Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fainting Goats

Today I thought would be a day to talk about my goats since I haven't mentioned them before. Our goats are all rescues.

We have Fainting Goats. Yes, Fainting Goats. You ask if they really faint? Well, sort of. They are a breed all their own and have a genetic condition called Myotonia Congenita.

Their condition causes their muscle cells to experience prolonged contraction which causes stiffness, stop moving and even fainting. The paralysis only last a minute or so.

The breed has been around since the late 1880's. And they had a purpose! Ranchers would place these goats in with their prized sheep or goats. When a predator came down, the goats would faint giving the rest of the herd to get away.

Yes, they were used as a sacrifice to save the more spendy herd.
This is Dick. He is between 12 and 14 years old now. Yup, he is an old man. In this pic he looks awful. His winter coat was coming off. Old Dick is still intact, but is unable to make babies. Although the old guy sure does try! When he gets scared, his back end stiffens up and he tries to hop away. Okay, I laugh when he 'faints'. Sorry.
This is Oreo. I know, a real original name! She is the sweetest of the bunch. Her age is about 8 or 9. Yes, she does the real faint. We have only seen it twice in the years we have had her, but I can tell you it was the funniest thing to see. She actually stops, drops and rolls straight onto her back with her four legs sticking straight up.

This is Baby. She does not like to be touched. Baby is about 7 years old. No, she isn't pregnant. Her mama is Gabby who is not pictured because she does not like people at all!

This is Goldie Goat. Isn't she pretty? In the winter time she grows a long curly blond coat. When she 'faints' she stiffens up where all four legs splay out and she just stands there. There have more than one occasion where she ''fainted' under a horse! Thankfully our horses stop what they are doing and wait until she moves out from under them.
If you haven't seen a Fainting Goat 'faint', go to You Tube and type in Fainting Goat. Be prepared to laugh really hard.
Until next time.........................


  1. If Baby isn't pregnant, then what the heck is that hanging down underneath her? Sorry, I'm not very goat-literate, but that looks just awful to me.


  2. Christina, sorry I should have explained why Baby has big udders. She went through a false pregnancy and her udders never went back to 'normal'. I have had several goat people look at her to tell me why her udders are so big.

  3. Good ol' Dick...such a funny guy. I really enjoyed seeing him when I was there. You could tell he still considers himself the big man of the herd. lol
    Your goats all sound like they have a lot of personality!

  4. I have 2 fainting goats, Betty and Lucy, and am thrilled that I got them. They are a real joy. Little Betty does not know she is a goat, acts like a dog. They are around 6 months old. We live in PA and the weather is starting to turn cold. They are both now getting a heavier winter coat. They love their shelter home I had built for them.


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