Keeping Fainting Goats as Pets

Wondering if you can keep Fainting Goats as pets? The Tennessee Fainting Goat makes a good pet, as its temperament is very laid back and the breed is gentle. A faining goat is an easy keeper; it eats mostly grass and hay, but will eat just about anything you will feed it. A unique quirk of this goat's behavior can make it an interesting animal to have.

Fainting Goat Care
When keeping a goat as a pet, you should have no more than one or two goats per half acre. The goats should also have 24-hour access to clean water and shelter. The shelter should protect the goats from all types of weather, including heat, cold, wind, rain and snow. An enclosed barn or a three-sided lean-to with a south-facing entrance is best. 

Water must be changed daily. It is also important to clean the water bucket every day. If the goat pen is a half acre or less, you will also need to clean up after the goat. Manure should be raked up and disposed of properly. Composting is a good way to dispose of it.

Goats Love Company
When keeping a goat as a pet, you must pay attention to it. You cannot just get a goat, put it in the field or yard and ignore it. While a goat won't sit in your lap, it does need plenty of interaction. Goats are social animals in the wild; they need companionship to thrive. Even if you have a couple of farm goats, plan on spending at least an hour each day with them. You'll find your pet goat to be very affectionate and friendly. Males may buck with their heads as a greeting; be wary of this, as it can be rough on your knees.

You must also be willing to let your goat do what goats do. Goats like to chew things and eat lots of grass. You can't break them from these habits. If you are not willing to sacrifice a good chunk of land for the goat to roam and feed, then getting a goat is not a good idea.

Fainting Spells
The Tennessee Fainting Goat has a condition that causes it to stiffen and sometimes fall over when it is startled or excited. This condition is called myotonia. The condition lasts for about 10 to 15 seconds, then the goat will then go about whatever it was doing before. The goat is fully aware of what is going on when this happens, since the condition only affects the external muscles. It's not a sign of illness or a cause for concern, simply a normal quirk of this breed's behavior.

Older fainting goats will sometimes spread their legs and walk stiffly until the fainting spell passes. Although the condition has been studied extensively, no one knows for sure why these goats developed their unusual behavior.

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