The Fainting Goat can be traced back to the 1880’s - A farm worker named John Tinsley who traveled from place to place (perhaps looking for work) came to central Tennessee to the farm of Dr. Mayberry with four unusual goats that got stiff and fell down.
It is believed that John Tinsley came from Ireland by way of Nova Scotia, Canada. After only a year, John Tinsley moved on and either sold or left his goats (one buck and three does) on Dr. Mayberry's farm. Dr. Mayberry began to breed the unusual goats and found that their babies got stiff and fell down, too.
A myotonic goat, otherwise known as the fainting goat, is a domestic goat whose muscles freeze for roughly 10 seconds when the goat feels panic. Though painless, this generally results in the animal collapsing on its side.