Farm Animals

Funny Little Fainting Goats

Myotonic  goats. Not sure what that is? They are also referred to as fainting goats or Tennessee fainting goats. Why Tennessee you may ask? Well, they first appeared back in the 1880’s when a worker named John Tinsley brought them to Tennessee. Most people at that time had never seen a goat quite like this. As their popularity grew, they were bred and moved all throughout the country; but their roots stick to Tennessee.

Just as cute as their non-fainting cousins, but they exhibit a condition called myotonia congenita. This condition manifests itself when the leg muscles experience an extended contraction; most often occurring when the goat is startled. The goat becomes momentarily paralyzed and therefore falls to the ground and it appears as if they “faint.”

This breed of goats became very popular, due to their size and meat qualities. They are also less likely to run off or climb steep mountain sides. Another interesting use for this breed was as bait for predators of sheep/goat herds. They would mix a couple of fainting goats into a flock of sheep and while the other sheep/goats would run away, these goats would “faint” and distract the predators, giving the large group to get away.

Never fear, for the fainting is not harmful or painful for these goats!  Rest assured you can relax and continue laughing at these cute little fellas.

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Callie Farr

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