Keeping one can be quite fun, but, can you milk a fainting goat? Goats do not just exist to balance the ecosystem. The diversity of their usefulness to man cannot be overemphasized – from meat to dairy products. The list is vast.
There are a whole lot of different species of goats reared for their milk. A fainting goat, however, is not one of your best choices. It is not a dairy breed and can only produce just enough milk for their kids at a time.
Yes, fainting goats can be milked when they are lactating. There are also breeders who know how to milk their fainting goats for the aim of producing products in the likes of soaps and cheese.
What is a Fainting Goat Exactly?
Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about this:
The Myotonic or Tennessee Fainting is an American breed of meat goat. It is characterized by myotonia congenita, a hereditary condition which may cause it to stiffen or fall over when startled.Wikipedia, 2018
By classification, fainting goats are meat goats. In reality, however, these breeds of goats are not even often sold for meat. Rather, most people use these goats:
- As pets: They are easy to take care of, and also because of their good nature they are usually used as companion goats.
- For the purpose of research: By studying the myotonic goats, scientists and researchers have understood so much about myotonia congenital. A condition that is also evident in some humans.
- For entertainment: It is easy to care for the myotonic goats and they also are attractions to friends, neighbors, and guests. They are pleasant animals on several farms and have also been providing hours of viral videos.
- For breeding purposes: Their anomaly and rarity put this breed of goats as precious, and they are being actively reared.
Fainting goats are landrace goats to the southern United States, and they thrive nicest in such weather and climate. They will require additional shelter and attention if they are raised in much colder and wetter climates. Nevertheless, their myotonia makes them much simpler to care for than other breeds of goat.
How Fainting Goats Look
Fainting goats are most often black and white but they possess inconsistent coats and colors, and all these are acceptable. The only unsuitable coat is dangling curls comparable to the Angora coat.
The Size Range of Fainting Goats
- Just a bit smaller than regular breeds of goat, fainting goats normally range from 43 cm (17 in) to 64 cm (25 in) in height.
- Also, they can weigh somewhere within the range of 27 kg (60 lb) to 79 kg (174 lb). The males, or billies, as they are often called, can be as heavy as 90 kg (200 lb).
- Their girth is displayed all through the back and shoulders, because of their muscle thickness.
The Attitude of Fainting Goats
Fainting goats are tolerant and simple to deal with, and they are well-adapted to staying with human beings as well as other animals.
Social Needs of Fainting Goats
Just like every other goat, the Fainting goats are herd animals. They will neither be active, in the best condition of health, nor happy when kept solitary. If you are raising a Fainting goat as a companion goat, they will usually not do great in a setting where they are lonely or solitary for a long period of time. Raising them with other goat breeds (or even with foraging animals or dogs) will be helpful in satisfying the social needs of these sociable small animals.
Food Requirements for Fainting Goats
Good drinking water
All goats, not excluding fainting goats, are expected to always have access to fresh, healthy water. Keep in mind that your fainting goats will desire more water than normal in hot weather and also during their lactation period.
Forages and feed
Your Fainting goats will merrily graze on shrubs, weeds, herbs, and leaves. Letting the goats have freedom of pasture will give them the pleasure they require to remain in good health and prevent health issues.
Also, depending on the extent of your field or pasture, the diversity of plants accessible, and the season, alfalfa hay can and should be provided for free feeding. Obtain very high-quality fodder for the healthiest goats and nicest quality milk for their fast-growing young.
Alfalfa hay is rich in calcium, which is crucial when goats are kidding and producing milk. The hay can be costly. Some people, therefore, choose to fortify other high-quality hay with alfalfa pellets instead. Cereal or other grains are very desirable sources of additional nutrition when a goat is yielding milk, but they are not particularly essential.
With regards to the plants in your field, local soil content, and the nutritional contents of your feed or silage, it is possible that your goats will require mineral supplements. If you are giving them high-quality food, it may then be that they only need little quantities of trace minerals.
When free-fed, your goats will only consume as much mineral supplements as they require. You should employ a mineral supplement designed for goats or cattle, and deter from supplements formulated for sheep, because goats and cows may need copper, which is unfortunately, toxic to sheep. You can also nourish your fainting goats with fruit and vegetable garbage from the kitchen to put in variety to their diet.
Enclosure Needs of Fainting Goats
Different from other breed of goats, fainting goats will not jump, as a result of their medical constraint. They are hesitant to leave the ground, and will only jump around two feet high, and climb barely on low, stable structures. Fencing will still be expected to safeguard them from predators, and to restrain them from wandering away, and they will stoop or periodically chew on fencing.
A high-quality goat wire or cord will overcome chewing and leaning, and generally exclude predators, depending on your local environment. Your fencing should not include openings wider than 4 x 4 inches, to restrict the goats from squeezing their heads through the fence to get to desirable weeds on the other side, and he get result, get their heads fastened.
Shelter Needs of Fainting Goats
Every breed of goat desires shelter in the night and during poor weather conditions. Deter from sitting the shelter on a low ground that would accumulate rain. At minimum, the shelter could just be a roof and three sides, so that the goats can be secured from unfavourable weather.
It will be more favorable to have a dry dirt floor than a wood one. Wood flooring can become slippery with mud or manure, and potentially cause a goat to be injured or result in foot problems. Does will require extra shelter and safety especially when they have kidded, and to be detached from the herd while the kids are still fragile.
Breeding Fainting Goats
Does of the fainting breeds can come into heat when they are as tender as 4 months, but breeding them at such a premature stage should be restrained.
The rule of thumb is that the female goat or doe should not be bred until she is approximately 80% of her adult weight or at least 8 months old, although the extensive range of adult weights in Fainting goats implies that it is cautious to delay until it is one year old before letting her to breed.
Does are polyestrous, and have the ability to reproduce all year long when they are exposed to a buck, and can reproduce again within 6 months of giving birth.
According to a reliable source, “Bucks (the males) are most fertile in late summer and early fall, and will noticeably go off feed when they are rutting.”
When a doe is coming into heat, there are behavioral signs she exhibits. These signs include:
- Tail Flagging
- Signs of mucous or discharge
- Swollen rear end
- More evident is the odd yelling or bleating.
At such seasons, the doe will give more attention to her buck counterparts than other times.
While most goat breeders prefer to observe a doe and be readied to assist in kidding if need be and protect the doe and the kids by separating them, the fainting goat does have a tendency for hiding their kids as long as possible. They are therefore always unnoticed in the pasture for the first few days.
It is vital to examine cautiously when a doe has been spawned. Measure between 144-154 days to observe the doe so she can comfortably kid.
The Fainting goats are caring mothers. It should be worth taking note, however, that they usually have three kids, while the breed ideal will have just two teats. Even though this is normally not an issue, it is wise to keep an eye on multiple births. This is so as to see to it that the kids are sufficiently nursed.
The wethers of Fainting goats will make amazing and outstanding pets. This popularity as a pet helps to curtail some of the stress of figuring out what to do with the numerous male kids born several times a year. Numerous breeders find it profitable to sell the surplus bucks as pets instead of as meat. It is as well a decent source of extra income from a fainting goat farm.
Why Do Fainting Goats Faint?
The reason why Fainting goats faint is due to a muscular disorder called myotonia congenita -also found in humans- that makes their legs become inflexible when they are stunned or fascinated.
How Long Do Fainting Goats Live For?
The typical lifespan of a fainting goat is estimated to be between 10 and 12 years even though they may live up to 15 years.