Capra aegagrus hircus
Pygmy goats are a breed of domestic goat. There are hundreds of breeds of domestic goat, all of which are descended from the wild goat of Europe and central Asia. Pygmy goats are generally kept as pets for companionship and interest rather than for their milk, meat and fur. Like all goats they are agile, intelligent and curious. Goats are one of the oldest species of domesticated animals. They have been kept for thousands of years for their milk, meat and fur. Goat hide has been used to make parchment and was traditionally used to make wine and water carriers. In the last century goats have also become popular as pets. They were originally domesticated from the wild goat of southwest Asia and Eastern Europe. Goats are intelligent and curious and they can easily be trained to pull carts and even walk on leads. They are also accomplished escape artists and will escape from their pens if there is any weakness in the fencing.
A male goat is a billy, a female is a nanny and a baby is a kid. Some breeders prefer to use the terms buck and doe for male and female. A castrated male is known as a wether. In temperate climates goats only breed in spring. They commonly have twins, although single kids and triplets do occur. Goats are ruminants, meaning that they regurgitate partly digested food and chew it again, like cows do. Kids are unable to do this at first because their rumen is undeveloped. This is why they cannot eat solid food straight away and must drink milk from their mothers. Goats generally live 15-18 years.