Goats are Great

The first time I ever saw a goat was at the SF Zoo, the petting zoo actually. They are really cute and funny animals. The kids love to be around them and they are great with the kids too. M is better with animals than me, so he had lots of fun brushing the coat. I just stood there watching, until I decided to see for myself. Their fur is not very soft, definitely not like a cat, but much more tougher… maybe more like a Pot Belly pig.

The latest news I have to share about how great goats are come out of Washington state. Goats do a great job of clearing up land that has been taken over by unwanted shrubs and vines. They can eat up blackberry bushes (thorns too) with no problems at all! This popular method of clearing up land with goats grew out of southern California. It began as a great way to clear the foothills to prevent wildfires. Now that people are more interested in “green living”, the idea of using goats are becoming more popular. The benefits of using goats really out weight the use of machines or manual labor.

In Bellevue, Washington goats were used to clear out a steep quarter-acre lot. It took four days and 60 goats to chew throught the blackberry vines and Scotch broom. Even local gardeners jump in by hauling away the goat droppings to use as fertilizers – all free and organic. The contractors saved about $6000 to $9000 by using the goats. You can read more about it at seattlepi.com. The goats go for hire at about $450 a day for the goats, a $250 transportation fee and extra for setting up their fencing. I will have to remember to hire the goats if there are ever some clearings to be done.

But the neatest thing about goats is that they have the best milk around. Very nutritious. People who are lactose intolerate can still consume goat milk. And soap made with goat’s milk are the best. Leaves you feeling very pampered. I think someday I would consider having a few herd of goats too. Maybe in about five years time. First I have to get over the fact that animals just smell funny!

Photo from Seattlepi.com Pictured above is some of Craig Madsen’s 270 rented goats. I love how the goat is thinking, “Don’t bother me, I’m trying to enjoy these vines.”

Note: Goats are also great at getting rid of kudzu vines in the Southeastern U.S.  Read more about kudzu from my other post here.

The best way to get rid of kudzu without herbicide is to bring in some goats and llamas to eat them up. The story comes from Chantanooga, Tennesse newspaper. The goats eat the lower vines, while the llamas and it’s long neck can reach for the higher vines. The llamas are also great for protecting the goats from predators. Llamas have claws on their hooves for extra protection. Betsy Bramlett writes, “In the fall, the goats ate mature kudzu leaves and swept the area clean. This time around, they’re charged with “nipping the kudzu in the bud” as new shoots emerge.” I think these goats and llamas will be one healthy herd.

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1 Comment »

  1. cambree said

    Another thing that are great about goats, is the milk! It’s very nutritious and also makes a very good bar of soap.

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