Pygmy Goat Question

Miniature Horse Talk Forums

Help Support Miniature Horse Talk Forums:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Aug 17, 2003
Reaction score
I know some of you have goats as pals for minis or just raise goats in addition to your minis. My granddaughter just got a pygmy goat as a pet. We found out when we went to get her that she is 10 months old and the gentleman who owned her thought it was cute to make her bunt him when she was a baby. Now it is not cute any more and that is why he was selling her. She seems like a sweet baby other than that but will bunt if you make her do something she doesnt want to do. My question is have any of you ever found a way to cure bunting in a young goat and if so what did you do? She has small horns and if need be we will dehorn her but hate to do that if we dont have to. Is there a way to cure the bunting since she has been allowed to do it most of her life so far. She is better here than she was in her previous home as any kids here are older and bigger than she is but they had a 3 year old and she would knock him down. I dont want her to do this to visitors. She is at the moment in a pen of her own alone as I dont know if she would try bunting the minis or not and havent dared to try. Also I am thinking of getting her another goat as a playmate but dont want her to hurt another baby. Thanks in advance for any responses.
Get those horns OFF!!!!! If she is bunting, she will bunt the horses. They go at the horses by coming up from under their bellies. The horns will puncture and tear. You do not want to go out and find a horse disembowled.

As for bunting people, the best thing I found was to knee them like you would a dog that was jumping on you. It may not stop it completely but it will lessen it.

Check with your vet about the horns. We were told that there is a short window of time where dehorning is fairly simple, after that it turns into surgery for the goat.

I used to physically turn the goat away when they butted.....was able to do that when they were young without a problem because they were so small.

You can sometimes correct this behaviour by reaching down and wringing their ear just as they butt. You have to be fairly tough and REALLY wring it! If you just do it mildly they think it is part of the game and get really happy that you are playing with them. In order to prevent you from doing this, they will keep their ears (and therefore the front part of their heads; don't be fooled and think that they can't butt without horns, they can) away from you. To keep the lesson in place, NEVER touch the top part of the goat's head. Pet them on the back, under the chin, on the neck etc. but NOT the top of the head or the horns. I put collars on mine for leading, this stops them even THINKING about using those horns. I have fairly big goats (Boers) and they all have horns. However, NO butting.

I don't know that this goat can ever be trusted around strangers; I would get the whole family in on the wringing the ear (or whatever you decide to do to correct that behaviour) and not allow anyone else near, until it seems the behaviour is cured. The problem can be if the goat just decides it is not allowed to butt YOU and that everyone else if fair game. I have cured butters, but never had one that was really confirmed in the behaviour. Most of mine were just trying it out to see what would happen. They were NOT happy with the result!!!
The problem can be if the goat just decides it is not allowed to butt YOU and that everyone else if fair game. I have cured butters, but never had one that was really confirmed in the behaviour.
I have a similar problem with "dam_n goat" (yes that is his name) my oldest son thinks it is great fun to get the goat to "billy"/butt him however I dont find it amusing at all so the first time he rushed me I happened to have a hose in my hand
this goat freaks out if it rains he stopped in his tracks and about croaked on the spot how dare I try to drown him
anyway he doesn't even try with soon as the weather cools he is getting de horned that will at least take some of the hazard out of his playing........

This pygmy goat was dumped on my property
......I never wanted a goat
All of our goats are dehorned except a few we bought who when dehorned it didnt kill it all so they have a bit of horn. I havent been butted by any of them. Yes they do all get petted on the heads, they are petting exhibit animals. They also all ware collers to be led, but dont really need them as they will follow you anywhere, and I think they think its a game to get out, run to the barn, beller untill you come put them back in just to do it all over again.
Thanks to all of you who responded. We have tried a spray bottle with water and she doesnt like that at all. And now that I know I will try the wringing of the ear. She doesnt do it all the time but I dont want her doing it at all. We have had goats before years ago and it has never been an issue until this one. BUT to be fair to her like I said the man played head butt with her so there it was acceptable. As so many have said so many times before people can ruin animals without even trying. Actually she does lead quite well and hopefully this is her only bad habit. She really likes people and is very friendly. I have not put her in with the horses but she is penned in a dog pen that adjoins the pasture so she has company right next door.
HI! I was just going to tell you about the spray bottle! It really works! Be sure to say NO really loud when you spray her and she'll get it sooner or later. Then all you have to do is say NO with a small hand movement and she'll think you have water and she'll stop.

Good luck!

If you are going to put her with minis, she really needs to be dehorned ("disbudded"). We have 4 Nigerian Dwarf Goats. I adore them and wouldn't mind having more or some pygmies one day.

Ours were disbudded as babies, but on one of them, Jasper, his horns started to grow back. The vet came out and put him to sleep and then removed the horses. I think she cut them, not burned them which is what was done as they were babies and what the breeder would have re-done (but that would be so painful!!!). It was not expensive to have the goat vet come do this for Jasper. He had to have his head wrapped for a week or so and looked so cute, like he was wearing a bonnet! And he was on an antibiotic.

Depending on your fencing, it may be completely mandatory that the horns be removed or it's a life-threatening chance of being caught in the fence and the horns will grow longer than they are now! AND I know of a full size goat who died when he got tangled in a big horse's tail. Plus, you would not want the goat to butt horses with horns.

Another thing, even though it was not good that the previous owner encouraged the butting, it is something that comes natural to them. I have read that Nigerian Dwarf Goats are the ONLY breed that will not butt people. I don't know if this is true. Ours don't butt us like they do each other (so fun to watch them play!), but they will put their foreheads on us gently. Not with any quickness or force. It's actually sweet how they do it to us.
Last edited by a moderator:
I have read that Nigerian Dwarf Goats are the ONLY breed that will not butt people. I don't know if this is true.
Thats interesting Jill, I have 3 goats (1 Dwarf Nigerian, and 2 pygmy), the 2 pgymys are very sweet and want attention, the other is always getting into trouble and he is the only one of the 3 that will bunt people.
I have to add though that his previous owner taught him to do it.

That is interesting! Are your other ones girls? I'd heard from the goat message board that girls are more laid back generally, however, they told me that when it comes to goats, NDG are like the golden retreivers of the goat world, and pygmy ones are like the Jack Russell Terriers of the goat world...

That said, there is a farm right down the road from me with a big sign out front saying:


Free KittensPygmy Goat Babies $40

It's been out there for aweek or more and so far, I have exercised will power but I'm sitting here "thinking"...
Last edited by a moderator:

And I just asked H if he would mind going to "look" at those baby pygmies and he's gone to do that now.

Just so long as he doesn't come home with anything that meows.
Last edited by a moderator:
I have a pygmy that had the same problem - I got him when he was about 2 (only have had him a few months), but the girl who had him before would "play" with him by putting her foot in the air and he would butt it, not hard or aggressive like, but more playing..I don't like this behavior so I just ignored him and would yell "no" he has stopped doing it, but like I said, his behavior wasn't aggressive, more of an attention getter.

When I got my first goat I thought I was going to put him in with the minis...this didn't work at all. The minis would tease him and then he would try to butt them. I ended up putting him seperate and getting another goat for him. Both my goats have horns.

I don't like the idea of dehorning an adult goat, but if this goat is going to be a child's pet, you should probably have it done. Dehorning a goat is very painful and you have to keep the site clean or it will get infected very easy. Disbudding is done when they are very young and they actually kill the horn growth by burning the nerves around it, dehorning is much more difficult and painful, vet has to actually cut out a part of their skull out. But dehorning may be your only option if the goat is going to be around a child. Good luck.
So Jill do you have a new little dwarf addition? I've got 7 Dwarf nigis and they are addicting. Cannot wait for spring and the babies to start arriving. If I saw a sign down the road like that there is no way I could stay away.
minihorselvr said:
So Jill do you have a new little dwarf addition? I've got 7 Dwarf nigis and they are addicting. Cannot wait for spring and the babies to start arriving. If I saw a sign down the road like that there is no way I could stay away.


Harvey said the "pygmies" were some kind of cross, not friendly (wild), in filthy conditions and none of the goats had ever been vaccinated.

I did just post an ad on the Goat Talk message board, so maybe we'll find some babies. If not, then I'm sure we can in the spring.
Well I happen to love goats, especially the kids. I have been called a fruitloop from time to time because of my likeing for animals.

That said ours dont get vaccinated, but do get dewormed regularly and are all healthy, and all of them are friendly, lead and used in petting exhibits.
wanted to add - even if you do go w/dehorning, you still need to correct his behavior, it is amazing how strong those little guys are, he can still hurt someone even without horns.
We just added a pygmy to our addition and he is the sweetest little boy around.

We got him as a buddy for our dwarf who was kept with a pygmy at his previous home. They have really taken to each other. It’s pretty cute.

Our donkey was like instantly protective of him. I guess it is in their nature.

Our goats, Ferd does have his horns...although I don't think he knows that so shhhhhhhhhh

We have to keep him apart from the other minis because they just didn't take good to him. After he was here for awhile we introduced him one by one with halters on to our other minis.

My one baby.well his is really 2, but still my boy just lunged at him!!!! I was shocked that it happened. I might try again in a few months because this gelding has always been very protective when a new horse comes to the heard. I was happy to see that Ferds reaction was to run away and not ram at him. I worry more about Fern's safety then the horses and I don't want to give Ferd a reason to have to start using his horns.

So he is living very happily with our dwarf and then I switch in our donkey and a very gentle gelding we have. It’s quite the combo we have going on.


Latest posts