Is your yard overwhelmed by excess weeds or brush?
Why not enlist a friendly goat or two to help you? It might sound bizarre, but local communities and even corporations such as Google are doing it!
Rent A Goat is just one example of a goat landscaping company. Blogger Erin Spain hired a team of goats based in Atlanta, Georgia called Get Your Goat Rentals. There are other companies out there as well – more than most would think! So why goats? It turns out there are numerous benefits to hiring our hooved friends to do landscaping for you. Here are a few of them.
Goats are eco-friendly.
When you hire a goat to trim your unwanted vegetation, you are not using harmful chemicals or pesticides or gas-powered mowers.
Goats naturally fertilize your lawn as they graze, which is an added bonus! A good example from the heart of our nation is when the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C., hired goats to clean up the cemetery because they did not want to risk getting chemicals into the nearby Anacostia River. Now that is a green idea!
Goats are hardworking.
Goats can stand on their hind legs and reach plants that might be hard to get to otherwise.
Blogger Erin Spain wrote of her experience on her blog: “Removing ivy is serious work! Chris didn’t want to spend money on the goats at first, so he said he would pull the ivy up himself. After about 15 minutes out in the yard, he came inside and said, ‘Let’s just rent the goats.’ It was just too big a job for us.” She also writes that “they go for the higher stuff first (in our case, the fence and trees), because they don’t like eating with their heads down. The smallest goats did the ground cover first but the rest saved the ground cover for last. I was amazed by how high up the tree the larger goats were able to stretch and eat too!”
Your pesky plants are their favorite snacks.
Among other things, goats love poison ivy and poison oak and miraculously do not react to them like humans do.
A crew of goats cleared out a patch of poison ivy at a historic site in Sandy Hook, New Jersey. They also love other pesky weeds such as thistle and nettles. Another benefit, especially in arid climates, is that goats will eat brush and weeds that are easy conductors of wildfires, so their nibbling can help prevent a potentially hazardous fire from gaining fuel. An important consideration before getting goats is to make sure you do not have any poisonous plants in your yard. Goats are sensitive to milkweed, buttercup, and poison hemlock among others, so check with your goat provider before you let the goats go munching in your yard!
Goats are fun and entertaining for all! According to a recent study in the journal Biology Letters, goats might be just as people-focused as dogs are. Not only are they cute and fun to watch, but they will be fun to interact with as well. So if you are overwhelmed by weed growth or have poison ivy patches to clear, why not relax and let some goats do the work for you? Lean back and pass the lemonade!