Fainting Goats have many names. Some people call them Myotonic Goats, Tennessee Fainting Goats,   Tennessee Meat Goats, Texas Wooden Leg, and even Stiff-legged, Nervous, and Scare goats All the different names have come from a breed trait known as myotonia (my-o-toe-ne-ah) congenita (kon-jen-i-tah) which only effects skeletal muscles (muscles that we use to move our bones).  It is congenital, meaning that it is present when the goat is born. This condition occurs in many species, including humans.  The goats do not really faint. They remain fully conscious. When they are startled or overly excited, their muscles  stiffen (or freeze). If the goat loses its balance, it will fall over. Once their muscles relax, they jump up and are off again. Younger goats fall over more often than older goats. Older goats learn to   spread their legs or lean against something. Sometimes they even continue to run  in an awkward, stiff-legged shuffle. *This information provided by the Fainting Goat Guild. See our links page for more info. What is a Myotonic (Fainting) Goat? Why would I want one?
Fainting goats have great dispositions, and are very curious and gentle by nature. They love attention, and even the goats with horns rarely get pushy or mean with people (they will sometimes fight with other goats). Check out this picture of Wyatt and Annie, one of our does, in a Costume Contest.
Because they have a tendency to go stiff when they get overly excited, fainting goats do not jump. You can keep them in an enclosure with a 4 foot high fence (most goats will jump out of any enclosure with less than a 6 foot fence). Any fence that can contain a Welsh Corgi can contain a Fainting Goat. This makes them great “backyard” goats. A word of caution, though. This same trait makes them unsuitable as “ditch goats” or “fence goats” (goats chained up to fences to eat weeds). They are good weed eaters, but need to be behind some sort of fence, as they cannot defend themselves from predators the way that most goats can.
Fainting goats are a small breed of goat, some as small as 17 inches in height. Adult does weigh an average of 50 - 150 pounds. Bucks weigh an average of 80 - 200 pounds. This also makes them good backyard pets. Most fainting goats will not get any bigger than an Australian Shepherd. Check out Annie below. she is full grown, standing next to Wyatt, who is five years old.
Fainting goats live an average of 10 to 15 years, similar to most medium sized breeds of dog. Their care requirements are similar to a dog - good food, fresh water, yearly vaccinations, and lots of attention.