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American Pygmy Goat

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Matilda Cruz
Matilda double majored in zoology and animal behavior at the University of Hawaii. She’s been an animal lover from a young age and knew she wanted to study them even more for her career. She’s always looking for ways to spread her animal knowledge.

The American Pygmy is a breed of goat known for its size. Their small size is caused by Achondroplasia, a genetic disorder that primarily shows itself as dwarfism.

Here are some facts about pygmy goats: 

Appearance

  • It has a coat of straight, medium-long hair which varies in density depending on the season and climate that it is found.
  • It has short limbs and a small head in comparison to the length of its body.
  • The National Pygmy Goat Association described the breed as hardy, agile, alert and animated, good-natured, and gregarious.

Breeding Uses

  • The American Pygmy’s size and ability to be handled has made it a great candidate for medical research.
  • Studies have found the American Pygmy to be a good producer of antibodies for immunological research.
  • Some of the earliest arrivals to the U.S. found their way into private ownership and thus began a growing trend to raise the American Pygmy Goat as a companion animal.
  • Livestock producers have also recognized the breed to be a useful meat product.
  • In 2007, the Food And Agriculture Organization of The United Nations recognized the American Pygmy Goat as an “Endangered Species.”

Population 

  • This breed is derived from the group of goat breeds known as the West African Dwarfs and was introduced to the United States around 1930.
  • Between 1930 and 1960, a number of West African Dwarf goat species were imported from German Zoos to the U.S. both for exhibition in zoos and to be used as research animals.
  • By 2019, that status had been upgraded to “At-Risk.”
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