Located in scenic Adams County, Pennsylvania north of the historic Gettysburg battlefield, we raise MGR & IFGA registered myotonic or fainting goats. We have always preferred to work with heritage animals and heirloom plants, to do our part in preserving genetic diversity and unique history. We also have horses, and before getting goats, we realized we needed to better balance our pastures in a sustainable manner. Cross-species grazing to control the non-grasses and stop parasite life cycles sounded like the best solution. When we started researching heritage goat breeds, we were struck by how calm and easy to manage the myotonic breed is. Additionally, this landrace breed is adapted to the warm humid climate of the southeastern USA, so our Pennsylvania climate would be a good match. We got our first bred female and companion wether, and we were hooked. Fainters are like potato chips, you cannot stop at one(or two or three). Next thing you knew, we had a large herd, a business, and I was adapting my knowledge of holistic horse management to the goat herd.
Our goats are fed a natural diet of non-gmo chemical-free and/or organic grains and hay. We also use the Dynamite line of supplements. We have multiple generations of chemical and vaccine free goats, and have cleared any vaccinosis issues using homeopathy. We have a variety of colors, polled or horned, and blue or brown eyes. Average heights are 20-24" at the shoulder-some can register as mini. Our goats are perfect for the homestead, being easy to handle & contain, good mothers and naturally parasite resistant. Twin kids are the norm. Fainting goats excel at meat production. While they have a slower growth rate than some breeds, that is offset by their efficient low-input diet, natural parasite resistance and extremely high meat to bone ratio, reaching 4:1. When calculating net cost per pound, fainting goats typically beat the other pure breeds. Fainting goats excelled in the 2011 feeding trials at the Maryland Small Ruminant Center.
Fainting goats can be milked. Your average fainting doe can yield 6 cups daily of rich milk that tastes much like half-and-half, while still nursing her kids. Oak Hill will be milking in 2016, and I will keep folks posted on our learning curve over at the blog. Fainting does do tend to have smaller teats than the dairy breeds, so a hand milker may make your job easier. The does are docile and easily trained, making them excellent milking partners.
At Oak Hill, we currently do not save or process any cashmere from our goats. The cashmere is fine with a somewhat short fiber that requires a tighter twist. Fainting goats do have guard hairs mixed with the cashmere, so cleaning can be tricky. The cashmere comes in a variety of colors and roughly 1/3 of the Oak Hill herd carries the cashmere gene.
Oak Hill is a sustainable "beyond organic" living evolving farm, with the focus on healthy soils and plants and co-thriving animals. We are not certified organic for philosophical reasons.