the mini goats can keep the mini ponies company
March 2, 2009 9:59 PM   Subscribe

"It's going to sound weird, but she is my kid. I'm going to fight to keep her," Kevin said. "She's second-generation. Her mom was a house goat."

The Krug family of South Milwaukee is fighting to get an exotic animal permit for their suburban housepet, a 50 lb, 18 inch high Nigerian Pygmy goat.

According to the US National Pygmy Goat Association: "The Pygmy Goat is hardy, alert and animated, good-natured and gregarious; a docile, responsive pet, a cooperative provider of milk, and an ecologically effective browser." Pygmy goats have a small but dedicated following as both housepets and show animals, and are also thought to be excellent companions for horses. Pygmy goat associations exist in Canada and Great Britain. Smaller regional clubs exist in Nevada, Colorado, North Carolina, New Mexico, and Oregon (but not Wisconsin) - local dwarf goat groups may be a better place to ask about the legality of a house goat in the suburbs than a livestock breeder.

Originally imported from Africa between 1930 and 1960, pygmy goats include both achondroplastic dwarfs (forming the foundation for African Pygmy Goats) and pituitary hypoplastic dwarfs (forming the foundation for Nigerian Dwarf Goats).

Pygmy goats have also been crossbred to create mini dairy goats, and mini fainting goats.
posted by grippycat (36 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
"Kid" can mean "young goat," not just "young human," get it?!
posted by paisley henosis at 10:03 PM on March 2, 2009

Holy crap the kid in the second video is so cute! Lookitit jumping!
posted by paisley henosis at 10:04 PM on March 2, 2009

Shirley, you kid.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:14 PM on March 2, 2009

It's probably quieter, friendlier, and nicer smelling than most people's ragged-ass dogs.
posted by bardic at 10:16 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

The city and the Krugs have been butting heads since December
I'm no bleating heart, but I kinda hope they win
the doctor has since died (no, nothing related to goats or house-pet chimpanzees gone wild)

posted by CitrusFreak12 at 10:16 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

I don't understand pet differentiation. My sister lives in an apartment complex where folks are allowed to have up to 3 cats (no larger than 20 lbs each) but no dogs at all, even little tiny ones.

If this goat is smaller than a great dane, and is not illegal or is an endangered species, then what does it matter if it is a 50 lb goat, a 50 lb dog, or a 50 lb pig? If the family lives in a house on an acre corner lot, that sure sounds like plenty of room for one small goat or one medium dog.

In the LA area, folks/landowners pay good money to have a herd of goats show up to do weed abatement. Maybe Gigi should go help out the neighbors with lawn care.
posted by msjen at 10:17 PM on March 2, 2009

My daughter found an old male pygmy goat last year, wandering around in the road near the ranch where she rides horses. We put up signs, but nobody claimed him. He was a sweet old guy, would gently butt his head on you, like a cat does, rubbing affectionately. He was completely unafraid, and really wanted to come inside the house. It was clear he was a house-goat.

We had him only a few days, and my wife was taking him for a walk with the two dogs - yes, really - when the poor old thing had a seizure. She carried him home in her arms, but he didn't last long after that.

Goats are pretty intelligent, gregarious creatures. I don't know about keeping them inside, though, can they be house trained?
posted by Xoebe at 10:17 PM on March 2, 2009 [3 favorites]

My disgust for punny writers aside, this is a good post. I've never put much thought in goats before this.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 10:30 PM on March 2, 2009

It's probably quieter, friendlier, and nicer smelling than most people's ragged-ass dogs.

It's probably quieter, friendlier, and nicer-smelling than most people's children, for that matter.
posted by Rangeboy at 10:52 PM on March 2, 2009 [3 favorites]

Wiconsin - nanny state.
posted by tellurian at 10:57 PM on March 2, 2009

Goats are excellent. I make soap from their milk, from some local farmers. It rocks.

Am probably going to get a few does of my own next year, but they're not going to be pets, at least not indoor. Not sure if they'll be pygmies, either, though there are a lot of breeders of many types here.

"My sister lives in an apartment complex where folks are allowed to have up to 3 cats (no larger than 20 lbs each) but no dogs at all, even little tiny ones."

Dogs bark. Even tiny ones, which sometimes can be worse. Full disclosure: I own a small dog and a cat, but not in an apartment. That weight requirement is a bit odd. I wonder if they'd weigh a really fat cat to be sure you're within regs. And then there's the fallout if you fail. How would you explain getting evicted because your cat was too heavy?
posted by krinklyfig at 10:58 PM on March 2, 2009

I wonder if they'd weigh a really fat cat to be sure you're within regs.

And what if they move in under 20 pounds, but put on weight? What if the cat lady across the hall is always feeding them?
posted by jacalata at 11:05 PM on March 2, 2009

Oh, sad.

My friends are in a similar situation. They have the sweetest little goat, Vera. Vera's very much like a dog. She absolutely loves poeple, and adores being the center of attention. She was the ringbearer at their wedding, and she was so good. She didn't eat any of the flowers or anything.

Unfortunately, even though she's universally loved by her neighbors and had a nice heated enclosure (that she shared with chickens, ducks, and geese) she isn't allowed to stay at her home because hooved mammals cannot be kept within the Minnapolis city limits. Even the horses for the carriages and the mounted police have to live in Saint Paul.

So sadly, Vera can't live with her people. I miss her, even though she knocked me into a pile of goose crap.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:07 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

It's going to sound weird, but she is my kid.

Actually, I can definitely see the family resemblance. He's got his momma's eyes, and his daddy's chin.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:14 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Looking at Kevin Krug, I can easily believe the goat is his kid.
posted by orthogonality at 11:22 PM on March 2, 2009

I tell ya, kids these days.
posted by ooga_booga at 11:56 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

I don't know about keeping them inside, though, can they be house trained?

I've heard that it's possible to pee train them, but that poo isn't something they really can control.

But if this Nigerian Pygmy goat really can be house-trained, then I'm on the verge of becoming a local character in my LA apartment building. Because the next time I'm drunk and on Petfinder, I will have no real reason to not adopt a rescue goat.
posted by MrPants5000 at 12:13 AM on March 3, 2009

I already checked my municipal code - goats are a no-no. Lucky for my neighbors I guess - of course I want a balcony goat, but even two-thirds of an acre of fenced-in goatspace is better than a dog crate in a condo.
posted by grippycat at 12:55 AM on March 3, 2009

And what if they move in under 20 pounds, but put on weight?

And what if you have two cats and one of them loves to eat and is more aggressive and if you don't put out enough food the other one doesn't get to eat and the fatty gets to 22 pounds?!

I no longer have either of these cats and this still upsets me somehow.
posted by flaterik at 1:12 AM on March 3, 2009


Seriously. A pet pygmy goat. Yes.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:21 AM on March 3, 2009

Hey, sweet! The San Francisco Health Code strongly implies that you're allowed to keep up to two goats:

It shall be unlawful to construct and maintain a stable, or to maintain an existing stable for one or more horses, donkeys, mules, cows, goats or livestock without a permit therefor from the Department of Public Health. The provisions of this Section and the provisions of Part II, Chapter I, of the Municipal Code shall not apply in cases where not more than two female goats are kept for the exclusive use of the owner's family.

And up to four animals in general, including chickens. Sometimes I really like living in SF, although I have yet to take advantage of these provisions.
posted by alexei at 1:38 AM on March 3, 2009

More caprine puns: Goats do Roam
posted by MuffinMan at 1:58 AM on March 3, 2009

Anyone else hand-raised a goat? I have, around 1987-88 or so. Nubian, wether (castrated), dehorned. He was a pretty nice goat. I bottle-fed him from birth. We had a friend who raised goats, one of his does didn't want to feed her kids so we took one and raised him ourselves. My sister showed him at fair, even won a blue ribbon. She was thrilled until she realized half the people there wanted to buy him for meat.

My one experience with bringing him inside (during a storm, when he was only a few months old) is that even a small goat can make a lot of poop very quickly. I'd never try to keep a goat indoors. Second thing to remember with goats is that the horns have scent glands near the base. Males freakin' STINK if those glands aren't removed. It's a thick, greasy sticky scent that hangs in the air like three months worth of rancid ass. Take the pungent musk of a very good goat cheese and multiply it by a million, that's male goat scent. Once you smell it you'll never forget it.

We were lucky enough to live out in the country, and our goat had free roam of a large dog pen. Later, he moved to the farm. My dad is a high school principal, in charge of the farm owned by the school system. We kept our horse at the school farm, and moved the goat there to keep her company. She and the goat got along fine. I used to play a game with the goat when I went to feed them in the morning; I would put my hand on his head and push using my entire body. Sometimes I could back him up a foot or so if his hooves slipped, but more often than not he'd shove me backwards instead. Me using my whole body, him using just his neck muscles. Man.

Our goat died at a ripe old age of ~14-15 or so. Poor goat. The horse is still there, though. My dad thinks the horse must be around 40 by now. (She's half pony. I don't ask for ponies at MeFi, because I kind of already have one. Ponies sound nice, until you realize how much poop one pony makes, and that you have to clean it up.)

So yeah, that's my goat story. We had some good times - he butted Grandma off the porch once, bucked my cousin off when she tried to ride him, was generally good-natured but still I wouldn't recommend a goat as a pet, not if you live indoors anyway. They need room to roam, and poop. We tend to keep carnivores as pets because most carnivores won't shit where they eat.
posted by caution live frogs at 5:57 AM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]

I haven't gon e through all the links, so I don't know if anyone's addressed how loud goats can be. I had one years ago, and he was cute and lovable and friendly as all get out, and I'd love to have another, but that dude could bleat up a storm. Since he was my goat, I thought it was cute, but I certainly wouldn't have to live in close proximity to someone else's bleating goat.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:32 AM on March 3, 2009

I have 3 Nigerian Dwarves (2 does and a wether) that I hand-raised from the time they were 1-2 weeks of age and they think I'm their mom. Having these guys around is a lot like having your own circus and they do make nice pets, for the OUTDOORS.

The little guys are poop and piss factories.
posted by buggzzee23 at 6:33 AM on March 3, 2009

What ass backwards idiot projects their feelings on to a goat like that?
posted by Burhanistan at 6:36 AM on March 3, 2009

Whee, goat thread! I raised this little dude (spanish/boer cross) after his mom rejected him, along with about twenty other kids over the summers I used to spend at my dad's during kidding season. Aside from being kind of adorable, they bond to you like crazy if you're their only source of food and attention. Some of them cry like puppies when you shut the gate or the stall door and leave them behind. And they stay bonded to you even when you put them back with the herd—I can only imagine what they'd be like if you didn't make them be goats again.

Which is in part to say that though it might take a certain kind of mindset to start out as a goat owner, in the end it's not that much different from bonding with a dog.
posted by felix grundy at 6:54 AM on March 3, 2009

Growing up, one of my neighbors had a goat. Apparently, their bleating can sound a lot like a crying child, which caused many nights of my mom running upstairs to comfort me even though I was fast asleep.
posted by Ruki at 7:36 AM on March 3, 2009

Maybe it's something about living in Wisconsin, because we've been wanting a house goat for a while. We won't get one because we have too many other animals as it is, and a goat would deserve a level of attention that we just can't afford to offer a new pet right now.

But one day, when I'm retired and have a hobby farm...
posted by quin at 8:14 AM on March 3, 2009

It's probably quieter, friendlier, and nicer smelling than most people's ragged-ass dogs.

Certainly nicer smelling than most people's ragged ass-dogs.
posted by kingbenny at 9:14 AM on March 3, 2009


I kid. I kid.
posted by greekphilosophy at 9:23 AM on March 3, 2009

Damn it. I don't need this post! I've been trying to convince myself not to get a goat for months now.
posted by cmoj at 10:01 AM on March 3, 2009

You definitely shouldn't get a goat, cmoj. You should totally ignore their sweet little faces and their adorable tiny hooves, and certainly don't imagine how cute one would be, sitting next to your kitchen table, quietly nosing at you to give it some food. Or maybe gently butting your knee reminding you that it needed some serious scratching behind its ears.

/devil on your shoulder.
posted by quin at 10:08 AM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

They have a table built into their sofa. Sweet.
posted by Evangeline at 10:45 AM on March 3, 2009

posted by mudpuppie at 10:55 AM on March 3, 2009 [3 favorites]

Heavy Petting
posted by tellurian at 9:32 PM on March 5, 2009

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