Housing
Many new or prospective goat owners get very stressed about housing their goats. Don’t !
It is not difficult, doesn’t have to be expensive and only really has to adhere to a few basic rules. The first and most important rule is that your goats feel safe, secure and comfortable. This means most importantly, dry. Pygmy goats detest being wet. Therefore during the daytime they need to be able to get out of the rain, whether you allow or are able to allow access to their goat shed during the daytime is directly down to your situation and preference but they do need to be able to get out of the rain, so a day shelter may be more appropriate.
In order for them to be comfortable they also need to be in a shed that is draught free, please note that there is a requirement for good ventilation but draughts will make the goats feel uncomfortable. So the goats have to feel safe and secure. The shed has to be dry and draught free, but well ventilated. Everything else is down to your discretion.

Some goat keepers have stone built sheds, some wooden. Some goat keepers have individual “bedrooms” some communal. Some keepers put straw down as bedding, some wood chips, some use rubber matting.
Some keepers muck out, clean and disinfect each day (if using the matting) some weekly, and some use a deep litter technique only fully cleaning and disinfecting a few times each year.
 
Hayracks
Your goats should have access to hay, held up from the ground in hayracks. Height isn’t critical for these but advice offered suggest that you don’t fix your hayracks too high, make them accessible so that your goats don’t have to look up at them and get hayseeds in their eye’s.

Most important, if you decide to breed your goats with put some form of top on your hayracks, your kids will inevitably jump on top of them, without a sturdy top they are liable to get their legs stuck.

Fencing
A well-fenced space for pygmy goats to run in, play and call their own is essential. They like to feel secure. However all pygmy goats are directly descended from Houdini! They can squeeze through the smallest holes and jump reasonably well.  They also like to rub themselves against the perimeter of their paddock almost grooming themselves. This activity quickly exposes weak links in any wire fencing.

Ideally fencing should be as secure (and high) as you can afford. At least 1.5m high is required. Post and three rail fencing covered in wire mesh would be suitable (the heavy gauge mesh preferably, chain link or heavy gauge sheep fencing will also do. I have heavy gauge sheep fencing with two strands of barbed wire above this and this continues to keep my goats both safe and in.

                         

We would warn any prospective keeper to not try and save money by using pig wire rather than sheep. It is cheaper but should you choose to breed Pygmy goats you will find that a kid quite easily fits comfortably through the holes in the mesh. I can tell you from experience, they quite enjoy the game of jumping through the fence to nibble the ‘best’ (supposedly) browse whilst they mothers fret from behind the fence line unable to get to them and protect them.

Whilst this may be amusing to watch, they soon get a little too big to get through the fencing, running the risk of hurting themselves and, more importantly, when little and outside the boundary of the paddock or goat pen they are also outside of the herd protection and far more liable to predation. A fox would think very little of pouncing on this opportunity. So fore warned is for-armed. Don’t scrimp on fencing and your goats will thank you and you can leave them in their pen secure in the knowledge that your precious herd is a safe as you could make them. 

Copyright ©2017 UK Pygmy Goat Society
Designed & Developed by DPStar Webs