Preschoolers Get a Big Surprise From Pigmy Pets

Preschoolers Get a Big Surprise From Pigmy Pets
Laura Alexander, a pre-vet major, holds up a pigmy goat for kids at the Children's Center.
Children swarm around a pigmy goat.

Cal Poly Pomona's youngest pupils had some extra excitement recently when two new furry friends joined the Children's Center family.

A group of preschoolers got to pick two pigmy goats from a small herd raised by the Sheep and Swine Unit. If it were up to the preschoolers, they would have kept all the little goats.  

“I think it's nice for the children to see all kinds of animals,” says preschool teacher Corrine Jones.

Just in time for the November election, the preschool teachers have designed a plan, which has the distinct ring of a civics lesson, to name the goats.

The teachers will talk to the children in the classroom to get them thinking about possible names. The children and their parents will then be encouraged to talk about names at home before casting their votes.

“We should have names by Nov. 7,” says Willie Stewart, administrative assistant at the Children's Center. “As California voters take to the polls so will we.”

The center has had two full-sized Nubian goats, but they tend to be too big for comfort. On a few occasions when Children's Center Director Yvonne Bailey crouched down to feed the Nubians, one would show her affection by plopping its front hooves on her back.

Nubians tend to weight more than 135 pounds, while pigmy goats weigh between 35 and 50 pounds when full grown. Pigmies are raised primarily in North America as pets.

“These little pigmy goats will be much easier for us to care for,” Bailey says.

The Nubians have been returned to the Sheep and Swine Unit.

For more than 30 years, the Cal Poly Pomona Children's Center has provided low-cost quality day care for the children (2 years of age until entry into first grade) of students, faculty, staff and community members. The center's main objective is to assist student-parents in maintaining enrollment at Cal Poly Pomona by providing a quality child care program designed to meet the social, emotional and cognitive needs of young children. The Children's Center is a nonprofit organization operated and subsidized by Associated Students Inc. and the division of Student Affairs.