How To Maintain And Care For Fainting Goats

At our very own goat and dairy farm, we breed and raise (ourselves!) goats. Nearly every person who has had the privilege to meet one of our goats, our fainting goats, has fallen in love with them! We specialize in breeding not only regular goats but also a special breed known as ‘fainting goats.’ They are a breed of goat that has been bred with the utmost selectivity to achieve a smaller size than their full-sized counterparts.

A lot of people ask us what exactly are fainting goats, and what makes them so much different from regular goats? If you have this question or any like it, continue reading, and we can answer any questions you may have!

1. Lifespan of goats vs. fainting goats
The average life expectancy of a goat is 12-15 years, but fainting goats are more accustomed to 10-12.

2. The height of goats vs. fainting goats
A miniature fainting goat’s average height, when fully grown and developed is around nineteen inches, at the shoulder. A regular goat is between sixteen and twenty-three inches.

3. Weight differences between goats vs. fainting goats
A mini fainting goat, male, when fully grown and developed is between fifty-five and sixty pounds, with an average height of nineteen inches when measured at the shoulder. (As previously stated) A normal goat can weigh between fifty-five and three hundred pounds.

If you are not familiar with the sub-species of goats known as fainting goats, they are a miniature-sized type of goat that is not meant to be milked or led to the slaughterhouse for meat. They are not bred for either dairy or meat, as previously stated.

Fainting goats get their nickname from a severe type of myotonia (a disease) that causes them to faint for no more than five seconds at a time when shocked or frightened. As far as we know, this myotonic disease does not have any real physical or mental effects that can be considered harmful or detrimental in any way.

Humans sometimes suffer from a similar ailment known as Thomsen’s Disease. Reported patients have stated time and time again that there is no irregularity in the 3heartbeat, side effects or pain associated with the momentary muscle freezing.

While it is true that the same fall could easily hurt a human, in almost all cases it will not hurt a fainting goat in any way, and here is why; even though both are mammals that have legs and muscles and suffer from the same disease, they are different heights and weights.

This is stating the obvious, of course, but remember that because goats have four legs and stand far closer to the ground, they fall differently. At that height and weight, any drop caused by momentary muscle spasms will not hurt a goat.

If you want to care for fainting goats, a minimum of two or three must be owned; this is because of the nature of fainting goats and their personality, that being very social and friendly. The same way us people can get sick from being lonely, goats and other animals have shown irrefutable proof of being ill or dying from lack of exposure to other animals of their same gender or species as well.

To breed and care for fainting goats (or goats of any kind) on the most basic level, and run a farm with a steady stream of visitors, you will need at least two or three goats, and the following:

  • Shelter: Your goats will obviously need a basic shelter to keep them out of the wind, sun, rain, snow and other elements.
  • Food: Fainting goats enjoy the same foods as traditional goats, those being hay, grains, various dried grasses, leaves, flowers, and twigs. (Or thin branches/woody stems)
  • Fenced-in Pen: Your goats will need room to roam. An area of 30 square feet for two to three goats will be sufficient. For more housing tips, check out this post.
  • Fresh Water Supply: This should be pretty obvious. Try your best to provide the healthiest, cleanest and most importantly most chemical free water for your goats. Change the water supply, if it comes in the form of water trows or bowls, once every two or three days at the most.
  • Vaccinations: As far as shots and pills go, your goats will need CD&T, C&D, Tetanus, and shots against dangerous perfringens such as Clostridium.
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Always remember to feed and water them properly, give them the required veterinary care and to never leave them alone for too long! They need company. They will also need triweekly or monthly hooving, as not to hurt their muscles. Have fun with your new fainting goats, and be responsible!