2021 - Volume #45, Issue #4, Page #20[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Miniature Silky Fainting Goats
“I had Nigerian dwarfs and Frank Baylis at Bayshore Kennel and Farm had longhaired fainting goats, but they were bigger than what we wanted. We had this crazy idea to mix them with the Nigerian dwarfs to add some color and to reduce the size,” explains the Lignum, Va., breeder.
That was about 20 years ago, and now there are goats in a variety of colors and color combinations with eyes in all colors in the Miniature Silky Fainting Goat Association registry that Orr started.
A main requirement is size. Optimal height for the miniature breed is 23 1/2 in. at the withers for bucks, 25 at the most. Does should be slightly smaller.
“When competing we are looking for good conformation. They are sturdy, streamlined and elegant with bangs, cheek muffs and beards blending into their chest of hair. They need consistency of hair length from the top line to the floor,” Orr says.
She adds that the long silky hair is not difficult to maintain if the hair is a single coat. It only needs a couple brushings a year.
“It’s a higher micron so it’s not good for spinning. We want high luster,” she adds.
Though fainting is in the breed’s name, it’s not a mandatory trait. It’s not always a dominant gene, so some goats don’t faint at all while others merely stiffen and some seem to fall over ‘at the drop of a hat,’ Orr says.
The benefit of fainting goats is that they are more resistant to stomach worms and they don’t jump, so they are easier to keep fenced in. Orr’s four-board fence is sufficient.
The medium size of the miniature goats avoids the kidding problems that smaller breeds have, and they are good mothers.
“They appeal to people who don’t want to milk their goats or send them to market,” Orr says. Good show and breeding stock are more expensive, but pet wethers can be found at reasonable prices.
Interest has been growing and competitive shows are held across the U.S., April through June and then again September through October.
For show dates and more information, check out the association website.
Contact FARM SHOW Followup, Renee Orr, Sol-Orr Farm, MSFGA, 22105 Countryside Lane, Lignum, Va. 22726 (ph 540 423-9193; www.msfgaregistry.org; firstname.lastname@example.org).
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