?          When can you wean a baby Pygmy or Nigerian goat?

a   Babies can be weaned at 6 weeks, but shouldn’t be weaned later than 2.5 months unless you are milking the doe

?          What is the best fencing for Pygmies or Nigerians?

a   A  4ft or higher fence with small holes that a goat’s head can’t fit through.  We recommend 4ft ‘No Climb’ horse fence.  It’s reasonably priced and works great for Pygmies and Nigerians.

?          Are does or bucks more friendly or Nigerians or Pygmies more friendly?

a   Usually, bucks are more friendly.  They are more outgoing and tend to be more affectionate.  Wethers make the best pet goats because they don’t have kids of their own and they don’t rut like the bucks.  They are all around more loving and wanting of your attention.  Friendliness doesn’t really differ between Pygmy or Nigerian breeds, each animal has its own personality.

?          What about the Buck smell?  Are they really that bad?

a   Yes, a buck has a scent of his own.  Especially when he is in rut.  He will spray himself with his own urine and he excretes an odor from his glands to attract the does.  With that said though, a buck’s smell is nowhere near as bad as the smell of a chicken coop.  If you have the right amount of land, you hardly notice the smell of your buck.

?          How many Pygmies or Nigerians should I get?

a   You must get more than one.  Goats are herd animals and need companionship of other goats.

?          When can you first breed a Pygmy or Nigerian goat?

a   Goats become sexual mature – able to be bred – as young as 7 weeks!  But does should never be bred until they are at least 7-8 months old.  It is very important to separate your bucks from your does by six weeks of age.  This is also the age when weaning should occur to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

?          Do Nigerians go into heat seasonally or year-round?

a   Although Nigerians are a dairy goat breed, they go into heat year round like the Pygmies.

?          Can a doe get pregnant while she is caring for a kid?

a   YES!  But it is best to ensure they don’t.  Kidding and lactating takes a lot out of a doe and she should not be bred again until she has had at least 4 months of recuperation time after weaning.

?          What is line-breeding and in-breeding?  Are either acceptable?

a   Line-breeding is breeding animals closely related such as a grandparent – grandchild or uncle – niece; In-breeding is breeding a parent back to a child or sibling to sibling.  There will come a time when you are faced with both of these.  In-breeding usually occurs by accident if a buck gets loose or the herd is not carefully monitored.  In-breeding is never recommended.   The reason most breeders choose line-breeding is simple, it is very costly to purchase a new buck or doe every year to ensure no relations exist.  If you have good qualities in your herd with few negatives, line-breeding can improve the good qualities.  But line-breeding will also show the bad qualities more as well.  So it is important to know your herd qualities.

?          Can I feel the kids move in the doe?

a   Sometimes, but only when you feel on the Right side of the doe and usually only a few weeks before she is due.  The left side is the rumen movement, not the kids.

?          I don’t know if my doe is in heat.  Is there a way to tell?

a   Some does show no signs of heat.  Most common signs of a doe in heat are: Wagging her tail, fighting, Loving up on another doe, mounting other does, not wanting to eat, letting other does mount her, letting herself get beat up, swollen or pink rear, mucous discharge from vagina, her tail hair is wet or clumped, yelling for no reason, arching and rubbing your buck.

?          My Pygmy or Nigerian doe keeps squatting to pee, but nothing happens.  Should I worry?

a   Most likely your doe is to say it nicely “is getting off”.  It looks like she tucks her back end in, squatting, back arched, maybe like she’s pushing to get something out.  This usually happens when the buck has had a successful thrust during breeding.  Some does, for unknown reasons continue to spasm after breeding, but it is nothing to worry about.

?          What are the signs that a doe does not want her baby?

a   You usually see this in first time mothers who don’t know what’s going on.  They will ignore the new baby, head butt at it, chase it way, walk away from it, anything to get the baby ( or to them “strange thing”) to leave them alone.