The Goats, Music and More Festival aims to honor goats, particularly Marshall County's famous native "Fainting" goat and the Boer goat. Fainting goat and Boer goat shows are the core of the festival; but visitors will also find a full slate of planned fun including and arts & crafts show, food vendors, children's activities and acoustic, bluegrass, country and rock and roll music.
The first recorded mention of "fainting" or "nervous" goats was from Marshall County, TN, during the 1880s, according to festival officials. A man named Tinsley moved into the northern part of the county bringing with him four "bulgy-eyed" goats and a "sacred" cow. The goats a strange tendency to become temporarily rigid, even to the point of losing balance and falling over when startled.
Tinsley stayed long enough to marry and harvest a corn crop. He then left unexpectedly, leaving his wife but taking his cow. Before departing, he sold his goats to a local doctor; and the odd but otherwise healthy goats went on to reproduce and continue living in the area. Fainting goats were almost extinct by the 1980s, but today the quirky breed is thriving throughout the world thanks to its novelty appeal. Their “stiff-legged” appearance and apparent “fainting” is caused by a neuromuscular condition called Myotonia. This condition does not harm the goat.
Boer goats originated in South Africa by breeding “indigenous” stock with European imports. Boer goats were exported to Germany in 1977, New Zealand in 1987, and Australia in 1988. They were released from quarantine to the United States and Canada in April 1993. The Boer goat is an eye catching animal with its reddish-brown head and sleek, firmly muscled and well proportioned body.
The males weigh between 240 and 300 pounds while the females weigh between 200 and 225 pounds.