Opinions on fainting goats...

Discussion in 'Goats' started by homebirtha, May 13, 2005.

  1. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    We're getting ready to add goats to the mix here. We had been thinking a couple of dairy-breed does, maybe a few wethers to help keep the brush down. But, I'm intrigued by fainting goats. I like the idea that they're easier to keep fenced and that they're docile.

    But, what's the deal with the prices? I'm seeing doelings go for $250 to $300 if they're registered!! Is that typical?

    I'm now wondering if we might want to get a few does for breeding. Are these an up-and-coming thing? I'm thinking that they are getting popular with the farm animals-as-pets crowd. The ones who have a little land and lots of money to spend on critters and new tractors. You know, the ones who bought alpacas. What do you think? Are they worth the investment?
     
  2. kath2003

    kath2003 Well-Known Member

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    They are well worth the investment! We breed Fainters here in NY. My girl friend also does on Long Island.Those prices are very typical for this breed.These goats are hardy,very disease resistent,they kid all by themselves with rarely a problem.They are just a wonderfull breed to have,many colors,long hair,short hair,horned,polled and very easy keepers.:)
     

  3. EasyDay

    EasyDay Gimme a YAAAAY!

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    kath, do you milk your fainters? Are they good producers?
     
  4. Farmgirl2005

    Farmgirl2005 Well-Known Member

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    I have just recently purchased 3 fainters who i have recently wethered. They are the most adorable thing, they are hardy and can withstand alot of stressful situatations Though they do faint, it does not cause any health problems. I love my three dearly. They can handle a lot more stress and heat then my dairy breed. But i love them all the same. Fainters are pretty pricey, i believe so any way. But i got mine very cheap due to i bought them from a friend who was willing to down the price. I got mine for, tow for 80 and the thrid for 60. SO i was happy, they were cheaper then my two other girls.
    I hope this helps some,
    Lyn
    p.s. they are a hoot to watch faint :haha: :D
     
  5. Ellie5

    Ellie5 Well-Known Member

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    Fainting goats are indeed hardy, resistant animals. They are fun to watch, easy to pasture in, easily trainable, easy kidders, great moms, and do come on all sizes and colors. Yes indeed they are slightly more expensive (see below).

    Fainters (more acceptably called Myotonics), are considered a meat breed as their fainting spells tend to create muscle. The goats do not actually faint-their muscles stiffen up when startled. This does not harm the goats, and they are fully conscious the entire time. Often they are crossed with other meat breeds such as the boar who is a fast grower. Myotonics are slow growers.

    Depending on the level of myotonia, the muscle mass may be higher or lower. Because of all of their good qualities, they are sought after as pets and are very easy keepers compared to some other breeds. Most are not milked, however several breeders use the milk in their soap making businesses, so for family use it would be fine. They are a very diverse breed of goat and are used in many applications-fiber, meat, pets to name a few. Breeders are slowly making headway in the showring, too. Up and coming breed? You bet.

    The biggest and more important reason for the high price is the breed is on the Rare Breeds Conservatory List. Reportedly there are fewer than 1000 registrations and fewer than 5000 annual births a year. Several pairs have gone into living museums, and some genetic preservation organizations have collected specimens for preservation.

    I hope this has answered some of your questions on the breed (by the way, they are not yet officially recognized as a breed, which is in part due to the lack of public knowledge of the "breed" and the scarceness of goats). They do have their own registry, the International Fainting Goat Association. A google search will bring up their website.

    My thoughts: Should you choose this breed of goat you will be very satisfied with your choice.
     
  6. kath2003

    kath2003 Well-Known Member

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    Cheers to you Ellie,very impressed with your discription and info!! :) Do you own some of your own?
    We don't milk ours,some other owners have but they don't produce a whole lot of milk,from what I have seen.
     
  7. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info Kathy and others. Kathy, do you have a website? I think I remember looking at Fainting something Farm, and am wondering if it was you. :)

    So can I ask a question about breeding? Do you have any trouble selling your kids? (if you do sell them). In my searches, I've found several farms and many of them have already sold all their 2005 kids. I'm wondering if that's typical. i.e. If we get into breeding these critters, will I be able to get $200 to $300 per kid?

    Thanks!

     
  8. Home~Maker

    Home~Maker Urban Homesteader =0)

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    I just now started peeking into websites on this breed, and searched here for info. Going to check out the International Fainting Goat Association; do you think they'll have info on average milk production & quality?
     
  9. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    No, I don't think you'll find much info about milk production. I didn't anyway. We did buy some and they are nice. Easy keepers and really easy to sell the kids. But, they're not for milking. Their teats are so ridiculously small, it would be very frustrating. Get a dairy goat or two if you want milk. Get the fainters if you want nice pets that will make you some money on kid sales. We got both and we're happy with the combo.

     
  10. Home~Maker

    Home~Maker Urban Homesteader =0)

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    Okay, thanks for the info =0)

    I may just stick with my other plan and go with French Alpines.

    I did read some info at one of the Fainting Goats sites about breeding polled goats, in order to get goats that have no horns. Do you know anything about this? I don't know genetic terminology, and when I tried to look up one of the words on dictionary.com (heterozygote, I think it was), I got five more words to look up :(
     
  11. chma4

    chma4 Wolverton Family Farm Supporter

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    I have Nigerians. They are pricey too but they are small and give up to 1/2 gallon of milk /day. They dont eat as much, and are easier to keep because they are so much smaller. Not to mention how sweet and easy going they are. There size makes it cake to handle them too. You are stronger then them, which is not the case with the bigger breeds. Just a thought!
     
  12. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    Yes, technically any goat can carry the gene for being polled. My knowledge is pretty basic, but I will share what my understanding of the genetics is.

    The gene for being polled is actually dominant. Meaning, if a goat has 1 polled gene and 1 horned gene, he/she will be polled. So you would think you'd see a lot of polled goats. But breeders often avoid polled goats because of other problems linked to the polled gene. The problem is that the polled gene is also tied to sexual reproduction defects. If a goat gets 2 polled genes and 0 horned genes, there is a 25% (I think) chance that he/she will be a hermaphrodite or have other reproductive issues. THe way to avoid this, theoretically, is to only have one parent be polled. So, one parent gives either a polled or a horned gene, but the other parent always give a horned gene, so you never run the risk of having 2 polled genes together. Of course, then you only get a polled kid 50% of the time.

    I'm not sure how commom polled goats are in dairy breeds, but you see them fairly regularly in fainting goats. Probably because fainters are often not disbudded, making polled goats more desirable, I guess??? The thing is, even if you get some polled goats in your herd, you're still faced with the disbudding issue because now you've got some with horns and some naturally without horns.

    I hope that's not too confusing.

    As for alpines, etc., we really enjoy our dairy goats. We have Lamanchas. They're great, also pretty easy to keep, although they do seem more susceptible to illness, parasites, etc., then the fainters. But you can't beat the milk production and the ease of milking. The biggest problem I forsee with them is selling the kids. The fainter kids, I could sell each kid 5 times over. People love them for pets and the novelty, I guess. We have way more buyers than we do kids. The dairy goats are hard to even give away, unless you're really committed to showing and marketing your herd and getting your name out there. Something I don't have the time or motivation for right now.

    We're actually considering mini-dairy goats to see if the kids would be easier to sell. If we didn't need to breed to keep them in milk, it would be great. lol.

    Anyway, we keep our fainters and Lamanchas together and have not had any problems. So you could consider keeping both. Or start with the fainters, they're easier, and work your way up to dairy. Good luck with whatever you decide.
     
  13. Home~Maker

    Home~Maker Urban Homesteader =0)

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    That's a good idea... I had considered getting one other breed besides Alpines, so maybe the Fainters would be a good second breed. I could advertise on the Net, THAT would be new! lolll :rolleyes:

    I still need to do a little more research (well, other than care for the goats, lol, I only have one book so far), find out things like which breeds are more common in northeastern Indiana/southern Michigan/northwestern Ohio, see if there are other breeders around and what they have... see what the market is like 'round these here parts... :cowboy: lol (I know, I'm a dork, I'm tired)