Their name leaves people wondering whether there are goats that faint. The fainting goats go by many other names and are an interesting breed. They tend to suffer short episodes of stiffness which send them to the ground hence their name. We will be discussing the fainting goat syndrome which also affects human beings and kittens though rarely. Find out why you should keep them as pets, where you can get them on sale and the cost as well as the fainting goats, music and more festival.
What is a fainting goat? Fainting goats are a type of myotonic goat breeds which are also referred to as the Tennessee fainting goat, Myotonic Goats, Tennessee (Meat) Goats, Nervous Goats, Stiff-leg Goats, Wooden-leg Goats, and Tennessee Fainting Goats among others. These domestic goats tend to freeze their muscles whenever they are startled.
Although this episode is painless, it results in the goat collapsing, which is referred by many as fainting. The goat though does not lose consciousness and their eyes remain open. With age the goats learn how to spread their legs as well as lean on objects to avoid falling.
The fainting goats found in Tennessee and eastern US are normally smaller than the standard goat breeds. However, those found in Texas are a little bit larger due to selective breeding meant for the meat market. Some goat breeders here have gone ahead and renamed them the Tennessee Meat Goats.
They can weigh between 27 to 29 Kilo grams and measure between 43 to 64 centimeters. Their eyes are large and prominently placed highly in their sockets. They can have either long or short hair. Their most common coat colors are white and black but they can also be seen in other colors. Their average lifespan is 10 to 12 years but they can live up to15 years.
The reason why the goats stiffen is because of a congenital medical condition that is known as myotonia congenital. It is also referred to as Thomsens disease. The condition’s severity will vary with some goats stiffening up whenever they are startled while others will do so less frequently. The symptoms will lessen with time with some of the goats managing to adapt to it better with age.
Young goats are more prone to the condition and will often tumble and fall over when startled. The older goats with time feel secure within their environments and will be less startled.
Fainting Goat Syndrome
Are there goats that faint? The fainting goat syndrome was so called because it was first observed in goats. This is an inherited dominant condition which affects the voluntary skeletal muscles; the striated muscles to be specific. The skeletal muscles tend to experience transient spasms. The visual, tactile and auditory stimuli are also said to be affected.
With time, the condition has been identified in man. As such, the fainting goat syndrome in human has become known as congenital myotonia. It was first identified in the late 19th century in the year 1876 where it was described by Dr. Julius Thomsen after his family exhibited its symptoms. As such, it is also referred to as the Thomsen’s disease. This condition though is rare in humans only occurring in one person for every 100 000 people.
People who suffer the fainting goat syndrome do not report any trauma or pain. As such, the involuntary muscle contractions experienced by the goat do not pause much risk to them when they fall. The fact that they are normally on all fours and closer to the ground also makes the episodes harmless.
Fainting Goat Kittens
Charlie and Spike also known as the fainting goat kittens became an internet hit when their owners released a YouTube video that showed them stumbling on the ground before toppling over in paralysis. The video hit a million views within a short time with the kittens becoming internet famous and gathering sympathy from around the world.
The cats would respond to the slightest movement or sound by falling or collapsing into a rigid position for some seconds. The fainting goat kittens suffered the myotonia congenital which is rare in cats. Below is a You Tube video of the two kittens.
According to the royal veterinary college, these were the only known cats to suffer the condition in the UK. The only other reported cases outside the UK were four from the New Zealand and two from the US.
The cats died before a special treatment regimen was about to be started on them. This however has not stopped the fainting goat kittens from continuing to be a source of puzzlement for many.
Fainting Goats for Sale
How much is a fainting goat? There are various goat breeders registered with relevant authorities to engage in raising fainting goats for sale. The price at which you buy these goats will depend on a number of factors.
The cost of fainting goats for sale in Ohio or Oklahoma may not be the same as for those in NC, PA, Michigan or Seattle. Different farms will ask for different amounts. The age of the goat also goes into determining the cost.
Another factor that can come to play is whether the goat is a pure breed. Pure breeds have an advantage and can be registered with the International Fainting Goat Association. Polled goats and those with unique hair and eye color also tend to cost more. Baby fainting goats tend to be the cheapest in most cases.
At Grimm Acres farm, Illinois, the cost of miniature fainting goats for sale is as listed below.
- Doelings: $75 (Females less than 5 months)
- Young Does: $150
- Breeding Does: $200 (Females who have previously kidded)
- Bucklings: $75 (Males less than 5 months)
- Weathers: $75 (Castrated males of any age)
- Young Bucks: $100
- Breeding or “Proven” Bucks: $200
At Liberty Hill Farms in Arkansas, you can get Mytonic Goats Registry approved goats with the following price range:
- MGR Wethers starting at $150.
- MGR Bucks at $300
- MGR Does at $350.
At Back 40 Game Farm, fainting goats for sale cost as listed below:
- Doe kids $250-350
- Buck kids $250+
- Wethers $125-200
- Adult Does $350+
- Adult Bucks $350+
In the UK, you can buy fainting goats starting from £250. Like illustrated, the price will vary from state to state and other specific factors unique to each animal.
For goat breeders who do not have fainting goats for sale all through the year, you may have to pay for some down payment to reserve one. There also are some who will not sell a single goat since the pigmy fainting goats are herd animals. They thus require other animals to keep them company so they can remain healthy.
Before settling on a given fainting goat, ensure that they are up to date with all vaccines and shots. Also check out what the buyer agreement entails and whether it will be possible to get a health certificate for your goat pet.
The Fainting Goat Festival
In October of every year, a fainting goat festival dubbed The Goats, Music and More Festival is always held in Marshall County, Tennessee. This is normally centered on goat activities but includes other things such as crafts, arts, games and children activities. It is meant to honor the goats together with the Boer goats breed. These two are normally the core of the festival which pulls a lot of revelers to it.
Fainting Goats as Pets
When looking for a pet. You must first determine what it is you expect from keeping it. In case you are looking for a pet with whom to share a bed with or watch TV with, fainting goats as pets will not do it for you. However, if you want an outdoor animal friend, the fainting goats as pets will do great. Their physical appearance and temperament always make them great companion animals.
To begin your journey of owning one, you have to understand that having a goat for a pet means you are willing to allow it be the type of animal it is supposed to be. As such you will allow it venture into the outdoors especially because they are less trainable than cats and dogs. You also cannot keep a single goat since these are herd animals and need company.
Why you should Keep Fainting Goats as Pets
ABC News has hailed fainting goats as the new dogs for people. What makes these browsers unique and lovable as pets? There are so many reasons why the fainting goat is one of the most preferred breeds when it comes to keeping goats as pets. These are unique and quite impressive to have around. Below are some features that make them great and which give you a choice depending on what your personal preferences are.
- If you are looking for novelty, you will get it in fainting goats. Despite their being around for quite a while, this breed is not much known. So rare are they that they have been listed in the watch list of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy In case you decide to breed them, you are likely to have a huge market.
- Fainting goats are smaller than other goats. This makes it possible to keep a number over a small area.
- The miniature silky fainting goats are quite docile. This means they are less aggressive than other breeds. You can easily confine them as they don’t climb. This way they will rarely try to escape which makes them easy to handle.
- They are quite economical to keep since they are pest resistant. Their proneness to attack by diseases is thus minimized. This reduces the visits by the veterinarian and thus reducing maintenance costs.
- Although this breed is rare, there is variety within it. Their colors and patterns are different. There also are some with long hair while others have it short. You could also choose either polled or horned goats.
- The females have excellent mothering skills and their breeding could be all year round or seasonal.
In addition to the above, fainting goats are quite social and friendly. If treated well and socialized in the right manner, they will learn easily and they will get to be safe even around kids. They are a lot of fun to have around unlike other goats and easy to care for.
Fainting Goats Facts and Myth Busters
One great misconception that people have regarding the fainting goats is that they normally faint. This though is not the case. These goats only suffer myotonia congenital. This is a neuromuscular genetic disorder which leads to the muscles not relaxing after they have contracted. The contraction could be as a result of fear, which is supposed to give the goat a flight or fight stimuli.
When the legs are affected this way, they become stiff resulting in incapacitated movement. The cycle ends with the goat falling but they remain conscious and awake. Their eyes do not also shut. The duration of the stiffness is normally 10 to 15 seconds and is normally a painless episode.
To learn more and get facts right about the fainting goats, you can check out fainting goats’ videos on You Tube as well as fainting goats’ funny gifs and pictures online.
Syndromepedia.com: Fainting Goat Syndrome
Abcnews.go.com: Fainting Goats New dogs for people
Livestockconservancy.org: Myotonic or Tennessee Fainting Goats