Miniature Silky Fainting Goats
are a unique breed of goat. They are smaller and somewhat easier to care for and maintain than larger meat
goat breeds, which makes the fainting goat desirable for smaller farms.
Fainting goats have many other names, including Myotonic Goats, Tennessee
(Meat) Goats, Nervous Goats, Stiff-leg Goats, Wooden-leg Goats, and Tennessee
Silky Fainting Goats are listed as a meat breed, the primary goal is to have a
beautiful, silky-haired goat to show. Meat is not a goal of this breed. While
good conformation is expected ~ this breed is predominately about the silky
coat. They are generally
friendly, intelligent, easy to keep, and amusing.
"Fainting Goat" myth was tested on the U.S. television show Mythbusters
Fainting goats have a muscle condition called myotonia congenita. This is a
condition which occurs in many species, including humans. The goats do not
truly "faint" in any sense of the word, as they never lose
consciousness because of their myotonia. They remain fully conscious.
They are are
generally 43 to 64 cm (17 to 25 in) tall and can weigh anywhere from
27 to 79 kg (60 to 174 lb). Bucks can be as heavy as 200 pounds. They
have large, prominent eyes in high sockets. Their hair can be short or long,
with certain individuals producing a great deal of cashmere during colder
months. Common coat colors include black and white; however, most possible coat
colors are found in this breed.
This breed is
listed as threatened by The Livestock Conservancy, so the fainting goat is not
used as often for meat as other goat breeds; its rarity makes the live goat
more valuable. Fainting Goats are specifically specialized for smaller production
operations as they are unable to challenge fences as vigorously as larger meat
goat breeds. This is due in part to their smaller size and also because of the
myotonia. Their size makes them easier to care for during chores such as foot
trimming and administering medication. Smaller specimens of fainting goats are
frequently kept as pets.
myotonia, another distinguishing feature of the fainting goat is its
prominently set eyes. The eyes protrude from the eye sockets, as opposed to
recessed eyes seen in other breeds. The profile is straight as opposed to the
convex or "roman" profile.
Even though some
people breed these animals for pets or to have smaller sized meat goats,
"fainting" is a disorder that producers of other breeds try to keep
out of their herds' bloodlines, unless they are purposely raising goats to have
the fainting trait.