New goat breed founded in Virginia
December 12, 2013
CULPEPER—Miniature silky fainting goats are nosing their way into the hearts of goat farmers across the country. The unique breed of show goats got its start in Virginia at Renee Orr’s Sol-Orr Farm in Culpeper County.
“I started breeding goats in 1993. I started out with Nigerian dwarfs,” Orr said at a recent breed show in Rockingham County. When she was introduced to long-haired fainting goats, she decided to develop a breed of her own.
“This breed is all about the look, and it’s about a long, silky coat. It’s a single coat, it’s flat and it’s straight, and when you touch it, it feels like silk,” Orr said. “Goat owners are drawn to them because of their beauty.”
Orr opened a registry for the new breed in 2005, and a committee of goat owners and breeders developed breed standards. It took a few years for the new breed to become established, but enthusiasm was high.
“Anybody that had a goat that they felt looked like what we were describing in the breed standard could send an application with measurements and pictures. I had about 50 goats in the registry by the end of 2005. As of September 2013 we have almost 4,000 goats” registered, Orr said.
The thousands of goats are bred and cared for to participate in mini-silky shows year-round. Orr hosts two shows in Rockingham County. The fall show in September drew die-hard competitors like John Pegg from as far away as Michigan.
“They’ll follow you around like a dog, some of them will sit on your lap, they’ll chew on your ears,” Pegg said. “They’re playful. Every once in a while you’ll get one that’s a little shy, but they’re just fun to be around.”
Additional information on miniature silky fainting goats is available at msfgaregistry.org or from Orr at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Media: Contact Norm Hyde, VFBF communications, at 804-290-1146.