Pygmy goat

Capra hircus

Pygmy goats are a small breed of domestic goat. Originally native to Southwest Asia, goats were domesticated 8,500 years ago for meat, milk and fiber and are now found all over the planet. Pygmy goats are native to West Africa and were brought to the United States in the 1950s for use in zoos and research.

Goat lingo

  • Bucks: males
  • Does: females
  • Kids: babies

Pygmy goat behavior and facts

  • Pygmy goats are friendly, resilient and intelligent. They make a good impression on zoo visitors who pet them.
  • Males produce a strong, musky odor to attract females, especially during breeding season. Their scent gland is on the crown of their head. Females and neutered males are odor-free.
  • In the wild, pygmy goats are browsers and prefer leaves to grass.

From birth to death

  • Gestation: 145 to 153 days
  • Goats give birth to one or two kids; each weighs about two to four pounds at birth, but can stand and nurse within minutes. They can run and jump within four hours of birth.
  • Kids are weaned at 12 weeks
  • Maturity is reached at 8 to 12 months
  • Goats live 10 to 15 years

Vital statistics

  • Goat height is measured at the withers (the highest point on the goat's back, between the shoulder blades)
  • Males: 50 to 70 pounds and 16 to 23 inches tall.
  • Females: 40 to 70 pounds and 16 to 22 inches tall.


Goats are not endangered or threatened.

Pygmy goats, the Oregon Zoo and you

The Oregon Zoo's pygmy goats live at the Family Farm, where they love to have their backs scratched. They eat hay and pellets.