Whenever I am doing dishes, weeding the garden, mopping the floor or doing some other glorified menial household task I can always think of any number of interesting dairy things to post, but when I am sitting here at the computer my mind always goes blank. I need to start writing things down as I think of them.
However. In the meantime; this farming magazine that we get had an article (that I incidentally haven't read yet) on "fainting goats." This sounded like something vaguely amusing and interesting to post about. So I went to trusty Wikipedia for more info:
A fainting goat is a breed of domestic goat whose muscles freeze for roughly 10 seconds when the goat is startled. Though painless, this generally results in the animal collapsing on its side. The characteristic is caused by a hereditary genetic disorder called myotonia congenita. When startled, younger goats will stiffen and fall over. Older goats learn to spread their legs or lean against something when startled, and often they continue to run about in an awkward, stiff-legged shuffle.
In the past they were used for protecting livestock such as sheep by involuntarily "sacrificing themselves" to predators, allowing the sheep to escape.
The origin of the fainting goat is peculiar. The goats appear to have arrived in Marshall County, Tennessee in the early 1800s, courtesy of a reclusive farm worker named Jon Tinsley who was most likely from Nova Scotia. Before he left the area, he sold his goats — three does and a buck — to Dr. H.H. Mayberry, who bred them.
There is also an International Fainting Goat Association which has more interesting information and photos as well. Their logo is cute. It would appear that this breed is a meat goat, but because they are so rare they are usually used for pets.
If I were to have a goat I think I would choose a fainting goat.