Do Pygmy Goats Make Good Pets?

Ever wondered if 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, so that's the direction I headed.

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 their 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 pygmy goat as a pet?

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.

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Comments 59 comments

peacemaker765 profile image

peacemaker765 8 years ago from Toronto

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


taylor bertoni 8 years ago

do pygmy goats cost a lot of money


Mark 8 years ago

Last auction I went to $50


logan  8 years ago

what is the best part about them


aalleexx 8 years ago

can they be housetrained?


yasa 8 years ago

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


l hershey 8 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.


:) 7 years ago

How much do mini goats cost normally?


__anton__ profile image

__anton__ 7 years ago from Palatine, IL

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


Gail 7 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.


Montana Farm Girl profile image

Montana Farm Girl 7 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)!!


Melody 6 years ago

Do the goats eat regular yard weeds/sand spurs?


Marlie Rose age10 6 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!!


rob 6 years ago

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


a person 6 years ago

i might get one so this was helpful:)


goat luver 6 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.


Rob, you are a cock 6 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.


Avery  6 years ago

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


Tronner 6 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).


bd160900 profile image

bd160900 6 years ago from San Diego

loved this post. thanks for writing it


12345 6 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.


Maros 6 years ago

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

Pls we live on the perifery of Bratislava (There arenĀ“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?


TT 6 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 :)


Veronica 6 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!


Stoops 6 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?


Sloan 5 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!


David from Sacramento CA 5 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.


hailey 5 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


Meggie 5 years ago

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


LYNN 5 years ago

DO GOATS GET ALONG WITH DOGS?


craftybegonia profile image

craftybegonia 5 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!


kayla.bowling 5 years ago

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


kayla 5 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>>


bob 5 years ago

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


Horseeluvaa 5 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! :)


stephanie 5 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...


cindy 5 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.


brennawelker profile image

brennawelker 5 years ago

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


Josh 5 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.


Jessica 5 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


riggs 5 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.


Goat lover  5 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??


Candy V. 5 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.


Lynsay 4 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????


Amanda 4 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!


Kymmie :) 4 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?


mamma 4 years ago

are pygmies suitable for milking?


selena 4 years ago

pygmy goats are soooo cute!


Natalie 4 years ago

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


kate 4 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


norma hert 4 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.


norma hert 4 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.


Kristin 4 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.


Lisa 4 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


Rachel 4 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!


Summer lawremce 4 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


chessi, age 13 4 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!!!


steve 3 years ago

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


Donna 3 years ago

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

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