A nationally registered breeder of the adorable Pygmy goat,
located in the Chittering Valley, 80km north of Perth.
Mandean Estate was established in 2014, when our family made the decision to escape to the country. Being avid animal lovers, we were quick to add to our already sizeable menagerie, and of those additions, included three gorgeous Australian Miniature goats. We were instantly smitten, and it wasn’t long before we were keen to grow our herd and enjoy some bouncing babies of our own. And so, our breeding journey began…
Today, we keep a herd of approximately 25 does and bucks combined, and breeding has become even more exciting for us with the introduction of new imported breeds into the country. Currently, we are developing the US Pygmy goat in Western Australia, by way of a genetic recovery program from imported semen. The results speak for themselves and every year, our kids just keep getting cuter! Or at least, we think so…
We welcome you to follow us on this exciting journey…
Mandean Estate is one of a small group of breeders currently developing the US Pygmy Goat in Western Australia. Annually, imported US genetics are transported interstate to WA, where they are inseminated into selected does. With each year’s development, higher percentage Pygmy offspring are produced and they take on more of the breed characteristics.
While the end goal of breeding in the Pygmy genetics is to achieve as close to 100% as possible, we are focussing highly on our pairing selections each season, to ensure the breed characteristics are carried through as strongly as possible. This, in our opinion, is of higher importance than the percentage itself. Quality over quantity.
However… at Mandean Estate we do like to be a little different! While we aim to achieve the traditional Pygmy appearance and conformation, we are also working towards developing a variety of colours and markings in our goats. Variety is a spice of life, after all!
Development and appearance aside though, our number one aim as a breeder is to produce healthy animals with a good temperament. We firmly believe this is key to setting the foundation for a healthy, happy life for our goats, in-turn providing the best possible experience for our buyers.
The Pygmy goat originated in West Africa, then known as the Cameroon Dwarf Goat, where it was primarily used as a source of meat. From the 1930’s, the Pygmy was transported across the sea and into zoos throughout Europe and the US, as an exotic animal. From there, the Pygmy goat gained popularity as pets due to their small stature and friendly nature, and well, the rest is history!
The first US Pygmy goat genetics were introduced into Australia in 2014, by Paul Hamilton of Semtech ABS. Goat enthusiasts across the country have been fortunate to access these imported genetics and take part in a genetic recovery program. Small Australian goat breeds, primarily the Australian Miniature Goat, are being used to develop the Pygmy breed by way of artificial insemination.
Over time, the percentage of Pygmy genetics in our herds increase, and so too do the physical characteristics of the breed; short-legged, stocky, barrel-shaped body, with a longer, straight coat and frosted ears, muzzle and dun star.
The Pygmy goat is a delightful miniature breed, which is inquisitive, playful and friendly in nature. A wonderful pet option for families and anyone with sufficient land space.
Maximum Height: 60cm-62cm (measured from the wither – base of the neck to the base of the hoof)
Average Lifespan: 10-15 years
Goats are ruminants that digest their food by chewing, partially digesting, regurgitating and then chewing it some more. When you hear people say that goats or cows are chewing the “cud”, they are actually chewing the partially-digested roughage that was previously swallowed.
Because goats have this complex form of digestion, the majority of their feed should be roughage. It’s important to note that goats (like alpacas) are browsers, not grazers (like cows & sheep). Roughage comes in the form of trees, bushes/ shrubs. Goats kept in paddocks/ pens may not have the variety of browse as they do in the wild and therefore, it’s important that we as goat owners, ensure their required nutrient needs are met.
On our property, we are fortunate to have a natural area for our goats to browse once or twice a week. To allow this area to regenerate though, we have specifically planted trees/ shrubs in other areas of our property to cut branches from and feed to our herd. We grow Tagasaste (tree lucerne), various types of Wattle and Grevillea. If you have the space, try planting some of these native trees/shrubs… your goats will thank you!
Aside from the natural browse we provide, we feed our goats baled Oaten hay/ oaten chaff and a ration of goat muesli each day. We make a muesli blend for our goats which consists of a standard pre-mixed goat muesli from the stock feed store (T&R brand) and add some other goodies for additional supplementation. However, for new goat owners starting out, feeding pre-mixed goat muesli as it is will be just fine. Just be sure to select a good quality brand, and never buy an all-purpose/ multi-animal muesli, as goats have their own nutritional requirements.
It’s incredibly important to keep in mind that roughage (hay) should be the main component of a goat’s diet. Muesli is a ‘top-up’ feed only and should be rationed with careful consideration. Over feeding grain/ muesli can lead to a number of serious health problems, causing scours (diarrhoea), bloat and potentially even death. Young kids are particularly vulnerable to being overfed grain, as their rumens are still developing. Wethers (desexed males) can also develop Urinary Calculi when being over-fed grain, so for this reason, we feed a smaller ration to them than we do to does and intact bucks of the same size. We usually work to a ration of 1 cup of muesli for mature goats, and ½ cup for kids and wethers per day.
Another important note to be mindful of, is that the diet of a goat should never be changed quickly or dramatically. It’s very easy to throw off the PH levels of a goat’s rumen, and when this occurs, scours (diarrhoea) is very likely to occur, at the very minimum. If altering your goat’s diet in any way (changing muesli brands etc.), make it a gradual change over a number of days, incorporating some of their old feed with the new feed, to allow their rumens to adjust.
Of course, like all living beings, water is an absolute necessity and goats should always have access to fresh, clean drinking water. Water needs in goats vary with seasonal changes, including warm temperatures, the moisture content of forage, or if a doe is in kid or lactating.
Like humans, goats also require several specific minerals for basic body function. Goats have a way of knowing when their body is lacking in particular minerals and will seek these minerals from food available to them. We keep a mineral salt block hung in each of our shelters, for our goats to access at all times. When purchasing mineral salt blocks, never buy a so-called ‘goat & sheep mineral block’ as it will not contain the required amount of copper goats need. If you can’t find a goat-specific mineral salt block, a horse mineral block will be the best substitute.
In WA, our sandy soils tend to lack Cobalt which lead to Vitamin B deficiencies, which can be detrimental to a goat’s health. At our stud, we additionally keep a 20kg block of Olssen’s Trace Element Copper + Cobalt lick in our sheds for the goats to have free-choice.
Below are some other supplements we use and recommend;
Seaweed kelp: Seaweed kelp is a good source of iodine, selenium, and other minerals. Kelp helps to reduce breeding problems/ incidence of white muscle disease/ incidence of mastitis and susceptibility to milk fever. It also assists to regulate the metabolism and enhances coat and hair sheen. Deficiencies in iodine can be particularly detrimental to young kids and developing fetuses in pregnant does. Simply offer kelp out in bowls and let the goats eat it free choice. We feed this out 3-4 times per week for our goats.
Black oil sunflower seeds (BOSS): Black oil sunflower seeds contain vitamin E, zinc, iron and selenium. BOSS adds fibre and fat to the diet and provides a healthy, shiny coat. Simply put a tablespoon (full size goats) or a teaspoon (for kids) of sunflower seeds per goat into the muesli at feeding time. Note, BOSS is high in fat so best not to over-do it. We add BOSS to our goat’s feed daily for added nutrition.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV): Unpasteurised apple cider vinegar is full of enzymes, minerals, and vitamins, and assists in keeping a healthy digestive system, reducing bloat and Urinary Calculi in wethers. Some goat keepers place a tablespoon of ACV in their goats’ muesli and soak overnight before feeding it out. Alternatively, you can offer a bowl of diluted ACV for the goats to drink.
Baking soda: Some goat owners offer their goats free-choice baking soda, which aids digestion by keeping the rumen pH-balanced. If one of our goats appear to have a digestive problem such as minor bloating, I place a small bowl of baking soda out for them. Some of our goats have a taste for this, while others don’t.
Anitone: This is a natural organic liquid mineral and trace element feed supplement, which we always keep on hand. At various times of the year, such as kidding season or if/ when our goats may seem ‘lacking’ we will add some Anitone to their muesli. For any goats we wish to specifically provide this supplement to, we syringe the required dose straight into their mouth. They really don’t like the taste of it though, so be prepared to apologise to them after – A tasty treat will get you back in the good books!
Livamol: This product is a great coat and body conditioner. I swear by this for any goats who are on the thinner side due to feeding kids or have been through illness, or who just seem generally lacking. It includes a range of protein meals, molasses, pollard, limestone DCP and Cod Liver Oil in addition to added trace elements Iron, Manganese, Zinc, Iodine, Cobalt, Copper and Vitamins A, D, B1, B2, B6 and B12.
Just because goats may love a particular food, it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily good for them in large quantities, so always be mindful of what you are feeding. (Muesli is a great example of this! They will always beg you for more.) We usually start with water crackers for our kids as treats, when they begin exploring solid foods. However, as we regularly feed out fresh vegetables and cut branches to our goats, the kids tend to follow their mothers and try tasting what’s on offer from an early age. Here are a few healthy options we have fed over the years which you can try at home;
Apples, watermelon, pears, grapes, persimmons, mandarins, cumquats, bananas (peel and all), and dried fruit (in small quantities). Most fruits are fine for goats, however just make sure that they aren’t in pieces large enough for them to choke on.
AVOID avocado at all costs, as like dogs, everything about the fruit and plant are toxic to goats.
Our goats tend to prefer veggies over fruit. All leafy greens, such as spinach, silverbeet, kale, asian greens in addition to carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, pumpkin, brussel sprouts, cabbage, beans and the list goes on! Just be mindful to not over feed gas-forming veggies such as cabbage/ brassicas as this may upset their rumen.
AVOID all members of the nightshade family: tomatoes, capsicum, eggplant, chilli, potatoes – including the plants of all.
At Mandean Estate, we aim to ensure optimal health of our herd, so our goats thrive and not just survive. Having a balanced diet on offer is incredibly important, however there are other requirements when keeping goats. As a responsible goat owner, keep on top of your goat’s health by being attentive. Simply observing a rough or discolouring coat, pale eyelids/ gums or scours, can all be indications of something lacking or which could be compromising the health of your goat.
We don’t believe in routinely worming goats, and instead, only worm as needed. The reason for this, is to build a resistance in our herd. We do worm our does after they’ve kidded when their immune systems are strained, and only as needed there-after. Fecal tests are recommended if you suspect issues, as this will help to identify the type of worms your goat has, so you know which specific wormer will be required for treatment. Not all worms or worming treatments are the same. A simple check you can do to see if your goat may have a worm burden, is take a look at their inner eyelids by pulling the eyelids down. Pink inner lids are considered normal, while pale pink or white can be an indication of a potentially dangerous worm load and/ possible anemia.
We vaccinate our goats with a 5 in 1 vaccine twice per year. Does are given a vaccination one month prior to kidding, which passes the antibodies onto their newly born kids, covering them for the first 4-6 weeks of life. Kids receive their first vaccination at 4-6 weeks old, with a booster shot one month later. (Kids are given a 3 in 1 vaccine for initial and booster shots) From then on, they are given a 5 in 1 vaccination every 6 months. The 3 in 1 vaccine covers Tetanus, Pulpy Kidney (Enterotoxemia) and Cheesy Gland (CL). We buy our vaccine from stock feed stores and administer it ourselves via subcutaneous injection. Alternatively, vets can do this for you, or can provide you with a pre-filled syringe to do it yourself.
Hoof trimming is a basic goat husbandry skill and is a necessity. Whether you own just a couple of goats or a large herd, it’s important to keep on top of hoof trimming to avoid discomfort, hoof rot and abnormality in leg growth. In the wild, goats would naturally wear their hooves down while climbing through rocky outcrops. We keep a large rock pile in our paddock for the goats to play on, which can assist with wearing the hooves down. This isn’t enough though, and we trim our goat’s hooves every 6-8 weeks. Just like human fingernails, some goat’s hooves grow faster than others, and you learn soon enough who needs to be done more regularly. This is quite an easy task, but may seem daunting to new owners who’ve not done it before. We show all of our buyers how to do this when collecting goats, which also provides a hands-on opportunity to have a go with some guidance.
Tools required for trimming;
A sturdy post/ fence or milking stand
A sharp pair of garden secateurs
A firm-bristle brush
Blood stop powder (just in case – though I’ve not needed it personally)
In the first two images, you’ll see the overgrowth on the side and front of the hooves that is curling over. This is the portion that needs to be cut off. In the third photo, you will see that the leg isn’t in straight alignment with the hoof. This is what you are aiming to avoid, as over time this can create strain and possible injury through the knees/ legs. This can be corrected with regular trimming – refer to ‘after’ photo.
Firstly, have your goat secured to the post/ fencing/ milking stand, then gently but firmly grab and flex back the foreleg. Depending on the goat, it will probably throw a tanty for having to stand on three legs, so just continue to hold the foot and wait out the storm until they settle down. Sometimes having a food bucket in front of them can distract them enough to cooperate.
Once they’re settled, simply clean all the dirt and grime from the hoof with the firm-bristled brush to clearly see the sole. Trim the curled part of the hooves so that they are level to the thickened skin in the centre. If the heel is not flush with the rest of the hoof, it too should be trimmed back to be level.
Goats, unlike sheep, need a waterproof shelter to escape the elements. At the first sign of rain, you will see them run from near and far to avoid the seemingly acid-rain to seek shelter! This does not have to be an elaborate set up, however your shelter should keep your goats dry and out of cold, drafty winds. If your shelter is in an area where heavy rains can penetrate the floor inside, you will need to provide a raised floor to keep them off the ground, to keep their hooves dry and prevent hoof rot. Goats don’t have thick, wooly coats like sheep do, so in cold Winters, laying out some straw on the flooring of your shelter will give them some added comfort and warmth.
Despite the reputation of goats being escape artists, we haven’t seen too many cases of this ourselves. We feel this is largely due to providing enough stimulation and sufficient feed, although good fencing does certainly play a part. There are plenty of options available, some more heavy duty than others. On our property, we use standard 15cm wire ring-lock fencing, 90cm in height with two top-wires, or 120cm fencing without top wires. We find this to be sufficient for our herd.
If you have young kids under weaning age, they will likely be able to go through the ring-lock fencing, but they usually won’t go far from Mum. Attaching chicken wire to the fence will resolve this issue until they grow. If you’re a breeder and keeping a buck or two, it can be advantageous to run an electric line on the inside of the pen, in the event they are rough on the fence, trying to push their way through to seek out the girls. Keeping buck pens out of sight of the does is preferable.
Above left: Mums and bubs in nursery pens, before they join the main paddock. Above right: Ring-lock fencing + two top wires.
Goats are intelligent, playful and emotional animals. If you know how and equally aim to meet their needs, you will have much healthier, happier animals… and potentially less work for yourself!
The number one need a goat has, and which I cannot emphasize enough, is companionship! As the saying goes, “An only goat is a lonely goat”. Goats are herd animals and if kept alone, they will pine, cry and even make themselves sick with stress from missing their friends and family. For this reason, an owner must keep a minimum of two goats together. They can make friends with other species of animals, however they should no matter what, have at least one goat companion.
The intelligence and playfulness of goats means that if they are left to their own devices with no stimulation, they will make their own fun – which could lead to mischief! For this reason, I highly recommend adding something to their pens which they can climb up onto and jump from. In their natural habitat, they would be climbing through rocky outcrops in mountainous/ hilly regions. Fallen logs, car/ truck tyres dug into the ground, boulders, large rock piles, even kids play gyms are options to help entertain your goats.
Space is another consideration, so ensure your furry friends are given enough space to run around. During the heat of the day, they will generally lounge around chewing their cud. But early mornings and late afternoons the energy levels are usually at their highest and you could very well be entertained by hyperactive sprints and jumps about the paddock.
It really isn’t difficult taking care of the needs of goats, provided you know what to do and put in the time.
So… Keep your goats well-fed, well-housed, well-stimulated and well-loved, and you will reap all the rewards there are, to keeping these beautiful animals as pets.
** Please Note: Our waitlist for 2021 is full. Registrations of interest are currently being taken for the 2022 season. **
Council approval is required to keep goats, so please ensure you have this in place prior to registering your interest in purchasing from us. Livestock owners should also have a PIC (Property Identification Code) which can be applied for through your state’s Department of Primary Industries.
All goats are sold vaccinated, disbudded, NLIS ear tagged and registered with a breed association. Males will be desexed, unless purchasing as intact breeding bucks. Care notes will be provided upon sale and a hoof-trimming demonstration is offered when goats are collected.
Prices vary depending on the percentage of Pygmy genetics of the goat. Wethers (desexed males) start from $400. Breeding bucks and does are priced on application.
Important Note: Goats are herd animals and should be housed with at least one other goat companion. For this reason, we only sell our goats in pairs.
All Mandean Estate goat kids are raised on their mothers, unless it is absolutely necessary to bottle feed due to certain circumstances. Due to this, kids are available to go to their new homes from 10 weeks of age, once they are weaned and eating well on their own. Kids will not be sold prior to this time.
Ready to introduce goats into your life? Wanting to become a breeder? Do you meet all of the requirements to keeping goats? Then feel free to register your interest with us to be notified when we have goats available to purchase. Simply complete the Registration Form and we’ll be in touch in due course.
** While we aim to supply everyone on our waitlist, we have no control over the sex or number of babies born each season. We will be in touch when kids come available, but feel free to check in with us if you’d like an update of your place in the list. If we are unable to supply, we are happy to refer you to other breeders we can recommend.
We love our goats and want the absolute best for them, and the best possible experience for you. If you have any questions or need some advice about your new furry family members, we are happy to be contacted for ongoing support.