Pygmy goats are small and stout, and have a full coat of straight, medium-length hair. Male Pygmy goats have full, long beards.
The Pygmy Goat was originally called the Cameroon Dwarf Goat and came – as the name implies – from Cameroon in west Africa. Today, this breed of goat still has a large presence in West African countries. Some Cameroon goats were exported from Africa to zoos in Sweden and Germany where they were on display as exotic animals. From there they made their way to England, Canada, and the United States.
The first record of Pygymy goats in the United States dates to 1959, although some may have come into the country earlier and been undocumented. In 1959, the Rhue family of California and the Catskill Game Farm in New York both received shipments of Pygmy goats from Sweden. The Pygymy goats are featured in the Goat Corral in the Maryland Wilderness alongside many other goat species at the Maryland Zoo.
In the United States and elsewhere, Pygmy goats are raised mainly as companion animals. They are popular as pets and as exhibition animals, and are widely seen in petting zoos. They can also be relied upon to produce milk and to keep land cleared.
Pygmy goats are a popular breed in the United States and elsewhere in the world.