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Myotonic Goats

M yotonic Goats are an American Heritage Breed that was first described in Marshall County, Tennessee in the 19th Century (hence their other name Tennessee Fainting Goats). An itinerant farm hand brought several goats with him with an odd tendency to stiffen when startled. When he moved on a year later, the goats remained behind.

Jason Buck



Since that time, Myotonic Goats have been maintained to protect other livestock (when attacked, the goat goes down, gets eaten, and the more valuable animals get away), as pets, and for their meat. 

Myotonic Goats have a neuromuscular disorder described as myotonia congenita. This syndrome can also be found in other mammals like dogs and humans, where it is referred to as Becker's or Thomsen's Disease.

This myotonic syndrome produces a higher meat-to-bone ratio (3:1 instead of 2:1) and a thicker musculature with a more tender nature that has earned myotonic goats a place on the Slow Food Ark of Taste.

As pets, myotonic goats are poor climbers (easily contained) and have a wonderful disposition. They tame easily when fed and handled regularly and can be very loving pets.

Myotonics come in a beautiful range of colors (the classic being black & white), all sizes, and lengths of coat. They are a landrace, composite breed and the only real criteria they must meet to be a myotonic is to have the myotonia gene and the right earset.

Our breeding program is focused on improving the breed as a production animal. I hate to see breeds imported from other countries like the kiko and boer, dominating the meat goat marketplace when we have a unique breed of our own, the myotonic goat. We breed for a full-sized goat for optimal musculature.

We are also interested in improving rates of growth without sacrificing important qualities like strong maternal traits, parasite resistance, out-of-season breeding, and multiple births. We generate performance data on all kids to determine which animals have the best growth at 50, 60 and 90 days. These rates of growth will be determined by different traits such as high milk production (50 day weights) and efficiency on pasture (90 day weights). All weights are adjusted for age of dame and number of kids born in the litter.

fainting goat kidsOur goats are raised on pasture and allowed to forage on scrub that encourages good health. The aromatic bramble they prefer helps maintain good health, minimizes parasite loads, and gives our goats a shiny coat and delicious flavor.

We primarily register with the Myotonic Goat Registry but can also provide paperwork for IFGA or Pedigree International on request.