FAQ

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Does it work?

Yes! It really does! Now, it may not work the way you envision it working, but we will be glad to explain the process and answer any questions that you may have.

What type of land do your goats clear?

You name it! From vacant land, backyard hillsides, and wildflower fields  to overgrown woodlots.

Are goats right for me?

You will have to decide for yourself. We can tell you that goats are:
MUCH quieter than power equipment!
Environmentally friendly, disturbing the soil less and cause much less damage and pollution.
Safer and better for the environment than using herbicides.
Good for the soil. They add fertilizer to the soil as they work!
Often cost competitive.
Adorable, interesting and socially engaging!

 

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What is the benefit to using goats that most people don't quite realize?

The way goats eat, they start most plants at the top and eat down. This means they strip the plant of the ability to photosynthesize AND they eat the seeds (or seed-making parts) early on. They then crush the seeds between their powerful back teeth and their unique digestion system, with 4 stomachs, lets very few seeds pass in a viable state.
Compare this to mowing... The seeds are scattered and basically distributed over a broad area, effectively planting more of the problem vegetation.

Do you rent goats for fire prevention?

Yes!  Wherever goats graze, they reduce the amount of vegetation. We routinely graze goats in woods to clear out the understory and help manage woodlots. Removing the remaining woody material is essentially all that remains to create a reduced wildfire zone.

Do you rent goats for anything other than grazing?

Yes. Our goats go to fairs and other community events. We even take them on the road for parties, goat yoga and other events. We have been asked about goats for other purposes and would be willing to discuss things like goat therapy and similar.  Contact us if you have something in mind.

 

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Will other animals on my property be a problem?

We have not had an issue yet. The electric fencing is quite effective at keeping animals on their respective sides.  Dogs usually only try a fence one time.

Why do you like to have the fence set-up and energized before the goats arrive on site?

Besides the practicality of reducing the amount of driving, having the fence set-up before the goats arrive gives the areas predators (and dogs, who often are goats biggest predator) a chance to “try” the fence and train themselves to it.

Who watches the goats?

Depending on the setting, the goats are checked on at least once or twice per day. In many areas we may utilize surveillance, additional checks and other resources.

 

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How do you keep the goats in place and safe from predators?

We use portable electric net fencing. This style fence is an amazing deterrent to predators!

Do goats really eat anything and everything?

No, they don't. They are actually rather picky in their own way, but they do eat nearly every type of vegetation, including many types that are a challenge to manage. Some of their favorites are Blackberries, Bamboo, Thistle, Morning Glory, Japanese Knotweed, Trumpet vine, Sage brush, Tree saplings, Broom Sage, Poison Ivy and Poison Oak. Once the goats have removed the foliage it is very easy to knock these down with pruners. For a Small additional fee, we can remove left over woody parts.

Goats get their reputation for "eating everything" (including tin cans) from the fact that they mouth just about everything that they come in contact with. We experience the world first with our sight... dogs first with their nose... goats first sense is their mouth, so they "taste" almost everything that is in their path.

Do I need to get a permit to have the goats?

Maybe….. This is something you would need to call your local municipal building to find out.  We can also help in this process if your borough or township has questions.

 

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Are there places you will not set up your goats?

Yes. Places that have had recent pesticide treatments or sure. There could be other situations/locations that would prohibit us from placing goats there.

How much does a goat eat in a day?

Average goat eats about 8 pounds of vegetation in a day.

How many goats do you bring and how long does it take?

This isn't a simple formula. We have to consider what kind of vegetation is on the land, how much is there, and how many goats a property can hold. We will estimate how many goats and days you will need for your unique property at the time of our initial evaluation and communicate that in your quote.

 

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What if the goats eat something I want to keep?

Because goats eat a wide range of vegetation, we assess each job before we start to be sure we will meet your objectives. In some cases, areas with desirable vegetation or critical trees can be fenced out.

When are goats NOT a good choice for a property?

There is a wide range of situations when goats would not be the best choice for vegetation control. For example, when there is a large quantity of desirable vegetation that goats are known to eat mixed in with the vegetation you want to get rid of. Another example would be when the vegetation is toxic to the goats, such as Mountain Laurel, Rhododendron or Yew.

How do goats stack up to herbicides?

In many cases, herbicide is the fastest and cheapest means of killing a wide range of vegetation. It can also be helpful to spot-reduce certain weeds when the bulk of the vegetation is desired. However, real dangers have emerged as a result of the blanket use of herbicides. Dangers include buildup of persistent toxins in the soil, contamination of surface and ground water, immunity and plant mutation (creating the "super weed"), and harmful effects on desirable vegetation, domesticated and wild animals, and humans. Beyond this, they do not always work, causing a waste of time, energy and money to the landowner. Goats are also a broad-spectrum solution to problem vegetation, but they enhance the environment instead of harm it. They are often a superior choice in hard to reach or environmentally sensitive areas and over time can restore vegetation to its healthy native state.

 

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How soon will it grow back?

Vegetation control is always a process and cannot be viewed as a single project. Repeated applications are required no matter what form of control you use--herbicide, machines, or goats. Residual seed, banked in the soil, will return to grow again. However, goats often create a long-term net gain in restoring healthy soils and native vegetation. With proper timing, they reduce the amount of seed released into the soil and surrounding areas, which helps deplete the seed bank and control spreading. The number of applications and amount of time for this depends on the vegetation species, the time of year the property is grazed, and the overall health of the soil (weeds and invasive species are often the strongest competitors on depleted soils).

What time of year do I want the goats to come?

The best time of year depends on the vegetation you want to be rid of. There are ideal times for different mixes of vegetation and we will assess the most effective timing for grazing your unique property when we come to visit.