Pygmy goats are a smaller breed of goat, often about the size of a house cat. They are also known as dwarf goats, or simply “pygmy.” They are characterized by their compact size, small stature, and friendly demeanor. Pygmy goats are relatively easy to care for and are great for keeping in small yards. They are also easy to handle and are quite content to stay in their pen. Pygmy goats are also known for their high intelligence and can be trained to do all sorts of tricks. Pygmy goats are very affectionate and have a natural curiosity that makes them eager to explore.
African Pygmy goats are small in size, averaging 15 to 20 inches tall (38.1 to 50.8 centimeters) at the shoulder. Females weigh about 23 to 34 kilograms, (35 to 50 pounds) and males about 27 to 39 kg (40 to 60 pounds). Their color can range from light/white caramel, medium caramel, dark caramel, dark red caramel, silver or light grey agouti, medium grey agouti, dark grey agouti, black with frosted points, solid black and brown agouti. They provide small amounts of high quality milk but are considered a meat goat. The pygmy is small, cobby and compact and is not fine-boned like the dairy breeds or Nigerian Dwarfs Pygmies are bred to be “cobby” and heavy boned.
Breed characteristics of the Pygmy include a full coat of straight, medium-long hair which varies in density with seasons and climates. On females, beards may be nonexistent, sparse or trimmed. On adult males, abundant hair growth is desirable; the beard should be full, long and flowing, the copious mane draping cape-like across the shoulders.
Standard Description: Pygmy goats have short legs and head, and a well-muscled, stocky body. The barrel is broad and deep; limbs and head are short relative to body length. The head has a dished profile, with a broad forehead, erect ears, goat wattles, and horns. The nose is short, wide and flat with a rounded muzzle. The coat is straight and medium-length and varies in density with season and climate. While does have a sparse beard, bucks have a long, flowing beard and mane, and are clearly different in appearance to females, being bulkier with thicker horns.
Pygmy goats and West African Dwarfs are precocious and prolific non-seasonal breeders. Estrus can occur at any time of year. Puberty is common at four to five months, but can occur as early as two months. It is recommended to wait until a doe is 12–18 months old before breeding. She can then produce 1–4 young every 9–12 months and twin births are common. Pygmy goat lifespan is generally 10–15 years.
Coloring: All black; grizzled black, gray, or brown (colored and white hairs intermingled), with muzzle, crown, eyes and ears, and sometimes tail, frosted with white hairs; or pale to mid-caramel with dark legs, dorsal stripe and face markings. These coat patterns are sometimes broken by white belly patches or bands. In West African, Australian and UK populations, all colors are recognized, including pied and mixed colors , various markings, and random patches in West African Dwarf and Pygmy goats.
How Big Do Pygmy Goats Get?
Height to withers: Bucks max. 23 inches (58 cm); does max. 22 inches (56 cm). Height can vary between 16 and 23 inches (41–58 cm) in an adult pygmy goat.
Weight: Does 53–75 pounds (24–34 kg); bucks 60–86 pounds (27–39 kg).