Pygmy Goat: Characteristics, Facts & Breed Information

pygmy goat

The Pygmy goat (also known as African Pygmy goat) is a small breed of domestic goat that can be found in West Africa. These goats are usually used in meat production and to keep as pets. They were brought to the United States between 1930-1960s in order to exhibit them to the zoos and to research about them. Keep reading to learn more about them.


Pygmy goats originated in West Africa, where they are usually used for meat production and to keep them as pets. In addition to that, they are sometimes used by rural families there, as milking goats even though their milk production per day is much lower than a standard dairy goat breed.

Pygmy Goat Characteristics

  • They are small-sized goats.
  • Their bodies are solid and compact.
  • Their coats are straight, medium long hair which varies in density with seasons and climates.
  • Their heads, necks, and legs are comparatively shorter than their body length.
  • They have many colors and color patterns.
  • Their ears are erect.
  • Their adult bucks average height is around 16-23 inches, while for their adult does they are around 16-22 inches.
  • Their adult bucks average weight is around 60-86 pounds, while for their adult does they are around 53-75 pounds.
  • They can adapt to different types of climates and environments.
  • Their temperament is usually playful, docile, quite social, friendly, and curious goats.


  • They can be domesticated.
  • They originated in the Cameroon region of West Africa.
  • In the wild, they love to eat leaves rather than grass.
  • Their usual diets are hays, plants, grasses, grains, weeds, and shrubs.
  • It is sometimes confusing to identify if they are Nigerian dwarf goats or Pygmy goats.
  • Their size is not much bigger than medium-sized dogs.
  • Their lifespan is 10-15 years.
  • They can be fertile at the age of 2-3 months.
  • Their usual breeding age is 7-9 months. This is where they can have a good, healthy sized body.
  • Their gestation period is 150 days.
  • They can give 1-4 kids each time.
  • Their habitat from the past was on the hillsides and plains, before they were domesticated.
  • Their milk production per day is 1-2 quarts of milk.
  • Their milk fat content is 4.5-11%.
  • Their milk tastes sweet and delicious.

Pros and Cons


  • They are affordable.
  • They are easy to handle and to transport to another location.
  • They only need a small amount of food.
  • They are good for small acres of land.
  • They are playful and active goats.
  • They are one of the few goat breeds out there that can reproduce outside of their mating season.
  • They can adapt to different types of climates and environments.
  • They are willing to eat weeds and other undesirable plants.
  • They are disease resistant goats.
  • They have early maturity.
  • Their milk fat content is high, which is good for cheese making.
  • They are fairly quiet types of goats.


  • They are good escape artists.
  • They don’t produce a large amount of milk.
  • It is difficult to milk them. This is because of their small teats.
  • They have a short lactation period.
  • They have a tendency to get bored if they have no playmates out there.
  • They are very vulnerable to predators.


Pygmy goats are a small breed of goats that are usually used for meat production and to keep as pets.

Breed Profile Information

Breed NamePygmy Goat
Other NameAfrican Pygmy Goat
Breed PurposeMeat and Pets
UsesMeat, Pets, and Milk
HeightAdult Bucks 16-23 inches, Adult Does 16-22 inches
WeightAdult Bucks 60-86 pounds, Adult Does 53-75 pounds
Climate ToleranceAll Climates
ColorsMany Colors
Life Expectancy10-15 years
TemperamentPlayful, Docile, Quite Social, Friendly, and Curious
Good for Stall FedNot Sure
Milk Production Per Day1-2 quarts/day
Milk Fat Content4.5-11%
Country/Place of OriginWest Africa

Final Thoughts

Pygmy goats are small-sized goats that are good for pets and meat. If you’re interested in these goats, and you want to buy them, they can cost you around $50-$400 per goat.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How much does it cost to buy a Pygmy goat? It cost around $50-$400 per goat.

How big is a full grown Pygmy goat? 16-23 inches in height with a weight of 53-86 pounds.

Do Pygmy goats stay small? Yes, Pygmy goats will stay small because these type of goats are known to be small.

Are Pygmy goats quiet? Not totally quiet goats, there are times that they are quiet and there are times that they are noisy.

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