
chessi, age 13 on September 09, 2012:
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!!!
Summer lawremce on August 31, 2012:
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)
Rachel on May 26, 2012:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you know! Thanks!
Lisa on May 22, 2012:
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
Kristin on April 23, 2012:
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.
norma hert on April 21, 2012:
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.
norma hert on April 21, 2012:
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.
kate on April 13, 2012:
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
Natalie on April 08, 2012:
Hi, where do you find the county regulations? And would just 2 goats get along fine and not be bored?
selena on February 01, 2012:
pygmy goats are soooo cute!
mamma on January 22, 2012:
are pygmies suitable for milking?
Kymmie :) on December 03, 2011:
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?
Amanda on November 26, 2011:
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!
Lynsay on October 14, 2011:
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????
Candy V. on September 22, 2011:
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.
Goat lover on August 12, 2011:
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??
riggs on July 03, 2011:
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.
Jessica on June 19, 2011:
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
Josh on June 17, 2011:
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 on May 10, 2011:
What the cute pygmy goats, That pet! It is good to our house? :D
cindy on March 31, 2011:
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.
stephanie on March 14, 2011:
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...
Horseeluvaa on February 23, 2011:
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! :)
bob on February 13, 2011:
someone posted a while bach asking if they get along with dogs. i have two miniature dashuds would they hurt the goat
kayla on February 07, 2011:
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>>
kayla.bowling on February 07, 2011:
I have one goest and he seems ilke don't want to be here...I don't no what to...
craftybegonia from Southwestern, United States on January 30, 2011:
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!
LYNN on January 10, 2011:
DO GOATS GET ALONG WITH DOGS?
Meggie on January 08, 2011:
Where can you buy these goats? I only find them online for 1000's of dollars :/
hailey on January 01, 2011:
where can i get a miniature goat that's not very expensive well i don't care but where can i get them
David from Sacramento CA on November 05, 2010:
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.
Sloan on October 07, 2010:
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!
Stoops on September 20, 2010:
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?
Veronica on September 06, 2010:
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!
TT on September 02, 2010:
How much do the vet bills cost? for a regular check up & oporations? This is important, so if u know email me at email@example.com . thnx :)
Maros on August 18, 2010:
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?
12345 on August 06, 2010:
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 from San Diego on July 17, 2010:
loved this post. thanks for writing it
Tronner on June 24, 2010:
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).
Avery on June 24, 2010:
if you don't have two goats could you have for chickens as a companion?
Rob, you are a cock on June 19, 2010:
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.
goat luver on March 27, 2010:
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.
a person on March 16, 2010:
i might get one so this was helpful:)
rob on March 08, 2010:
Goats, like everything else 'lie' down, not 'lay'! One lays bricks.
Marlie Rose age10 on December 10, 2009:
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!!
Melody on December 02, 2009:
Do the goats eat regular yard weeds/sand spurs?
Montana Farm Girl from Northwestern Montana on June 15, 2009:
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)!!
Gail on May 05, 2009:
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__ from Palatine, IL on March 22, 2009:
Wow, I never even would have considered a goat, but these pygmies are too cute!
:) on October 15, 2008:
How much do mini goats cost normally?
l hershey on July 02, 2008:
i have a lot of wild cherry ,and i have 2 pygamys, will this harm them or do i need to get rid it.
yasa on June 13, 2008:
How do you find out what your county's regulations is?? Thanks
aalleexx on June 05, 2008:
can they be housetrained?
logan on April 06, 2008:
what is the best part about them
Mark on April 02, 2008:
Last auction I went to $50
taylor bertoni on March 28, 2008:
do pygmy goats cost a lot of money
peacemaker765 from Toronto on March 21, 2008:
That's so cute! pygmy goats are adorable! thanks for the great info :o)