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'Everyone has a Story': Betty and her 'fainting goats' | News

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'Everyone has a Story': Betty and her 'fainting goats'

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- It's a story you just have to see to believe; fainting goats

Betty Shelby posted her story on our Today's THV Facebook page. And that led our Liz Massey to Faulkner County and to Mayflower.

There she met Shelby and her unusual animals. (photo gallery) 

Each one is different, each one knows their name. Each has a distinct personality.

Some are camera hogs while others are camera shy and some are just plain sneaky. And they all belong to Betty Shelby. Shelby owns Apache Landing in Mayflower.

"Right now I have 20. 19 girls which are called does. I have three bucks which are the boys and one weather which is a fixed boy," explains Shelby.

But these are not your everyday goats.

"They are actually myotonic goats. They are born with myotonia congenita, which is a stiffening of their skeletal muscles," says Shelby.

If they're excited or startled she explains, "Their muscles get stiff and a lot of times they'll topple over. As they get older they learn to control it so they'll just kind of bounce along and drag their back legs and their front legs will be stiff, kind of like a bunny rabbit."

It's a hereditary genetic disorder and something as simple as tossing a pillow, opening and closing an umbrella or just being excited by food can bring them down, or NOT. Apparently we weren't very scary. In fact, they seemed to be laughing at us! But eventually, they show off their paralyzing ability.

Shelby says while they're called "fainting goats" they don't actually lose consciousness and it does not hurt them in any way.

"The first time I saw them I was in Tennessee, those weren't handled much by people and you just clapped your hands and they fell over. And I thought that was so unusual so unique and I was going to have some," says Shelby.

And in 1999, she got her wish. Shelby raises them for breeding and show stock.

Shelby says, "To watch them just fall over and it appears their dead, but then they pop back up and go about their business like nothing happened."

Shelby says she never thought this would be her life.

"No, no I was a city girl, I was raised in the city of North Little Rock," she explains.

But now, she wouldn't trade it for the world.

"I love it, I love it," she says.

While this may not be "for the faint of heart." It's definitely for Betty Shelby.

Shelby says, "I love them, they've been my life for 13 years."

Shelby says she's taken a few of her goats to schools to educate kids about livestock. One of them has even participated in a charity fundraiser.

And remember if you have an interesting story to share, go to our Facebook page and click "LIKE" if you haven't already and post your story. And maybe one day, we'll feature you.


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