Hitting the hay: N.S. boy owns rare breed of ‘fainting goat’
A Bible Hill, N.S., boy owns a rare breed of goat that faints when she gets scared.
“She's a miniature silky fainting goat, which means, fainting goats when they get scared or excited, they just tense up and fall over,” said goat owner Xavier LeBlanc.
When LeBlanc’s goat, Daisy, gets startled, her legs will stiffen and she falls to the ground.
The condition is hereditary and not painful. It's not contagious, and there's even a scientific explanation for it.
“In animals, there's a sodium and a chloride that is involved in muscle tensing and relaxation, but the relaxation part has gotten a little bit screwed up,” said animal science professor Tarjei Tennessen.
In those five seconds, they will sometimes fall over. They don't actually lose consciousness, but it appears they are fainting.
The goats don't always faint on demand. LeBlanc has seen daisy faint, but has never been able to have it happen when he wants her to.
“Sometimes it's kind of annoying because every time they do, we don't have a camera ready to catch it,” he said.
While it may be fun to look at, experts say it's a good thing the genetic trait is quite rare.
“In nature, the survival value of this wonderful condition is zero because you can imagine, the lion springs, the animal goes tonic, and very conveniently collapses on the ground and is eaten up,” said Tennessen.
Fainting or not, LeBlanc is just happy to have his Daisy.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Dan MacIntosh.