1984 - Volume #8, Issue #4, Page #18[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Pygmy Goats Make Profitable Pets
As the name implies, these animals are the miniatures of the goat breeds. Now registered as a true breed, the tiny animals are believed to have evolved in a part of Africa where a shortage of feed favored small animals. They stand less than two feet in height at the withers.
Pygmy goats have been popular in California for some time, but they have only recently been introduced to the Midwest and East. One of their strong promoters is Bob Trusner, who lives near Harristown, Ill. He's raised them for four years and now has a herd of about 20 on his small acreage. He's a board member of the National Pygmy Goat Association, president of the Midwest Pygmy Goat Club, and chairman of the Pygmy goat division of the Illinois State Fair.
Says Trusner, "They're in great demand for pets and 4-H projects. They're great little animals for someone with a small acreage who wants to have some domestic animals around. Some people say they make good meat (it tastes something like veal), and some are good milk producers."
Pygmies are a separate breed and do not resemble dairy goats in coloration and markings. To be registered with the Pygmy breed association, which has more than 5,000 registered Pygmies on file, they must have four feet darker in color than the rest of the body, a dorsal stripe from head to tail that is darker than the body, and ears, eyes, and nose lighter than the body color. Mature bucks must not exceed 23.6 in. in height, and mature does must not exceed 22 in.
Pygmy goats come in a variety of colors ù black, white, caramel, and agouti. Trusner explains that agouti, the most common and popular color, is a mixture of black and white hairs that produces a salt-and-pepper color.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, National Pygmy Goat Association, Lucy Hulse, Executive Secretary, Fern Ave., Rt. 1, Amesbury, Mass. 01913 (ph 617 388-5633).
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