Bernson's Corner: Fainting goats
Seymour, Ind. (WDRB Fox 41) --"Come on kids, let's go, who wants to faint?"
And that's why we're running around a farm near Seymour, Indiana trying to startle goats into fainting. Thanks to a genetic condition called Myotonia, when the little guys freak out, they actually fall over....sometimes.
Rogers explains, "What makes them valuable is that they faint. That's a rare thing with any animal, that they faint.
They're rare so, a lot of people want them because of their rare status. They're also a little harder to find. That's why they're a little more pricey. Really, they're a novelty. However, they're considered a meat goat.
Centuries ago, shepherds developed the fainting goat as insurance from predator attacks. If a wolf showed up to attack the flock, the goats would faint and draw the predator away from the fleeing sheep.
"That Myotonia -when they're startled or scared, just kind of any change in their normal pattern, it kind of constricts, and when it constricts they'll lock their back legs up. When they get really startled, that's what causes them to go over," Rogers explains.
Rogers says they've been outside working and the power washer was too close to the fence, and some of them just fell over.
"They do not become unconscious. They go over, but they never lose consciousness," says Rogers.
Trixie the goat was recently born and may grow up with a tendency to faint, or maybe not. The thing is, there's no real practical value to myotonic goats, just our amusement. It's probably not that great if you're the fainter. But next time somebody bets you there's no such thing as a fainting goat... take the bet.