A breed of animal is represented by a unique combination of genetic materials that allow the breed to be recognized as a breed. It is called “breed character”. The Fainting Goat breed has been well documented to be a slow maturing animal. Selecting for faster maturation rates coincides with increased birth weights. It does little good to have tremendous mothering abilities, protective instincts and good milk production if the goat cannot successfully deliver her kids due to their increased birth size.

Selection for increased mature size also leads to greater nutrient requirements which may affect the ability of the animal to sustain itself on forage alone.  This increases the cost to keep an animal as well.


Because modern commercial animals were bred to produce meat as quickly as possible, your heritage animals won’t give you the maximum feed-to-meat conversion. But they will be hardier and withstand disease better. And they will likely forage better. You’ll also be helping to preserve livestock breeds for future generations of small-scale, sustainable farmers. Written by Lauren Ware