The Myotonic goat is a distinct breed yet it has many synonyms for names, including Nervous Goats, Wooden-Leg Goats, Scare Goats, Fainting Goats, and Tennessee Fainting Goats.
Myotonic goats have a very distinctive breed type that is based mostly on head and body conformation. They also have a muscle condition called myotonia congenita. This inherited trait leads to an overall increase in muscle mass so that the goats are very muscular when compared to other breeds of similar size. This trait is so distinctive that it is easy to confuse the trait with the breed. However, the Myotonic goat is much more than just a myotonic condition; it has a host of other consistent traits that are very important and need to be conserved for future generations.
Several important characteristics are typical of the breed:
1. Docile temperament
2. Myotonia congenita leading to stiffness and muscularity
3. Abundance of high quality muscle
4. Good adaptation to low-input forage-based feeding systems
5. Genetic distance from other breeds such that crossbreeding yields great hybrid vigor.