Pygora Goat Basics
If you love small, fuzzy critters and have a small farm, pygora goats may be a perfect solution for you. The colorful and versatile fiber from pygora goats is wonderful to spin and knit with. In addition, these little goats also produce milk, which can be used to drink or to create soap. No matter your age or ability level, caring for these little goats is moderately easy, and a perfect 4-H project for children.
These adorable, fuzzy goats were created by Katherine Jorgensen of Oregon. At the time, she was a 4-H pygmy judge, as well as being a NPGA pygmy goat breeder. Her first cross was NPGA pygmy goats to an AAGBA angora buck. The results were beautiful goats that produced three different types of hair fiber:
- Class A – a fiber similar to kid mohair, 6 or more inches in length
- Class B – a fiber blend similar to mohair and cashmere, 3-6 inches in length
- Class C – a fiber similar to cashmere, 1-3 inches in length
The fleece ranges in colors from white to caramel and light gray to black. Katherine has noted that many of the pygora goats produce kid mohair well into their teen years.
A registered pygora goat costs between $300 -$400 dollars (USD). If you’re looking to start a herd, but are on a budget, you may be able to buy a herd if you’re patient. Occasionally a herd will go on the market when an owner no longer wishes to maintain a large group of animals. When this happens you may be able to get the animals for around $100 - $200 per animal.
Additional costs you may incur include testing for transmittable diseases (see the Registration and Certifications section below), cost of hay and feed as well as grooming supplies for this rather fluffy animals. In addition, you may want to invest in a milking stand if you plan on milking your goats.
Uses, Size and Longevity
While most people have herds of pygora for their fiber and companionship, these goats are valuable for other uses as well. They are also producers of milk, meat and pelts. If used for milk, these goats produce approximately 1 quart of milk per day.
Pygora goats size varies. Bucks (males) may weigh between 75 - 95 pounds and reach an approximate height of 23 inches tall. Does (females) often weigh between 65 and 75 pounds and may reach a height of 18 inches at maturity.
A pygora goat typically lives 12-14 years, which is an excellent return on your initial investment.
Registration and Health Certification
If you’re planning on showing your pygoras you’ll want to register them through the Pygora Breeders Association. In addition, you’ll want to have your goats tested for several diseases, especially if you’re planning on adding any new goats to an existing herd. The following diseases are very serious and cause death. It is important to have any new goats tested for these diseases before adding them to your herd.
Scrapie Certificate – Scrappie is a degenerative disease that affects the central nervous system of goats and sheep. The disease is transmittable, and can quickly wipe out an entire herd.
Johnes Disease Certificate – Johnes (pronounced yo-nees) is a transmittable bacterial disease that affects the small intestines of ruminants, such as goats. It will eventually kill the animal, and in most cases, infect an entire herd.
CAE – Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis, is a nervous disease found in goats. It is believe to be transmitted to other goats through the milk of infected does. Isolating the kids before they drink the colostrum or milk can help stop the spread of the disease within a herd. The kids are fed cow’s milk instead. There are two syndromes of the disease – neurological and joint infection.
Important Pygora Resources
- Pygora Breeders Association Homepage
Pygora Goat Breed Standards
- Welcome to GoatWorld - GOATWORLD.COM
Goat World provides a comprehensive information and community site where goat people can discuss care, breeding, buying, selling, and just having fun raising goats of all kinds!
- JOHNE'S INFORMATION CENTER
- USDA - APHIS - Animal Health - Scrapie