Are you are thinking about adopting a pygmy goat? If so, there are a few important details that you will need to keep in mind. One of them is the fact that pygmy goats, like their full-sized brethren, do tend to smell at times. There are a number of reasons why this is so. It all has to do with the yearly mating season.
The first thing you should know is that bucks, i.e. male goats that have not been fixed, tend to be the worst offenders. Castrated males and females do not tend to exhibit this characteristic to anywhere near the same degree. And the fact that a buck is what it is is the key to the offensive odor that your bucks are responsible for.
A male goat can produce a particular musky and unpleasant odor. This is not because goats are unclean by nature. Goats tend to groom themselves just as well as any other animal. The source of the odor comes from their scent and urine glands. And the time at which this odor is most pervasive is during the rutting, or mating, season.
The reason for this seems to be related to the fact that, during this season, female goats are also producing odors. These are olfactory signals that a female goat is ready to reproduce. The odors produced by both male and female goats are designed to signal to each other that the rutting season is ready to begin in full swing.
What Makes Pygmy Goats Smell?
As noted above, a pygmy goat is subject to the same cycle of nature as any other type of goat. At the start of the mating season, a buck will spray urine all over their goat beard, chest, face and front. This is during the exact same period of time that females are in estrus and producing strange odors of their own.
There is nothing strange or unusual about this behavior. It is a natural part of the cycle that brings new pygmy goat babies into the world. However, it’s also a good idea to stand back quite a ways so that your nose won’t be overwhelmed by nature taking its course. These goat odors are most certainly nothing to sniff at.
There are a number of strategies that you can adopt in order to reduce the incidence of strong and offensive goat odors. You can keep your male goats apart from the rest of the herd. You can castrate them in order to prevent them from going into the rutting cycle in the first place. Doing so will put a lid on new baby production.
It may also be a good idea to step up the grooming process. This involves paying a bit more attention than normal to such activities as bathing, trimming their beards, and other activities. If you enjoy the sight of pygmy goats enjoying a warm, relaxing bath, this is the time of year to concentrate on this nose-saving chore.
When Do They Stink?
As noted above, goats tend to smell their worst during the height of the mating season. This goes for goats of both sexes, although uncastrated male goats are the worst offenders. You should be aware of this behavior so that you can be prepared to deal with it when the mating season comes around each year.
Keep in mind that the rutting cycle doesn’t only affect male goats. The entire reason your pygmy Billy is curdling your nose is because he is responding to pheromones being released by the female goats in your herd. They are summoning the males to respond to their urge to mate. This means that you may wish to take measures to curtail this.
You can move some of your goats to a whole other area of your farm. Keep them together so that they will not be isolated or lonely. This period of separation only needs to last as long as the mating cycle is in full force. Once it has ended, you can bring back to your goats to the rest of the herd.
Keep in mind that some goats can become sexually mature at an age as young as two months. This means that, unless you are prepared, you may soon be dealing with some very unpleasant odors coming from a source that you did not expect.
How Do I Stop My Goats From Smelling?
There are a number of steps that you can take in order to prevent your male goats from stinking up your property. These may include the following:
Spaying and Neutering
The obvious first choice to keep goats, pygmy or otherwise, from smelling to high heaven would be to spay and neuter them. This will definitely prevent them from going into the rutting cycle that produces these musky odors in the first place. The drawback to this solution is obvious: No more baby Billy goats.
It may be a good idea to keep all of your male goats separate from the rest of the herd during the breeding season. This will prevent goats from breeding without your prior approval. This way, you can keep control over how many baby goats, if any, you intend to be responsible for in the coming months.
Separating selected goats from the rest of the herd during this time may bring other benefits. For example, you can avoid having your fresh milk spoiled by male goat odor. It will also keep your clothes, as well as your body, from picking up the scent of a goat in hot heat.
Groom Your Goats
Goats usually exhibit quite acceptable grooming behaviors. However, during the high mating season, it’s probably a good idea to give them a hand. You can groom their beards and also give their heads, legs, and bellies a regular bath. This will keep them from storing up strong concentrations of the offensive goat odor.