All goats should be productive. So what does this mean? It means that they should serve some type of purpose. There are many different purposes that allow goats of all breeds to serve us. One major purpose is by being a pet. Fainting goats make great pets. They have super personalities and can be very funny. They are a very easy going breed and most of them thrive on attention. Goats in general can be used for milk production, meat, and fiber as well. Goats make good agility choices for competition and will also exceed as a therapy goat too! Then there is the show ring. Many breeders enjoy showing their goats. You can meet some really nice people at the shows and it is a great place to show off your herd.

I guess the biggest reason people get into goats is to breed them. We will focus on the breeding aspect of the goat in this article. Conformation and breeding go hand and hand and you will learn why as you read this article. Conformation and breed characteristics are also very important. Breed characteristics are how you know you have a Fainting goat and not a Boer goat. Kind of like a Labrador and a poodle. They each have a very different set of characteristics to tell them apart.

Let us look at the definition of conformation. Conformation is the shape and structure of the animal. Allen Jackson states, “Unlike many animals, almost all conformation is directly related to production, ease of kidding and dairy Character”. This is a very important statement. A goat with poor conformation may have problems kidding or nursing her young. This is true about all breeds. Even meat goats require a nice udder to feed her kids.

If we begin by looking at the goats head we should be first and foremost be able to tell that this is a Fainting Goat. It will match the breed standard. The head also plays an important part in overall productivity. The mouth must be able to take in and chew food for the goat. If the goat has a parrot mouth ( overshot where the top is longer than the bottom)  or a undershot mouth the goat will have a harder time  being  able to properly nurse, get enough nutrition, eat from the creep feeder, or even  graze. These things will hurt the goats productivity. It is also believed that these jaw defects are inherited.

Legs and Feet are another very important area to look at. Legs and feet are very important.  Without a good  legs and feet your goat will not be able to carry their weight around as easily as they should be. It will also be harder for them to move around to find their food. Remember that the legs must be able to last the goats lifetime.

The pelvis is so very important in the productivity of the goat because it also determines the width of the rear legs. Overall this could lead to kidding difficulties for the doe. The shape and slope of the pelvis may create problems with the rear legs. A small or poorly shaped pelvis often extra wear and tear on the thurl joints and repetitive strain to the rear legs and feet. A pelvis that is too short will lead to kidding complications. The pelvic structure is a key component of your goats ability to be successful in breeding and kidding.

Breeding ease is yet another thing to look at because if the angle is wrong it will be harder for the buck to breed the doe.  A steep rump will cause a steeply angled vaginal vault thus compromising breeding.

We also need to look for a nice big body Capacity. This is another strong asset for the goat to have. Here is where the internal organs are housed and where the food is digested. It is also where the babies will grow! They need enough room to develop properly. Here you want some length, width, and depth.

The mammary systems is important even with meat goats. They need to be able to feed the babies. It is important that the teats placement, size, and shape are such that the kids will be able to easily nurse. The udder attachment is also important because it could help prevent an injury.

The biggest Characteristic of the Fainting Goat that may effect productivity is their size. They are a smaller breed normally around 17-25″ and weighing only    . This is an important fact. A Fainting goat that is breed to a larger meat type of goats will end up with kidding complications.

Maxine Kinne makes this statement. Correct structure is species specific. Whether they are goats, cows, sheep or Loch Ness Monsters, evolution selected for function. When humans interfere with the selection process, they often face unintended consequences. On the farm, we breed for the type we think we like or that the judges want to see in the show ring. Nature isn’t nearly as picky: if a trait doesn’t work well in nature, the trait disappears immediately.



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