African Pygmy goats also known as pygmy goats are considered as the best miniature dairy goat breed. African pygmy goat is a native goat breed of West Africa. They were originated from the Cameroon Valley of West Africa. They were shipped to the USA during the late 50s. Like the small sized pygmy goats, African pygmy goats are also good milkers.
They also produce huge amount of milk, compared to their body size. Nowadays most of the farmers keep these goat breed mainly for their highly milk production capability. One doe can produce about 4 lbs of milk daily, during their lactation period. They are also good for meat production.
African Pygmy Goat
And some people also raise them for meat production purpose. Some people also raise these African pygmy goat as pets. They are well behaved and also very friendly with humans. Through proper care and management, they can produce their maximum. Here we are describing more about their appearance, habit, diet, temperament and breeding. Read more information about the African Pygmy goat below.
- Scientific name: Capra aegagrus hircus
- Average lifespan: 8–18 years.
- Normal body temperature: 101.5-104 °F (39.1 – 40 °C)
- Normal pulse rate: 60-90 beats per minute (faster for kids)
- Normal respiration rate: 15-30 per minute
- Rumen movement: 1-1.5 per minute
- Gestation period: 145–155 days (average 150 days)
- Heat (oestrus) cycle: 18–24 days (average 21 days)
- Length of heat: 12–48 hours (average 1 day)
- Weaning age (recommended): 8–10 weeks
- Males sexually mature: 9–12 weeks
- Females onset of heat: 3–12 months*
- Dehorning (by veterinary surgeon): By 7 weeks
- Using elastrator ring: 8 weeks and older (recommended to limit risk of Urinary Calculi)
- Surgical method (by vet): No age limit
African Pygmy Goat Characteristics
Like all other goat breeds, male African pygmy goats are called bucks and females are called does. On an average, an adult African pygmy goat heights around 16 to 23 inches. A male goat weights about 27 to 39 kg and females weight around 24 to 34 kg. African pygmy goats come with dark caramel, red caramel and white caramel color. You can also see some light-grey agouti, dark-grey agouti and medium-grey agouti colored African pygmy goat.
Like other goat breeds, they are also very smart and curious. For raising African pygmy goats in a barnyard, you will need good ventilated and draft free housing system. They don’t like cold and rain. You will require tall and strong fence around your farm area to keep them safe inside and for keeping all types of wild animals and predators out. Don’t use barbed wires for making fence for them. They always require enough space to wander around. Use concrete floors with high wooden platforms for them.<
Feeding system for African pygmy goat is about the same like all other domestic goats. Feed them little grains (at least 3 times a week) with sufficient amount of greens. You can provide them all types of vegetables, fruits, leaves or other types of greens. Alfalfa, alfalfa cubes and prairie hay are also good for them. Houseplants, bulb plants, onions, oleander and rhododendrons etc. are harmful for African pygmy goat. So remove these type of plants from your garden or pasture.
African pygmy goat is very friendly and docile in nature. They are also very curious, playful and intelligent. They are very good as pets. You can consider some African pygmies as pets along with their milk production.
On an average, African pygmy goat has more than one reproduction cycle each year. After successful breeding, the gestation period stays for about 151 days. An African pygmy doe can produce about 1 to 4 kids after every 9 to 12 months. Female pygmies gain maturity and become suitable for breeding within their 12 to 18 weeks of age. There are no specific breeding time for this goats. Female pygmies capable of conceiving at 2 months of age as well. Usually they can survive for about 8 to 12 years.
African Pygmy Goat Facts
African pygmy goats are absolutely very cute, lovable and very playful. Here are some important facts about this goat.
- In the Middle Eastern countries, African pygmy goats have been tamed for about 10,000 years now.
- African pygmies have similarity with Nigerian dwarf goats. Nigerian dwarf goats are another best miniature dairy goats.
- African pygmies are good milkers. They can lactate from 6 months to 10 months. And they produce good amount of milk, compared to their body size.
- Like other bucks, African pygmy bucks have an odor. But they have less offensive livestock odor, if the does are kept away from the bucks. Bucks have scent glands between and behind their horns and have tiny scent glands at various locations around their body. And bucks tend to urinate on their beards and sometimes front legs.
- African pygmy does have short and straight horns, compared to the bucks.
- These goats can survive well in various conditions. Even they can survive in such location where foods are very less. They can jump and climb splendidly.
- They don’t like and drink dirty water. They always drink fresh water (otherwise they won’t drink water at all).
- They are very playful and friendly with humans.
Review full breed profile of the African Pygmy goat in the following table.
|African Pygmy Goat | Breed Profile|
|Breed Name||African Pygmy|
|Breed Purpose||Milk, Meat, Pet|
|Weight||Buck||About 27-39 kg|
|Doe||About 24-34 kg|
|Climate Tolerance||All Climates|
|Good for Stall Fed||Not sure|
|Country/Place of Origin||Cameroon|
How Long Do Pygmy Goats Live
Pygmy goats can live for up to 15 years and are, as with any animal, a commitment but if you can provide the right environment and can commit enough time to them they do make lovely pets.
How Big Do Pygmy Goats Get
Pygmy Goats. While larger goat breeds are still used primarily for milk or meat, in the West pygmy goats are primarily pets. That’s not true in their native Africa, where they’re meat goats. At maturity, pygmies weigh about 75 pounds and stand between 16 and 23 inches tall at the shoulder, the size of a large dog.