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News Releases Archive (Prior to 2011)

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Smart Stuff with Twig Walkingstick: Pygmy goats (for the week of Oct. 7, 2001)

September 20, 2001

Dear Twig: I saw some tiny goats at the zoo. They looked like they were full-grown, not babies. What were they? Sounds like they were pygmy goats, which are only about two feet tall at the withers (the point between the shoulder blades). Pygmy goats used to be called Cameroon dwarf goats. They came to the United States in 1959 from zoos in Sweden and Germany. They’re native to west Africa. That’s where Cameroon is. Nowadays they’re kept by zoos, on petting farms, and as pets and show animals. They’re good-natured, playful, hardy and alert, according to the folks at the National Pygmy Goat Association ( They even can be milked (the does, that is). Pygmy goats need the right food, starting with good alfalfa hay; a draft-free shed or barn; and a safe, fenced exercise area. And they need a friend or two besides you -- another goat, a llama or a horse, for instance -- since goats are herd animals. A solo goat is an unhappy goat. Want to know more about pygmy goats? Hoof it to a library or book store. Chew the fat with your veterinarian or Extension agent. Or browse (Get it? Get it?) the Web. Baa-bye! Twig Hey Editor! Steve Loerch, professor, Department of Animal Sciences, Ohio State University, reviewed this column. "Smart Stuff with Twig Walkingstick," a service of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, is a weekly science column for kids. "Twig" is a bow tie-wearing cartoon walkingstick, a type of insect. He's the voice of the column and appears at the left in the hard-copy version. "Bob the Bug," Twig's pal, is a bald-headed bug of an unidentified type who doesn't say much and appears in the bottom-right corner. For more information or to receive "Twig" columns by mail or e-mail, contact Kurt Knebusch, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, OH 44691, (330) 263-3776,

Kurt Knebusch
Steve Loerch