Other common names: Miniature Fainting Goat; Mini Fainting Goat
The Miniature Myotonic Goat is a smaller version of the Myotonic Goat.
According to the Myotonic Goat Registry, "The Myotonic goat is a distinct breed yet it has many synonyms for names, including Nervous Goats, Wooden-Leg Goats, Scare Goats, Fainting Goats, and Tennessee Fainting Goats. The breed is a multi-purpose goat derived from a variety of strains of goats that were originally from Tennessee. The mini Myotonic goats retain the distinctive breed features, though in a more compact and shorter size. They too ultimately originated in Tennessee, just as the Texas strain, and so too are a branch of the same Myotonic breed."
Today, Myotonic Goats are mostly raised as pets and show animals. The defining genetic trait of the breed is a neuromuscular condition which causes them to stiffen and sometimes fall over when startled. Respiration, heart function and other body functions are not affected, and the goat does not lose consciousness, and does not really "faint". The condition lasts for ten to fifteen seconds after which time the animal rises and is able to walk stiffly. Myotonic Goats are said to have been used by sheep farmers to distract predators from their flocks. When a predator appeared, the Myotonic Goats would startle, experience their temporary paralysis, and become the first, and easy, prey, allowing the sheep to run off to safety.
Appearance / health:
Myotonic goats are small-sized and seen with various hair colors and coloration patterns, but commonly black and white. The hair can be short or long, with cashmere undercoats in the winter months. The back and legs are straight. The eyes are protruding. What gives the goat its name is its tendency to “faint” or fall over when startled or threatened, an involuntary reaction caused by myotonia or the temporary stiffening of the leg muscles.
Goats are sensitive animals that can suffer from various infectious and chronic diseases that are sometimes undetected until too late. Vaccinations, as well as de-worming and de-lousing applications must be conducted as needed. Milking goats should be checked regularly using prescribed mastitis tests for udder health. Milking areas should always be clean and the goat’s teats treated with teat dip after milking to prevent mastitis.
Goats must be inspected frequently to detect any signs of poor health, infections, or other ailments. Signs include cloudy or teary eyes, dull or fluffed up coat, droopy tail, hunched back, or poor appetite. A veterinarian should always be on call to address health concerns.
Behavior / temperament:
Goats are inherently curious, active, intelligent, and social. They are known to have the ability to overcome enclosures by unraveling the gate, climbing over the mesh, or pushing and ramming the fence down. Goats have good coordination and balance and can manage to climb low trees, ledges, and overhangs. Their curiosity leads them to constantly investigate items with their mouths; most items get chewed and swallowed. With a little patience, goats can be taught to carry or pull loads, respond to calls, and lead a herd. As social animals, they easily get along with other farm animals.
Miniature Myotonic goats are also popular as pets, farm companions, and 4-H projects because of their very friendly and docile temperament. They are also hardy and excellent for weed and brush control.
Housing / diet:
As herd animals, goats are best kept in pairs or groups. As grazers, they require an outdoor habitat that is securely fenced to prevent escape or foraging in restricted areas. The area should be large enough to allow the goat to roam. The recommended habitat per goat is 200 sq. ft. of yard or pasture plus a sheltered or indoor area of about 15 sq. ft. In the case of Mini-Nubians, the recommended habitat per goat is about 30-50% less. The sheltered area should be adequately built to keep the goats safe from rain and strong winds.
Keeping goats inside the house is not recommended because of the pet’s tendency to gnaw and chew on furniture and furnishings. Goats are also not known to adhere to toilet training.
The ideal food for domesticated goats is alfalfa hay and grass hay. This should be available daily in quantities of at least 3% of the goat’s body weight. Small quantities of feed grain and concentrates (often protein-enriched) like goat show or goat grain can also be given to add nutrition. Supplements are often used to address deficiencies inherent to local habitats.
Clean water is essential to a goat’s daily diet. It should always be available and provided where it cannot be soiled. Dirty and moldy water is hazardous to the goat’s health. Milking goats should be kept away from aromatic or strong-tasting foliage like garlic, onions, mint, and cabbage, which could taint the flavor of the milk.
good temperments, great pets, good meat animal, smaller pasture, natural affection, safe
Fainting goat ownership
Fainting goats are wonderful animals to own. They have very good temperments and are easy to handle. They are a natural affection for the people that love them and take care of them. They make great companions for other farm animals also.
From Barnyard Buddy May 18 2012 1:14PM