Goats are unique and adorable pets that you can keep as a pet due to their ability to form close bonds with their owners. Furthermore, they are interesting, personable, and easy to handle. They also don’t need a lot of feed and space to stay healthy and happy.
The small goat breeds are a perfect pet option for a young family that wants to add goats to their homestead. This is because they will give you all the benefits you will get from a large goat without building a full farm to raise them. This also include long lifespan.
Nowadays, miniature goats are gaining popularity with many families primarily because of their size.
This article lists some of the top small goat breeds that you can keep as a pet.
- What Are Small Goat Breeds?
- Things To Add In Your Homestead Before Adding Goats
- TOP 10 Small Goat Breeds That Stay Small/You Can Keep as Pets
- Is All Goat Breeds Friendly with Kids?
- Can You Keep All Goat Breeds As Pets
- Wrapping Up
What Are Small Goat Breeds?
Small goat breeds are known as goat breeds that stay small even at full maturity. Their size means that they will take less space, and you need less feed to raise them. Here is a list of the top ten small goat breeds that you can keep as a pet.
- Nigerian Dwarf
- Mini Myotonics (mini fainting goats)
- Miniature Silky Fainting Goats
- Nubian Dwarf Goats or Mini Nubians
- Mini Guernseys
- Mini Lamanchas
The best thing about keeping small goat breeds is that you can encourage your kids to help out with farm chores.
Things To Add In Your Homestead Before Adding Goats
You will need to provide some basic things for your goats as a beginner pet owner to make them happy and healthy. Some of them are stated below.
Like other pets, goats require a shelter where they can escape from elements like rain, wind, and snow. You can keep small goat breeds in a barn shed or lean. You can also keep small goat breeds in a dog house or plastic igloo.
The igloo is perfect for a large number of goat kids because they love climbing inside and cuddling up on chilly evenings.
You will need to provide your goat with a good diet to keep them healthy. The main diet of goats is alfalfa hay, and you can feed it along with grain for kids and breeding goats.
It is ideal for providing your goat with a place for them to graze. The best thing about choosing miniature goat breeds is that you do not need to have a big browsing area, unlike the case of full-sized goats.
No matter the breed of goat or even any animal you are keeping, you always need to provide them with fresh and clean water. Furthermore, you need to ensure there is more than one water source around their shelter to make water available to them when needed.
TOP 10 Small Goat Breeds That Stay Small/You Can Keep as Pets
Pygmy goats are a more popular miniature goat breed kept as pets than dairy all over the world. The best thing is that they are adaptable to most climates and they have a friendly personality. An adult pygmy goat is slightly smaller than a Golden Retriever.
They grow to about 16-23 inches tall and weigh about 55-85 pounds. They have a stocky and well-muscled shape with short legs. Their body is covered with a coat of straight, medium, or long hair, and the males usually have a full beard with a cape-like mane.
Pygmy goats are a calm and submissive breed which makes them a perfect addition to your family homestead. Although pygmies are kept as pets, they can still produce enough milk for a small household.
Pygmies are available in seven colors which means you can choose one that suits you.
Both the Nigerian dwarf goat and the Pygmy goat came to the US around the same time, and many usually thought they are the same breed. Nigerian dwarf is usually about 17-21 inches tall with an average weight of around 65-70 pounds.
Unlike Pygmies with a keg on legs shape, Nigeria dwarf has a finer bone with longer legs and has a long and elegant neck. Another thing is that they have larger and easier to milk teats. Furthermore, they can produce around 1-2 quarts of milk a day.
The milk produced by Nigerian dwarfs usually has a higher protein and butterfat than most of the larger dairy goat breeds. Nigerian dwarf goat has numerous purposes like show goats, pets, 4H projects, and even a milk goat.
The best thing is that well-natured personality, and it is fun to have on the farm.
In 1988, the Livestock Conservancy declared the Myotonic goat breed as an endangered breed. However, these goats can grow to around 17-25 inches tall and weigh about 70-150 pounds. They are usually muscular and wide in proportion to their height.
Myotonic goats usually feature short hair on their body, but some can have a longer and thicker coat. They are available in a wide range of colors, markings, and patterns, making them an ideal pet to keep at home.
Furthermore, they have a friendly personality which makes them easy to care for. However, Myotonic goat breeds are more popular for their meat than most other breeds known for their milk.
The Pygora goat breed was formed as a result of the cross-breeding of pygmy and angora. Pygora are known as fiber goats, and they produce stunning fleece. The length of Pygora is usually the same from the top of withers to the base of the tail.
Pygoras features a wide range of coat colors which range from caramels to solid white. They are usually around 19-27 inches tall (does – buck respectively) and weigh about 75 pounds.
Pygora goat breeds are used for producing either Cashmere type fleece or Mohair type fleece, or the combination. One of the best things about Pygora is its small size which makes it an ideal pet for a young family.
Kinder goat breed is a dual-purpose breed perfect for both milk and meat production. Kinder is a cross between Pygmy buck and a Nubian doe, and the breed originated in Washington in 1986. They usually have long ears extending to the end of the muzzle if held flat against the jawline.
When compared to other dairy breeds, kinder has a muscular personality. They can grow to around 20-28 inches tall and weigh about 115-150 pounds. People love them because they are alert, prolific, and gregarious animals.
The kind is a gentle goat which makes it an ideal goat breed to add to your homestead.
Nigora is a goat breed formed by the crossing of an Angora and a Nigerian dwarf. Nigora is available in different colors and patterns, and it has a fluffy coat. They have upright or floppy ears, and their legs are long.
Nigora can grow to around 21-24 inches tall. You will love to keep Nigora goat breeds as a pet because they are sweet-natured and easy to handle. They are also fun to be around, and if you can teach your kids the do’s and don’t of handling pets, they will love this goat breed.
Miniature Silky Fainting Goats
The miniature silky fainting goats are also called the mini silkies. They are regarded by many to be the cutest goats that you can see. You will be stunned by their sweeping floor-length coats and bangs that even conceal their eyes.
The mini silkies are a relatively new goat breed as they originated in 2003, and many people are trying to get them. Mini silkies have erect ears with long bangs, and their eyes are either blue or brown.
The main purpose of this dog breed is purely decorative as the breed standards are about their look. Mini silkies are usually not bigger than a Beagle as they grow to around 22. 24 inches tall.
Nubian Dwarf Goats or Mini Nubians
Nubians originate from England, and they are called Anglo-Nubians. However, the Nubian dwarf goat breed originates from West Africa, and they are like the full-sized Nubian goat but in a cute little size. Nubian dwarfs are usually shorter than 22-23 inches.
One of the best things about this goat breed is their nice butterfat content in their milk, making the taste mouth-watering. Although they have a lovely temperament, they can be quite loud. You should consider this before you decide to buy them if you have nearby neighbors.
Furthermore, they are friendly animals, and it is among the most popular goat breeds kept as a pet. The amazing thing about this goat breed is that they love eating all the time and will try to be always near you if you are the one feeding them.
The mini guernseys are mainly reared for their milk, and they are medium in size. They are usually about 27-29 inches tall. Furthermore, they have erect ears with slightly upturned ear tips.
Mini guernseys have shades of gold in their hair color. You will also love their skin color, which is in golden shades, and it ranges from peachy-flesh to orange-gold. They are an ideal pet for the family homestead because of the docile and friendly personality.
Mini LaMancha is among the most famous miniature dairy goat breeds all over the world. The goat breed was developed in North America. You will love this goat breed as their small and glossy hair is available in a wide range of color combinations.
Mini LaMancha has short ears, and there are rings of skin around the ear opening. This is a unique feature that makes it easy to identify them anywhere in the world. Mini LaMancha are usually around 28-29 inches tall.
You will love the friendly personality of mini LaMancha, which makes it a perfect pet that you can keep at home. You will also find their milk tasty, and it has about 4% butterfat.
Is All Goat Breeds Friendly with Kids?
Although many think that goats are farm animals, they will also make good pets. Most goat breeds are usually friendly with kids, so they are favorite for kids in petting zoos. Furthermore, goats are curious and friendly in nature which makes them fun companions.
Can You Keep All Goat Breeds As Pets
Goats have charming personalities, and they are an ideal companion for people and even other animals. Even the goat breeds that are used for milk or meat will make a wonderful pet.
However, you should keep in mind that goats are a big commitment and can be very time-consuming. Before you decide to buy any goat breed, you should consider your time, commitment, resources, knowledge, and facilities where you will care for them.
The bad side of keeping goats as pets is that they can be messy and are picky eaters. Furthermore, they love climbing and can be destructive if you allow them. However, you can keep this in check through effective management.
Before you decide to keep a goat as a pet, some of the things that you need to put into consideration are listed below:
- The local laws
- The size of the goat.
- Is there enough room for the goat to roam?
- Good fencing and food.
Goats are a wonderful and unique animal that you can keep as a pet. Although they are usually raised by many for their meat and milk, nowadays they are popularly raised as a pet. However, they are herd animals and prefer to live with companions.
Furthermore, small goat breeds are an ideal pet for you if you want to raise your kids around the livestock they can handle.