Fresno fainting goat herd growing

Dale Yurong Image
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
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A Sanger ranch never fails to make people smile because it raises "fainting" goats.

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. -- A Sanger ranch never fails to make people smile because it raises "fainting" goats.

Everyone there wanted attention - from the goats to the guinea fowl to the llamas. But everyone also knew the fainting goats were the stars of Aspen Acres in Fresno County. This is a place where mealtime often becomes nap time. The bearded wise men didn't think it was funny.

Susan Means thought it was kind of a drag they have to live this way but visitors can't stop laughing. Means admitted, "I feel bad. I feel horrible. I hate doing it but it's in their nature. It just kind of happens."

Susan got another one to faint. It was momentarily groggy but otherwise OK.

Lillian Pauls said it is the natural behavior of myotonic goats. Pauls explained, "I don't like to see them faint, but it doesn't hurt them at all, and their eyes stay open the whole time they are out." They kind of just lay there and wonder what happened.

The farm had 20 baby fainting goat this year. People love to buy them as pets. Pauls explained, "They've become very popular. They're like your new dog or so."

The goats competed for carrots. These overexcited goats often faint when it's time to get fed. Lillian said, "Usually it's when they're trying to jump up on a table or something and they don't make it all way and they fall over and faint."

Eventually they learn to stiffen their legs so they don't tumble over. It's funny stuff. Means even agreed, "Yes it's hilarious."

Susan said she never catches the goats sleeping, maybe because they're always fainting during the day.

For more information about the fainting goats, or to take a tour of Aspen Acres, visit