If you are thinking of venturing into goat farming, then you definitely need to know how many goats you can keep per acre. This will help you to maximize production by ensuring that your animals get enough forage. Below we discuss specifically about pygmy goats.
What Are Pygmy Goats?
They are a domestic breed of goats that originated in West Africa but can now be found in many parts of the world. They are 20 inches high and that is why they were given the nickname dwarf goats. Their weight ranges from 35 to 60 pounds and they can be found in a variety of colors. These animals can be used for both meat and milk production. They also consume less forage as compared to other goat varieties.
How Many Pygmy Goats Per Acre
The general rule of the thumb is that 8 to 10 pygmy goats per acre browsing for 2 months. However, this rule does not consider other factors that can influence or affect the availability of pastures in that area. Below we take a look at some of the factors you need to consider before settling on keeping 8 to 10 pygmy goats on an acre of land.
Factors To Consider
This is one of the most important things you need to consider before deciding how many pygmy goats you can keep on an acre of land. If you live in an area that has fertile soils and rich soils then that means you can keep more than 8 goats at a time. However, if you live in an area that does not have favorable pastures then you might need to reduce the numbers.
Maturity Or Age
Mature pygmy goats will consume more forage as compared to baby goats. Therefore, if you are keeping baby pygmy goats you might need to keep more than 10 on an acre of land since they won’t be competing intensively for the pastures.
Another important factor to consider is the diet you are giving to your animals. If you are a farmer who is using supplements like grains or concentrates then that means your pygmy goats will consume less grass. This means an acre of land might be able to fit more than 8 goats provided you are using supplementary feeds. However, if the animals are mainly relying on grass as their main source of feed then they will need more land in order to survive.
The grazing method you use also helps to determine how many pygmy goats you can keep on an acre of land. If you are some who is practicing rotational grazing then there is a good chance that 8 to 10 pygmy goats will fit on an acre of land for 2 months. However, if you practice continuous grazing an acre will not be enough. This is because, the animals will overgraze the area which in turn affects or slows down the growth of vegetation. Therefore, always make sure you divide your land into paddocks and practice rotational grazing.
Disadvantages Of Having More Than 10 Pygmy Goats On An Acre Of Land
The disadvantage of keeping more than 10 pygmy goats on an acre of land is that there could be overgrazing of vegetation. This means that your vegetation will take longer to regrow and in some cases this could force your goats to starve, especially if you are not offering them any supplements. Grass usually takes a total of 30 days to regrow however, if it has been overgrazed it can take 50 to 60 days to regrow. Therefore, it’s wise to always practice rotational grazing in order to avoid overgrazing.
What Is The Best Fence For Pygmy Goats?
Pygmy goats are known to be notorious animals that can escape and wonder off into the forest even though they are very vulnerable to predators. The best fencing you can use for these animals is mash wire. This is because they cannot easily pass through it. Electric fences can be used however, they need to have a very high shock level this is because pygmy goats usually ignore and escape from paddocks that have electric fences with a low shock level.
Do Pygmy Goats Jump Fences?
The height of the fence will determine whether your pygmy goats will be able to jump over it. If your fence is very low than there is a good chance that they will escape. It’s important that you erect long fences so that your animals do not escape and also so that predators may not enter inside.
Can Goats Survive On Just Grass?
Yes, goats can survive on just grass. This is because more than 50% of their diet is supposed to be made up of grass. This is mainly because it can easily be digested by the rumen. Goats that rely on grains usually succumb to bloat which can lead to death when not treated.
How Do I Stop My Pygmy Goats From Escaping?
The best way to stop your pygmy goats from escaping is to erect a fence and fencing posts. This will help to ensure that the goats stay within the set parameters. Furthermore, it helps to ensure that they do not get attacked by predators.
Do Pygmy Goats Need Baking Soda?
Yes, pygmy goats need baking soda. This is because it helps to prevent bloating. When offering baking soda to pygmy goats you should offer it on a free choice basis. This is because these animals are very clever and know when and when not to consume baking soda.
You can keep a maximum of 8 to 10 pygmy goats per acre for 2 months provided you have enough pastures. It is worth noting that pygmy goats that rely on grass only are most likely to consume more vegetation as compared to those that are offered supplements. Therefore, before deciding on how many goats you want to keep you should research on the type of feed you want to opt for.