American breeders from Tennessee breed a special breed of goat, which, because of their ability in critical situations to fall into a complete stupor, while falling on their side or back, stretching their legs, is often called fainting.
The scientific name for fainting goats is myotonic goats. This is a rare American breed, known from the late nineteenth century, which in the eighties of the last century was threatened with complete extinction.
A distinctive feature of these goats is a rare genetic disease - myotoma congenita. It is thanks to him that in case of fright or surprise, these animals have complete muscle paralysis, as a result of which they cannot move. However, they do not feel pain and remain fully conscious. A goat cannot stay on its feet in a similar state, therefore it falls with outstretched legs on its back or side.Swooning, or myotonic goats are a rare American breed of domestic goats.
Due to this property, this breed of goats received many different names in different states. For example, wooden goats, nerve goats, hard-footed goats. Swooning goats cannot be called very frisky animals, apparently because of this, and also because of diseases, the average weight of a swooning goat is 40% higher than the weight of an ordinary goat. Therefore, they can be safely attributed to the meat breeds of goats.The poor goats pass out. The ill-fated gene of “unconsciousness” makes them swoon.
Here is a rough list of situations that can cause a goat of this species to faint:
- danger to life;
- an abundance of grain (and they are great lovers of it);
- representative of the opposite sex.
Any of these reasons can bring the animal out of normal condition for about 10-15 seconds.Unconsciousness is inherited.
The fainting gene is recessive and inherited. Its manifestation is observed in every second generation. If the myotonic goat is crossed with the regular one, the gene will be inherited by descendants. In 1989, lovers of nerve goats organized the International Association, whose task is to monitor the preservation of cleanliness of the breed and determine standards.Swooning goats are considered one of the most valuable specimens in the world of wildlife.
For many years, the value of fainting goats was not determined by its meat. For several generations, sheep farmers have used these animals in a rather cruel way. They did not guard the flocks of sheep with the help of dogs, but simply added a swooning goat to each flock. As a result, when coyotes attacked the herd, the sheep simply scattered along the sides, and the poor goat fell into a stupor, which was used by predators, gnawing it. At the same time, the rest of the herd was not in danger.