American Pygmy Goat Scientific Classification
KingdomAnimaliaPhylumChordataClassMammaliaOrderArtiodactylaFamilyBovidaeGenusCapraScientific NameCapra aegagrus hircus
American Pygmy Goat Conservation Status
American Pygmy Goat Locations
American Pygmy Goat Facts
Name Of YoungKidGroup Behavior
Fun FactCan jump up to 5 feetMost Distinctive FeatureSmall sizeOther Name(s)Pygmy Goat, African Pygmy, Dwarf CameroonGestation Period5 monthsLitter Size1-4HabitatRocky terrain, Hillsides, Plains, FarmlandPredatorsdogs, coyotes, bobcatsDietHerbivoreFavorite FoodGreens and grainsTypeMammalCommon NamePygmy goatLocationUnited States
American Pygmy Goat Physical Characteristics
Skin TypeFurLifespan8-12 yearsWeight30-90 lbsHeight15-20 inchesLength18-33 inchesAge of Sexual Maturity2-4 monthsAge of Weaning8 weeks
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The American Pygmy Goat, also known as the African Pygmy, started out from breeding African Dwarf goats in French Cameroon.
They should not be confused with Pygmy Goats of the United Kingdom, which have a much different appearance, though are similar in size. They are not a teacup breed, but they are very small. Most are about one to two feet in height and also don’t get much more than a couple of feet long.
5 Incredible American Pygmy Goat facts!
- These goats are horned on both males and females of the species, so they cannot be sexed using this method.
- A female goat is known as a doe, a castrated male is called a wether, an uncastrated male is a buck, and a baby goat is known as a kid. When raising goats, birthing is referred to as kidding. Once a doe has given birth to at least one baby or kid, she is considered “freshened.”
- These goats are not much bigger than the size of a medium dog.
- They have a moderate gestation period of 5 months, with a lifespan of up to 12 years.
- They are a dwarf breed of goat, rather than a teacup breed.
American Pygmy Goat Scientific name
The scientific name for these goats is Capra aegagrus hircus.
American Pygmy Goat Appearance
These goats get their small size from achondroplasia, which is the gene mutation that causes dwarfism, characterized by a normal-sized torso with short limbs and a larger head. They come in three color classifications: Caramel, Agouti, Black. Agouti, if you don’t know, means that each hair has bands of at least two separate pigments on each strand, though it can be more. This produces a somewhat speckled appearance to the fur.
In those three main color classifications, there are seven recognized color variations. The accepted breed standard colorings are brown agouti, grey agouti, black agouti, solid black, black with white markings, caramel with black markings, and caramel with brown markings.
American Pygmy Goat Behavior
These goats love jumping and climbing. They are very playful, quite social, and are known for being friendly and also curious creatures. This curiosity is where they get their reputation for eating everything. While they do eat a wide variety of plants and grains, the reason they nibble things is actually their investigation technique. They bite things to find out the nature of them.
American Pygmy Goat Habitat
Goats are very adaptable creatures, so they can easily live in many different habitats and climates. Though in the United States they are often found on farmland, their native roaming grounds tend to be rocky hillsides and grassy plains. Any terrain with both rocks and edible grasses, which also has a nearby water source, is ideal for goats to thrive.
American Pygmy Goat Diet
Their primary diet consists of green grasses and grains, but they also eat things like apples and carrots. They do well with hay, alfalfa, chaff, corn, and other grains, with some mint and fenugreek for variety.
American Pygmy Goat Predators and threats
The main animals from which pygmy goats, and baby pygmy goats, in particular, are at risk are coyotes and dogs. Due to a baby goat’s small size, and depending on where the goat lives, it may fall victim to bobcats, birds of prey, and foxes.
American Pygmy Goat Reproduction and Life Cycle
Though most farmers don’t breed them until they reach about one year of age, an American Pygmy Goat can reach sexual maturity as early as two months of age. These animals have a gestation period of around five months or about 150 days. Unlike many other species, American pygmy goats can breed year-round. These goats have one to four baby goats or “kids” per live birth. Until the kids are weaned, the mother spends several weeks raising them. The mothers care for their young without fatherly assistance. American Pygmy Goats have a lifespan of up to 12 years.
American Pygmy Goat Population
Because these goats are often found in zoos and on farms, their population appears to be thriving and has not been assessed for risk. Their exact population in the wild is unknown, but in the United States, they are found on many farms and in zoos all across the country.