Dwarf goat: how to take good care of it?

After chickens, dwarf pigs and ponies, we can raise a dwarf goat in our gardens. It is quite obvious that not everyone can adopt a dwarf goat and that certain precautions have to be taken, and one should only start this enterprise with a perfect knowledge of the consequences, in the long term, linked to the insertion of a dwarf goat in a garden. It is essential, before anything else, to determine the behaviour of the dwarf goat, to be able to determine its needs and especially the mistakes not to be made with it. It is thus necessary to consider the preparation of the space before the arrival of your new outdoor animal.

A dwarf goat that has everything of a great

It should always be kept in mind that the dwarf goat is a farm animal, which as such has specific needs and will act in many ways like its big sister. However, some barriers have been jumped for this small animal which has gradually, over the course of its adaptation to the proximity of man, on living with him.

The dwarf goat is a small animal, ranging from 40 to 50 centimeters at the withers, the size of a dog of good height, with a weight between 12 and 20 kilograms for the goat, and 30 maximum for the billy goat.

The dwarf goat can, in many ways, be likened to a dog. Indeed, when your animal will be trained, it may show reactions similar to those of a dog, celebrating you when you approach, thus showing signs of affection. This animal seems to recognize its masters, which will delight both young and old. Being devoid of any aggressiveness, the dwarf goat will adapt very well to humans – as well as to children, under supervision all the same – but also to animals that do not present any danger to it.

The animal is both solitary and gregarious. Thus, there is no obligation for you to acquire several animals, even if the fact of owning two individuals will allow your animal not to get bored and therefore not to cry. Indeed, you will notice that your goats are very playful and that they develop a very formal group hierarchy, where the dominant/dominated relationship is very present.

It is therefore necessary to note that the dwarf goat is not the most constraining animal by its behavior, this one allowing a great flexibility, this one cohabiting very easily with other species of animals. The dwarf goat is a very dynamic animal which is often in movement and rests only little.

A habitat of reduced size?

Concerning your land, it must present certain characteristics that will allow your dwarf goat to live properly.

For optimal living conditions, the dwarf goat must have a space of at least 80m2 or even 120m2. It is here the space of your ground planted in grass. The dwarf goat being a ruminant, it would have only concrete for its personal use and that would not be taken into account when you will have as much space as you have available. The more space you can offer your dwarf goat, the happier it will be.

Dwarf goats in total freedom can be a real plague for your garden. Indeed, they do not make the difference between what is eaten and what should not be eaten: roses, trees, shrubs, plantations … Soon you may notice that your garden has changed its face, which may displease you. In only a fortnight, it can completely change the face of your garden, devastating it.

To avoid these misadventures, the simplest way is to fence off the space reserved for this small animal. To do so, nothing could be simpler than to fence – with square mesh – the whole space dedicated to it. For more security and to prevent your goat from trying to sneak past this mesh, you can install a small electric fence, like those made for dogs, which will allow you to keep your animal away from the fence.

Goats are relatively fearful of things they don’t know and may panic for no apparent reason. In such cases, it will prefer to take shelter. For this reason, it will certainly wish to take shelter. It is therefore necessary for her to have a hidden space reserved for her, in which she can very easily take shelter, but also spend the night while finding food.

This shelter can be purchased directly from the pet store. Of sufficient size it will be 2.50 meters high, 3.50 meters wide and 2 meters deep. So your pet will be able to rest and walk around without being cramped. Think of putting a door for the night, if you want them to sleep indoors.

The shelter should have a night corner, where you will have to put straw, to allow him to spend warm nights. It should also have hay available, which you will place in a rack with a water trough. Even though goats drink little and are usually satisfied with the water contained in the grass they eat, they can become thirsty when they eat hay.

Once this little cocoon is made, your dwarf goat will feel at home and have its landmarks out of sight. Remember to change the straw at least once a month for hygiene.

A minimum maintenance

Goats have few daily needs, making them relatively simple animals to maintain. The minimum you should have is grass, which she should find everywhere in your garden; hay, which she should necessarily find in her shelter, easily accessible to allow her to feed at night or when the grass is not abundant enough.

Straw is also necessary, because in addition to using it for sleeping, the dwarf goat can also enjoy it. For the essentials there is still clean and abundant water. It is indeed necessary, because your goat could not live without water.

For the surplus, it is necessary to know that goats are relatively greedy and that they appreciate to receive from time to time a small sweetness. It is necessary to note the fresh, cut and pitted fruits, but also the plants and shrubs that you will be able to prune for example when the pruning season arrives. Do not hesitate to give the leaves of your vegetable garden, if they are not treated. Cereals such as alfalfa can be given, but in very small quantities.

Not everything is good for your dwarf goat, so you have to take precautions with certain feeds.

Prohibited feeds

Dwarf goats need less energy intake than their big sisters, who are more able to make an effort and therefore have more energy intake. Therefore, certain foods are not recommended or even forbidden, as they can be potentially toxic for your dwarf goat.

Wheat, for example, can, in sufficient quantities, present a significant level of toxicity for your goat. This is why you should be careful not to give it any and avoid that it has access to the feed trough of other animals that would be led to consume it. Similarly, all processed products containing wheat are to be avoided, as is bread that could bring diseases to your animal.

Thuja, which has a relatively high level of toxicity, should be banned. You must not have access to a thuja and you must not give it freshly cut pieces after pruning, at the risk of finding your animal dead from intoxication.

These few precautions must be generalized and when you have a doubt about a food, prefer not to give it to him rather than to poison it. It is indeed a pity to lose your pet for a simple treat that she could have easily done without.

Remember to always be very vigilant about the food given to your pet by your children or neighbors, and don’t hesitate to warn them. Bread, which is often given out, can also be dangerous, keep it in mind.