How to Care for Fainting Goats


How to Care for Fainting Goats. Fainting goats are also known as nervous goats, stiff-leg goats, Myotonic Goats, wooden-leg goats and Tennessee Scare Goats. Why? Because, when startled, the goat's legs stiffen and it falls over, frozen for about 10 seconds. Despite this rather unusual, albeit-harmless genetic condition, fainting goats are easy to care for and make quite popular pets.

Things You'll Need

  • Fainting goats
  • Fencing
  • Barn or other shelter
  • Hay
  • Grain
  • Water buckets or trough
  • Salt block
  • Mineral block

Check out websites such as the International Fainting Goat Association.

Keep at least three fainting goats. Goats are herd animals and will get lonely if kept alone.

Construct a pen for your fainting goats. The pen should be fairly roomy, and the fences need to be safe for goats (i.e., no wire for them to get cut on and nothing to get stuck in). Make the fence solid and strong enough not only to keep your goats in, but also to keep other animals out, as fainting goats are particularly susceptible to dogs, coyotes and similar predators.

Build or install a suitable shelter for your fainting goats. Shelters should be free of drafts and must have at least three sides to protect your fainting goats from the elements. Harsher climates may require a small barn that you can completely close goats within during snow storms.

Provide your fainting goats plenty of clean water. Buckets or shallow tubs make suitable containers, as long as the goats are not in danger of falling in during "fainting" spells.

Feed your fainting goats hay and grain daily, even if you have them on pasture. Pasture grass does not always provide goats with sufficient nutrition. Hay and grain are needed for supplements.

Keep a salt lick and mineral block in your goats' pen.

Locate a local veterinarian that treats goats. Keep her contact information on hand in case of an emergency.

Enjoy the company of your goats. Fainting goats are noted for making particularly good pets and can be quite affectionate.

Tips & Warnings

  • Older fainting goats will often lean against structures for support during "fainting" episodes, so make fences and buildings sturdy.
  • For more specific information on caring for fainting goats, see related eHow articles: "Vaccinate Fainting Goats," "Build Shelters for Fainting Goats," "Feed Fainting Goats," "Breed Fainting Goats" and "Build Pens for Fainting Goats."
  • Consider looking in to mini fainting goats, too.
  • Goats can be regular escape artists. Securely fasten gates and keep an eye out for other possible escape routes.
  • If any of your fainting goats have horns and are using them aggressively, you may wish to have them dehorned (disbudded).

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