5 things to consider before getting Pygmy goats 0 245

If you are considering getting a new pet then Pygmy goats are a great way to go. These fun-loving, friendly, easy to manage animals are perfect for anyone with a good sized garden looking for something different.

1. You need to have more than one

All goats are herd animals, so if you want to keep them you need to buy at least two. With herd mentality it would also be wise to buy two from the same herd at the same time, otherwise you are giving yourself a lot more work trying to acclimatise them to each other. If you don’t want to breed, you need to buy female goats or castrated males.

2. They do have some environmental needs

Though not demanding, Pygmy goats do have some needs. Their coats aren’t waterproof so they will need shelter. For two or three goats a normal garden shed measuring approximately 8 foot by 10 foot is enough, with a bench or two and some straw for a bed. They need good outdoor space and shouldn’t be tethered. Goats do tend to be adventurous so make sure the area is well fenced and definitely don’t have anything you don’t want to be ruined in the area! Be careful of any additional plants as well, there are a number of plants goats cannot eat, such as daffodils or tulips.

3. Their diet

About 80% of a goat’s diet needs to be dietary fibre, so hay is perfect. Beyond this, a couple of servings of goat mix a day will suffice. They can eat a few treats like chopped apples, but too many could cause stomach problems in at least one of their stomachs (goats have four!).

4. They need your company

Goats need to spend a lot of time with their owners, especially at the beginning, so make sure you have the time for them.

5. Watch them around children

Though every goat is different, their natures tend to be friendly, but not necessarily gentle in their playfulness, so beware of butting.

If you feel you have the space and time, you are guaranteed to have a lot of fun if you add Pygmy goats to your family.

Photo: Pygmy Goat by kimberlykv licensed under Creative commons 2
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Which reptiles make good pets? 0 290

While some people might consider reptiles to be unusual pets, many people see them as a more practical and attractive option to cats, dogs and other mammals. The fact they have no fur means that people with dust mite allergies can enjoy caring for them. Here we take a look at three of the more popular types of reptile pets.

Tortoises

Known for being cute, tortoises can appeal to people who wouldn’t traditionally like reptiles.

There are a number of pros to owning a tortoise. In terms of pet care, they’re very low maintenance and compared to cats and dogs they are a lot more harmless. This means that the whole family can enjoy having a tortoise as a pet. Lastly, tortoises can live for 30 years or more, meaning that you can enjoy their company for a lot longer than mammals.

One challenge of owning a tortoise is dealing with hibernation which can last up to 6 months at a time. Depending on where you live this may be a big consideration as the temperature of their hibernation habitat must be monitored and the area will also need to be ventilated.

Terrapins

Like tortoises, terrapins can also appeal to people who wouldn’t normally consider a reptile as a pet. However, terrapins need a bit more pet care. They can be very timid creatures and may become frightened when you pick them up. This is why it’s essential to take your time and give it time to trust you. Hand feeding is the best way to gain the trust of a pet terrapin. It learns to associate you with its food and will eventually lose its fear. Although it can take time to earn a terrapin’s trust, it is well worth it as it will probably begin swimming over to reach you once it becomes used to you.

Bearded Dragons

Named as it is because of its ability to “puff out” its throat until it resembles a beard, the bearded dragon is considered one of the most docile and friendly of all reptiles. With a mild temperament, they will typically allow handling more than most other reptiles.

Once a bearded dragon gets used to its new home, he’ll take pleasure in your company and even scamper to the front of the tank to welcome you.

Photo: Terrapin by Neil T licensed under Creative commons 2

5 things you need to know about micro pigs 0 228

Micro pigs are no longer seen as a fad or even a luxury animal, as many homeowners have now embraced these animals as their family pet. The micro pig is intelligent, fond of people, and unlike dogs, do not need to be walked. Below we share the top five things that you need to know about the micro pig before choosing one as your family pet.

1. How big do they grow?

The size of the micro pig is a huge consideration when it comes to planning your outside and indoor living space for your new pet. Generally, they can reach a height of up to 16 inches and can weight up to 65 pounds. This usually occurs around two years of age.

2. How long do they live?

Micro pigs can live anywhere between five to 10 years, according to the RSPCA. However, it is not unusual for a micro pig to live for up to 25 years if they are healthy and well looked after.

3. Can you potty train them?

This is probably a question that many of us think about, but never dare ask. The good news is that yes, you can. This, however, can take a lot of time and perseverance. Just remember that micro pigs are clean animals and will not use a toilet near their bed. It’s also a good idea to use positive reinforcement and to have an area outside for toilet purposes.

4. Can they be kept indoors?

This very much depends upon your indoor living space. Ideally, they should be kept outdoors, but if you have an indoor living space that is at least 36 square metres, and has access to the outside, then this is also acceptable.

5. The outdoor area

The most important aspect here is that your micro pig can roam free in a safe outdoor space. It needs to be able to provide lots of space and to prevent the micro pig from escaping. As the micro pig is not very good at regulating its temperature, they are very prone to heatstroke. For this reason, they need to have shelter from the sun.