Goats for the Greater Good

Are you fighting an uphill battle with invasive species? I have spent countless afternoons volunteering to remove invasive species that seem to start growing the second I turn my back. Are my efforts futile? Please share some of your best practices for removing invasive species in the comments below.

I recently learned a new technique from a local Atlanta organization. The event was titled “Greet the Goats”, but was quickly dubbed Bleat and Greet. The day was spent with first-hand observing how farm animals can help tackle invasive species. These animals are nature’s green garbage disposals, eating anything with leaves! There are very few plants that will upset the stomach of these hollow-horned mammals. Goats can eat up to 10 pounds of leaf litter a day. I watch incredulously as goats demolished poison ivy, English ivy, and Chinese privet. Unfortunately, there is a limit to the greatness of goats. Vegetation taller than breast height may be out of reach for these little animals. However, I witnessed goats applying their weight to tall shrubs to bend/knock them down to access taller greens. This method requires no fossil fuels (besides goat transportation) and provides a free natural fertilizing service. Many of the herd members are saved from goat dairy farms.

However, it is risky to employ these nondiscriminatory eaters once spring blooms are present. We recommend this as a summer technique. Please enjoy the pictures of these goofy hard workers!

For more information regarding the benefits of goats view the Eco-goats website!

” data-toggle=”collapse” aria-expanded=”true” aria-controls=”collapseseven”>Photo courtesy N.A. Irlbeck, Bugwood.org

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