Care for Fainting Goats – A Beginner’s Guide
You want to know how to care for fainting goats, because you have new fainting goats and you’ve never had one before. Maybe you just have two fainting goats, or maybe you have a dozen. Where do you start when it comes to the care and well being of your animals? Where can you go to for information for the long-term health of your fainting goats? We hope this page will help you get started on the road to fainting goat prosperity. Be sure to check our other pages for more information on the care and maintenance of your animals.
Common Questions About Fainting Goats
The first question that people usually ask about fainting goats is if they actually faint when startled. As you are undoubtedly aware, the animals don’t actually faint. Rather, their limbs stiffen up due to a condition called myotonic congenita, which affects the animals’ skeletal muscles. This genetic condition causes the fainting reaction when startled. For more general information about the breed, check out Fainting Goats 101 page.
One of the most common questions that owners of fainting goats get from people less familiar with these most interesting animals is whether they feel any pain when they “faint.” As far as is known, the goats remain fully aware, but in general do not feel any pain when they faint. It has even been observed in older fainting goats that they might lean against an object when their limbs stiffen up to keep themselves from falling over completely.
How to care for fainting goats – Getting Social
Goats are herd animals and do best when they are not kept alone. It is always recommended to have at least two fainting goats in your herd. They will not do well if you only have one animal. Fainting goats are social animals and generally friendly.
In addition to being bred for milk or meat, there are many other reasons that people may breed fainting goats. Some may breed fainting goats to keep as pets or show animals. In some cases, the animals might also be bred to be used for weed control.
The animals, if properly socialized, can be safe with children and good companions.
Necessities for Care
Some breeders consider care for fainting goats easier than other goat breeds. To get you started, there are a few things that you will need to ensure the health and wellness of your herd. As a bare minimum, fainting goats need a fenced pen, adequate shelter, food, a fresh water supply, vitamins and minerals, vaccinations, and proper veterinary care (when necessary).
One of the benefits to keeping fainting goats is that they do not tend to climb as high as other goats and therefore are not as prone to climbing fences. However, breeders and goat keepers should always be aware of any potential predators in their area. Mountain lions, wolves, coyotes, and bobcats might take advantage of a group of fenced animals to make a quick meal.
Everyone likes to have their own space to seek shelter from the elements and feel some level of safety. Your fainting goats will need at least a basic shelter to keep them out of the elements. Your herd will also do well if the shelter provides a place to relax. The style of shelter you use will largely depend on your location. If you live in a colder climate, the shelter should be partially enclosed to keep your herd warm and safe from snow, sleet, and hail. The fainting goats’ shelter doesn’t need to be elaborate, it just needs to be sturdy enough to provide shelter from the wind, rain, and snow.
The exact type of food and quantity to give to your fainting goats may be debated from breeder to breeder, and it is recommended you check with your veterinarian for a recommended of the best diet to give to your animals. Goats are ruminants, meaning they have four stomachs. Food gets processed by the bacteria in each stomach and the bacteria unlock the nutrition in the food for the goat. Ruminants need a certain amount of roughage and fiber to keep food moving properly through their digestive tract. Goats can overeat, which will cause health problems, so it is important to make sure the goats have a balanced diet.
Fainting goats should be vaccinated against several diseases, including Clostridium perfringens C & D, tetanus, and rabies. In regards to vaccinations, it is best to discuss the proper timing, administration, and upkeep of your animals’ vaccinations with your herd veterinarian. A good veterinarian will also be able to advise you on dietary issues and best practices for maintaining the herd’s hooves.
For more on the topics above, check the other pages on goatsunlimited.com where we have more information on the care and maintenance of your herd.