Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fainting Goats - the ultimate farm animal

I know nothing about farms or farm animals, but I do know that if I lived on a farm a fainting goat would be a necessity.

I was introduced to this fascinating creature a few years ago by a friend. Since then, it's been an ongoing joke about this animal. I mean, whoever created a genetically defective goat that faints when they are startled is a pure genius (or maybe they were high). When someone creeps up behind me and screams "BOO" I jump and then laugh. But man, could you imagine the fun you could have if you could scare an animal and have it freeze and fall over in paralysis? Cruel? Maybe. Fun? COMPLETELY!

What brought on this random blog post? Well, my friend is thinking about buying a goat for her dad's birthday (don't worry, he lives on a farm in Virginia). She sent me an adorable photo of a black and white goat, which unfortunately doesn't faint (lame). 
Adorable, but boring non-fainting goat
When we started searching for fainting goat breeders in Virginia (yes, these exist), we realized that these goats were quite ugly. However, in my opinion, hours of entertainment trumps looks. What do you think?
Awesome fainting goat, but definitely not a looker
And because I am nice (and awesome), here is a video of fainting goats in action. Enjoy!

Definition from Wikipedia:
A fainting goat is a breed of domestic goat whose muscles freeze for roughly 10 seconds when the goat is startled. Though painless, this generally results in the animal collapsing on its side. The characteristic is caused by a hereditary genetic disorder called myotonia congenita. When startled, younger goats will stiffen and fall over. Older goats learn to spread their legs or lean against something when startled, and often they continue to run about in an awkward, stiff-legged shuffle.

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