Pygmy goats have charming personalities and make excellent companion pets for both humans and other animals. Though any goat breed will make an excellent pet, smaller breeds are most popular—they require the least amount of space, resources, and—of course—they’re adorable. Pygmy goats are one of the most popular breeds. An adult will grow to be between 16 and 23 inches at the withers, often weighing between 40 and 80 pounds. These goats breed year-round, meaning that kids are nearly always available for purchase and adoption.
The pygmy goat’s lineage is fairly straightforward; the breed was developed from the West African dwarf goat, which is commonly found in the Cameroon Valley. They were taken to Europe by the British during the colonial era, and a few hundred were then sent to the United States to use in zoos and as research animals. In the 1960s, pygmy goats were acquired by private breeders, quickly gaining popularity as pets for their size, personalities, friendliness, and hardiness.
As with most animals, there are a few downsides to keeping a pygmy goat as a pet. Goats in general can be very messy, and they are often picky eaters. Goat parents should be prepared to spend more money on food than one might with a standard cat or dog. Additionally, if they are not properly exercised or not allowed space to run and climb, they can be destructive. However, effectively handling your pet’s time and allowing them to run in the backyard is an easy and effective way to deter bad behavior.
When properly raised, a pygmy goat will spend its days lounging around, entertaining you and your family, and charming everyone in its path. These are perfect pets for people with larger homes, open spaces, and farms—in addition to making the perfect human companion, these little goats are great friends for other farm animals.