August 23, 2009 at 5:43 pm #173151
I was somewhat amused when I found these articles on treehugger: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/08/goat-patrol-landscaping.php and
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/08/goat-patrol-revisited.php (the second article addresses the carbon footprint question from the first article)
I guess the reason I find the whole thing amusing is that when I was working in landscape maintenance I used to joke that they could replace me and the rest of the workers with goats (you had to be there). I had a friend in Reno who owned goats, and they actually were a lot of help for her because they eat anything. Even poison ivy, according to the article.August 24, 2009 at 7:09 pm #173163Kevin J. GaughanParticipant
I heard that the city of Curitiba, Brazil uses goats to maintain the grass at most of their city parks. I will be visiting there in February, so I will report back on how the system is working!August 25, 2009 at 1:56 am #173162
I think Reno or a town close by uses sheep to help clear cheatgrass.
I’m still kind of impressed that goats eat poison ivy. I’ll have to tell my parents. Their yard is covered in it, and nothing has worked to get rid of it so far.September 24, 2009 at 8:12 pm #173161Kellan VincentParticipant
A contractor we work frequently with has a large herd of goats.
I might need to try this out!September 28, 2009 at 3:18 pm #173160Sherman C. Runions, ASLAParticipant
A little humor Roland. Actually, we had goats when I was a child. We didn;t have to mow the lawn. In fact, they pretty well wiped out honeysuckle and other invasive plants. A very much unappreciated animal that takes a beating from the bible.September 28, 2009 at 7:09 pm #173159
It is an interesting idea worth exploring more. It’s probably another example of an idea used a lot in the past that was ignored when mowers and herbicides came along.
I wonder what type of goats are used for this. My friend in Reno had african pygmies, I think. They were actually pretty friendly. She fed them a lot of her yard waste.September 29, 2009 at 2:00 am #173158Mike GParticipant
Goats have been used to ‘mow’ tall grasses on several garbage dumps in Chicago too. These particular dumps are the tallest and steepest slopes in Cook County, IL and a bit to steep to safely mow. They use goats to keep the grasses and invasive shrubs in check. I guess a reclaimation, or possibly even restoration, project is strangly incomplete without the addition of grazers in the cycle. When I first heard of this technique a few years ago I too was amazed at the capabilities of these animals….and also that the tallest steepest topography is a reclaimed garbage dump.October 1, 2009 at 4:35 pm #173157Ryan A. WaggonerParticipant
I personally like any idea that takes it into a more natural rhythm of things. But the article does ask a good question, is it actually saving any more fossil fuel energy by shipping in goats? Because it is pointless if these goats are being shipped hundreds of miles away to clear a few acres. The positive is that it completely rids the landscape of the invasive plants. I would definitely like to see some more projects like this and see if they are actually saving time and expenses (i.e. fuel, labor, pesticides, equipment, etc.). Why not use them on the sides of highways where many invasives grow and are very hard to maintain? And we know that we have an endless expanse of food there for the little guys…October 1, 2009 at 9:18 pm #173156
Take a look at the second link I provided at the start of the discussion. It will take you to the follow-up article. That article goes into more detail on how one of the goat owners handles the issue of transportation and fuel. It’s worth a read.November 11, 2009 at 11:42 pm #173155Les BallardParticipant
Trouble is, folk want different things from their landscapes. Goats sure replace mowers, things that would actually poison them excepted, but folk want heath, brush, woods and forest often with areas of agriculture to remain and funnelling tourists into trails that have to be secure – you cant have a goat butting old ladies off the cliff – and maintained with a false but naturalistic slant due to path erosion and the like. As usual, I guess goats are partly an answer as are sheep, horses, pigs or whatever.
Lun n Lite,
Les BallardOctober 16, 2010 at 1:39 am #173154
I thought this clip was pretty funny: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/10/stephen-colbert-goats-stealing-american-jobs-destroying-america-video.phpOctober 16, 2010 at 6:18 pm #173153Rob HalpernParticipant
I can attest that goats will eat poison ivy. They don’t seem to particularly want to… but they can do it.
Goats art better browsers than grazers: they don’t eat much grass. Sheep are better grazers.
Have at it.October 16, 2010 at 8:02 pm #173152BoilerplaterParticipant
I’ve been to the Netherlands several times, and while traveling around the countryside you often see sheep grazing the tops and sides of levees along canals. I belive they can’t allow trees to get a foothold because their root runs can create water channels. Then Hans has to stick his finger in the leak in the dike and well, you know how the children’s story goes.
I bet if you do a Google images search you’ll find old photos of the Sheep Meadow in Central Park with actual sheep grazing on it. I’ve seen it someplace.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.