What is a Myotonic Goat?

A Myotonic Goat has a condition known as myotonia congenita. Myotonia is a neuromuscular condition in which the muscle cells contract when a goat is excited, frightened or nervous. It causes no discomfort and the goat does not "faint". Their back legs will stiffen and they will topple over if off balance. Most goats learn to brace themselves before falling as they get older. Kids readily "faint" and fall over. This condition is what causes these goats to have the characteristic "double muscling" and heavy, muscular frames. They have a meat to bone ratio of 4:1 which is the hightest of any breed. They are slow to mature though so most have been bred to be companion animals or "pets".

 

Tennessee Meat Goats are a product of Onion Creek Ranch and are a Myotonic goat that has been specifically bred to be a large, meaty animal for the meat market. They must have Onion Creek Ranch bloodlines, meet certain standards and be inspected by a representative of Onion Creek Ranch in order to be registered with Pedigree International as a Tennessee Meat Goat.

 

Onion Creek Ranch has also developed a breed known as the TexMaster. They have Boer influence for faster growth and are also registered with Pedigree International. They are not to be confused with Genemasters, which are a Boer/Kiko product from Onion Creek Ranch.

 

Myotonic Goats do not have a breed standard but rather a breed description due to the wide variance in the goats. They can be any color or color combination. Some do not readily faint at all and some are always stiff legged. They absolutely must have a docile temperment, high quality muscling, and a very specific head shape. They have a broad muzzle, "bug eyes" and a straight face.

 

 

Why did we choose Myotonic Goats?

They are docile, parasite resistant, and they are especially well adapted for forage-based systems. We also like them since they do not readily jump or climb fencing due to the Myotonic trait. They are excellent mothers as well. But to sum it all up, those kids are just too cute! We were smitten with the Myotonic Breed from the beginning. Our children also greatly enjoy them.

The Sharp Family

Zuni, Virginia

asefarms@yahoo.com