Hey guys, in this post, we are going to consider whether or not pygmy goats can be milked. In one of our posts, we talked about the usefulness of the pygmy goat as companion animals, and now let us help you find out if your pygmy is useful in the milk farm.
Although the pygmy goat breeds are classified as meat goats, they are to a large extent, good milk producers too. So, YES! Pygmy goats can be milked. We will, in this article, be explaining in detail, how you can maximize the milk-producing capacity of your pygmy goats.
Because of their smallness in size, only a little space is required to raise relatively much of them, still having fresh, creamy milk to produce amongst other things.
Asides this, milk from the pygmy goats have a high percentage of butterfat and this makes their milk to be really tasty, more than those from goats of many other breeds.
How Much Milk Can a Pygmy Goat Produce?
- Unlike traditional milk goats, the pygmy goats have a shorter milking period – 120 to 180 days.
- According to a reliable source, the Pygmy goats can generate, on normal conditions, between one and two litres size of milk containing up to 4.5% to as high as 11% butterfat. This means you can count on it for good cheese.
But their milking period is also briefer than the regular dairy goats, producing milk for only 120 to 180 days of the year.”
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Looking at these shortcomings as well as the strengths, one may be moved to ask if there are other breeds good enough for milk among other benefits.
Factors That Influence Milk Production in Pygmy Goats
The major factor that influences milk production in pygmy goat is the udder size and this is affected by:
- Age of the pygmy goat
- Weight of the pygmy.
There are other goat breeds that can yield reasonable to high amount of milk as well as milk that has really great qualities ranging from their taste to the richness of their butterfat content.
Below are some examples.
|Breed||Average production (kg/lactation)||Milk fat (%)|
Other Goat Breeds That Can Be Raised For Their Milk
The French Alpine goats are one of the most popular breeds of goats raised for their milk. They produce up to 1 to 2 gallons of milk in a day. It has high butterfat content of 3.5% and as such, it is suitable for making of products like butter, ice cream, cheese, etc.
These wonderful breeds of goats are of Spanish origin. Beyond their milk productivity, LaMancha goats are also raised highly as companion goats.
Their milk has high butterfat concentration of up to 4.2%. This makes them useful in the production of cheese, butter and ice cream.
Nubian goats are of English origin. They were first raised in England in the 1920s – 1930s. It is noteworthy that Nubian goats have one the highest fat content compared to the other goat breeds, having a much as up to 5% butterfat. They yield between half and one and a half gallons of milk daily, and in addition, they can give out milk all year round.
In terms of size, the Nubian goats are the largest dairy goats across the globe. Actually, Nubians are meat goats.
Saanen goats can produce up to a gallon of milk on a daily basis with a fat content of up to 3% on average. Saanen breeds are also raised as pets and can be raised for meat. Saanen is the biggest dairy breed. Males can grow to be over 200 pounds. They can have 1 gallon of milk every day. This milk will generally contain 2.5 – 3% of fat.
The Toggenburg breeds are one of the oldest known breeds of goats originally discovered in the early to middle 1600s. They are easily recognized by their full beards and a straight face.
They have a relatively low butterfat content of slightly above 3% (about 3.3%) and this means their milk is preferred by people with high lactose intolerance.
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Milk from Oberhasli goats is also less creamy and yields up to 3.5 to 3.6% butterfat. Even though they can give up to 0.5 to 1.5 gallons of milk in a day, Obersalis do not produce milk all year round.
One thing about milk from the Swiss Oberhasli goat is its sweetness.
Because the goats are small in size, they can also serve for a companion animal. They are sometimes referred to as Swiss Alpine goats.
Nigerian Dwarf Goats
The Nigeria Dwarf goats, like the Pygmy goats, are almost half the size of traditional goats. If your interest is to produce your own milk at home, this breed is a good choice.
Milk from the Nigerian dwarf goats have a very high butterfat percentage and it ranges from 6% to about 10%. The milk also has high protein content. Nigerian Dwarf goats can produce between one and two gallons o milk daily. The average 23 inches Nigerian Dwarf goats are friendly and can be good for pets, especially if they are properly trained.
These breeds are linked with Saanen goats. Lighter colored ones are actually Saanen goats. They produce up to a gallon of milk in a day with three to four percent butterfat.
Sable goats weigh as much as 145 pounds and can be as tall as 31 inches.
The unusual color patterns of Sables is also a notable feature.
English Guernsey Goats
The Golden Guernsey, as it is often referred to, is prominent for its adorable golden color.
The Guernsey goat breeds are the smallest in size in the category of medium-sized milk goats. Even though it is illegal to import golden Guernsey in the United States, they are good dairy goats producing up to 3.2kg of milk daily. The butterfat content of this milk is 3.7%.
Guernseys are of English origin and derive their name from the Guernsey Island.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now let us look at some of the other related questions people might tend to ask.
Do Pygmy goats make good pets?
It is no breaking news that goats are making waves in the pet world, and yes, pygmy goats are one of the best goat breeds in the companionship challenge.
Because of their miniature size and friendliness, a lot of people tend to prefer pygmy goats for pets as opposed to many other breeds.
When it comes to pets, the world is evolving. People are trying out other animals apart from the traditional companion animals like the dogs and the cats.
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How often do you milk a pygmy goat?
It is important to note that although their Nigerian dwarf goat counterparts require milking two to three times every day, the pygmy goats will be very much okay with being milked once in a day.
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Are pygmy goats hard to care for?
Most animals have their care requirements and if you can be able to understand those requirements, caring for them becomes less tedious. This is no lesser truth for the pygmy goats. They are easy to care for and do not require much.
They are also good backyard pets and should not be raised as indoor pets anyways.
The beautiful thing about pygmies is that if they can get proper shelter, the can survive and thrive in almost any kind of climate.
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What is the size of a pygmy goat?
Pygmy goats are known to be one of the smallest breeds of goats in the world.
The range from 15 to 20 inches in size and weigh between 30-50 pounds for the females and 40 to 60 pounds for the males.
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What is the lifespan of a pygmy goat?
On average, the lifespan of a pygmy goat is 15 years.
Pygmies do not enjoy as much long life as other bigger goat breeds. They can live between 12 and 15 years.
Other Facts About Pygmy Goats
- People have been raising Pygmy goats as pets for nearly 7500 years.
- Pygmy goats can readily be found in petting zoos due to their small size and because they are friendly and also love company.
- Besides the internet sensation, because of their so much love for climbing, pygmy goats are sometimes used for what is now known as “goat yoga”.
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- According to Wikipedia, they are also referred to as African Pygmy and they are different from the British Pygmies.
- The American Pygmy goats are classified as meat goats. This means the traditional intention for rearing them was actually for their meat.
- People are familiar with pygmy goats because of their meat and also their characteristics as pet animals and for entertainment. But here is one other thing: Pygmy goats are known to produce a high amount of antibodies and are therefore used for research purposes. Click here to learn more.
There are a whole lot of interesting things about the pygmy goats regardless of their small-sized nature. I, personally, have a liking for this amazing goat breed.
If the challenge you face in wanting to have a goat farm or probably having some goats around is space, then no doubt, the American pygmy goat is one of the best choices of breeds you can get. Also, you are going to have a lot of fun.