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Who’s Got Your Goat?

Myotonic Goat Breed Association & National Pygmy Goat Association hold goat show...


by Melissa Bravo - September 14, 2015

This past weekend the national Myotonic Goat Breed Association and the national Pygmy Goat Association arrived in Whitneyville for one of their sanctioned breed shows held at the Tioga County Fairgrounds. Susan Judlin, the Wellsboro based show secretary for the myotonic show; and Trout run resident Jaklin Beaver of JB Farms, who is the local show organizer for the pigmy show; invited Wellsboro Home Page to check out the 200 goats that were in town this past weekend. The goats and their exhibitors came from farms in Kentucky, Maryland, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York and received a warm reception of hot coffee at the Wellsboro FFA club concession stand. A special thank you to the Judlin family (the last picture in the slide show) of Mt. Basin Fainting Goats of Morris, PA and all of the parents and volunteers for bringing this three-day event to our hometown.


The exhibitors ‘kidded’ around all weekend in the rain – starting with a Friday Night Fun Class and ending on Sunday with a final Pygmy goat show. Local competitors Kailyn and Jordan Judlin of Wellsboro, Lysabeth and Olivia Likens of L&O Farms in Liberty, and Kaylee Dunham of K&K Fainting Goat Farms, also of Wellsboro, were just some of the youth exhibitor competing in showmanship classes. The two Judlin girls both received Grand and Reserve Champion Showmanship ribbons in the youth showmanship division.


Both associations held silent auctions to support the kid’s activities and I captured some of the ‘bling’, ‘soaps’, and the absolutely fantastic ‘kidding around’ artwork by Linda Craun of Dallastown, PA in the slideshow of pictures I took on Saturday.


So, just why are they called fainting goats anyway? This characteristic is caused by a hereditary genetic disorder called ‘myotonia congenital’ which causes the little bitty animals to freeze and faint if they have a full blown panic attack! Other common names for these cuties include Nervous Goats, Wooden-Leg Goats, Scare Goats, and Tennessee Fainting Goats. The breed is a multi-purpose goat derived from a variety of strains of goats that were originally from Tennessee.


The pygmy goats are entirely different. Short and stout, the males with their beautiful beards remind you of the gruff dwarfs in motion pictures and the kids could have been the inspiration for the Norwegian fairy tale ‘Three Billy Goats Gruff’. Except that the pygmy breed actually originated from the French Cameroon region of Africa. The Catskill’s Game Farm in New York received a shipment of these dwarf goats from Sweden in the 1950’s and the breed has been a regional favorite ever since. Sixteen pygmy goat breeders came to this year’s event and hope to show here again next year.

Now if you really want the goat’s opinion on whether or not they are really just a dual purpose breed – meaning for meat & milk instead of the fabulous pet that they have become noted for – check out what these adorable critters have to say on this YouTube video that went viral last year.

Don’t you just have to have one today!

Melissa Bravo of Meadow Lake Farm Consulting Services is a certified crop advisor, livestock, and land management consultant and also a free-lance agriculture writer. She holds a master degree from Penn State in Weed Science and a Bachelor’s degree in Livestock Production from Delaware Valley College. Melissa lives and farms in Tioga County where she raises and sells replacement Angus heifers and bulls, giant pumpkins, and oodles of tomatoes. She can be reached at (814)-574-4067.



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