Isn't breeding myotonia in goats cruel?

Discussion in 'Beginners Goat Raising' started by gardenbhean, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. gardenbhean

    gardenbhean New Member

    17
    Mar 16, 2013
    Mt. Shasta Valley
    Genuinely, I'm curious and confused. I really don't know; is it cruel to breed myotonia in goats?

    I've heard about fainting goats before but I just looked into what they are and I'm baffled. They are a very handsome breed, I'm just confused if the fainting is their main selling point or a unique trait to identify them by?

    I read that it's not painful, but doesn't it kind of disable the goats? And why breed a hereditary disorder?

    I know they are bred for meat, and produce lots of cashmere in the winter but honestly I need to know more. Right now I'm just in the dark completely.
     
  2. PiccoloGoat

    PiccoloGoat goat girl x0x0

    Sep 10, 2008
    Australia
    I'm curious about this too.
     

  3. LuvmyGoaties

    LuvmyGoaties Member

    412
    Mar 8, 2010
    I read an article on Fainting goats and it said that the "fainting" (which isn't really fainting, it's a stiffening/locking up of the muscles) helps develop the muscles. I guess it is kind of a workout.

    The other interesting (but maybe cruel) thing is that, according to the article, ranchers used to turn a fainter out with their other goats/sheep because when a predator went after them the fainter would faint and the predator would stop to kill/eat it allowing the rest of the herd to get away.
     
  4. PiccoloGoat

    PiccoloGoat goat girl x0x0

    Sep 10, 2008
    Australia
    The muscle exercise bit is interesting but I guess that's why they're meat goats.
    That's also interesting. Maybe not cruel, as it's saving the rest of the herd but it's a bit sad that his chances of living are lower and his life is valued less. Oh well.
     
  5. I'm not sure I agree with the locking up and developing muscle. When a person has a seizure they also lock up in a sense and it does not build muscle. Just my thought on it, unless a study was done.
     
  6. ThreeHavens

    ThreeHavens 7 does - 2 bucks - 1 wether

    Oct 20, 2011
    New Jersey
    Fainting goats were bred for this trait and mixed in with the "valuable" herds, so that when a coyote attacked, it would get the fainting goat.

    Eventually it became a breed, and the fainting trait is a much-loved and quirky part of the breed.
     
  7. Springbett Farm

    Springbett Farm Senior Member

    243
    Jan 5, 2011
    Nebraska
    As far as the meat goat perspective goes, the myotonia builds muscle like HYYP in horses, not exactly but similarly. More muscle = more meat. I have raised fainting goats for several years and I admit I started for the novelty. Now, I like their calm, gentle demeanor, their funny eyes, their overall easy manageability. They are fairly easy keepers and relatively parasite resistant. They don't jump fences (except for my Fainters that don't faint, and I have a few), don't stand on cars and I can let my two year old wander through my flock and not worry, even my herd queen is gentle around her. I think raising myotonics would be cruel if you let folks scare the bejeebers out of them just to make them "faint" all of the time. No one who loves their critters would do that. My Fainters are just like everyone else's goats (except mine are totally super awesome! ;) ). Their myotonia doesn't bother them rather it seems to be a slight inconvenience to them when they want to run away from me at vaccination time.
     
  8. gardenbhean

    gardenbhean New Member

    17
    Mar 16, 2013
    Mt. Shasta Valley
    That's really interesting, especially that part about using them as the fodder goat for predators. That's kind of why I thought it wasn't very nice to begin with because the disadvantage, but I actually think it's kind of neat they have a place. Yet, also different than breeding them for that specific abnormality.

    They are more muscular than other goats of the same size, but I can't yet confirm if there is a study. Still looking.

    http://www.myotonicgoatregistry.net/MGRbreeddescription/MGRBreeddescription.html << This was really informative about the specifics, but I'm more interested in the things people have to say about them.
     
  9. gardenbhean

    gardenbhean New Member

    17
    Mar 16, 2013
    Mt. Shasta Valley
    @Springbett Farm That's neat to hear. It sure would make it easier to shave them. With their docility they sound absolutely charming!

    True, I feel like most goats would be in a pretty safe environment where they wouldn't be fainting all the time.