The Pigmy Goats were first introduced to the Park in 1974 by Melanies father, Philip who was beginning to diversify and keep some other animals alongside the birds that complimented the Park. There are currently 4 Goats in the enclosure at the Park.
Pygmy goats are a small breed of domestic goat that originated from the Cameroon Valley of West Africa, from where they were imported into European Zoos in the 1950’s. They were eventually acquired by private breeders and quickly gained popularity as pets and exhibition animals due to their good-natured personalities, friendliness and hardy constitution. Today you can find them as house pets and at Parks such as Prinknash.
Although they produce a very large amount of milk for their size, and can be eaten, pygmy goats are not typically used for milk or meat, unlike larger dairy and meat goat breeds.
They are sometimes kept as pets in urban or suburban backyards as they are quite hardy and can adapt to virtually all climates. It is however still important to ensure that they are comfortable and warm during the winter months, and simple measures such as feeding them luke warm water and luke warm food and ensuring their living quarters are free from draughts can make for a much happier pygmy goat in the winter!
Their primary diet consists of greens and grains and they enjoy having items to jump and play on and may be able to leap onto small vehicles. They also need a companion that doesn't necessarily have to be another pigmy goat.
Pygmy goats are affectionate animals if treated with respect and can be trained, though it requires a lot of hard work!