Goats Are Good Landscapers, Depending on What You Need Them For
Cincinnati residents are thrilled to have a team of 14 goats return for the second year in a row to Colerain Park over the next several weeks, where they will be tackling invasive varieties of vegetation. Goats are commonly used in private residences and public spaces alike, to take on landscaping projects such as these. So if you need some help in your yard, you may want to look into getting a goat for landscaping purposes.
“The goats are a great balance between the labor part and the chemical part,” Treeyo Permaculture's Doug Crouch told Cincinnati.com of the new fluffy additions to their landscaping team. “We’re organic so we don’t use chemicals. It’s not an immediate boom the plants are gone but it’s a long-term goal of getting park to look a more natural way and have our native species reintroduced.”
“The goats are a great interface to the public because it’s just something that they’re not used to seeing,” he continued. “And then we get to educate people about our native ecosystems. The role of the goats and how they can be a benefit to the ecosystem and there’s just a lot of people that have never seen a goat in their life.”
Cincinnati is once again utilizing goats for landscaping purposes.
Just as New York City did last year, Cincinnati's Colerain Township neighborhood is being blessed with goats for two to three weeks this spring. The team of 14, according to WCPO, is being deployed starting Monday, May 16 to remove invasive honeysuckle from the local park, in order to clear some space for native plants. Goats reportedly love honeysuckle and will eat it until there is no more of it — they are essentially a non-toxic, no-impact herbicide that simultaneously improves soil structure and fertilizes the land.
The township, as well as Treeyo Permaculture, is reminding the public to refrain from petting the goats, as they're contained in a space guarded off by an electric fence. They also recommend keeping dogs leashed around the electric fence, and to not feed the goats, as they are eating food supplied by educated handlers. They do, however, encourage people to take pictures and post them to social media, to spread the word of this low-impact manner of landscaping.
According to Cincinatti.com, the goats will work longer if needed. And, if they do a good job, they'll be deployed to other parts of the park to lend a hand with gardening. These goats are clearly appreciated by the public, and you could appreciate them too, if you need work of the like.
If you're considering getting a few goats for landscaping purposes, though, there are a few things you should know beforehand.
What to know if you're going to use goats for landscaping purposes:
First off, if you're getting one or more goats, they're living, breathing animals, and you want to make sure you're caring for them to the best of your abilities. Just like us or your other pets, they need a safe living environment, to be groomed, loved, hydrated, vaccinated, and tended to by a specialized vet. Roys Farm has a full guide that gives the basics of looking after goats, if you aren't familiar with doing so.
Next off, if you're simply looking for a low-emissions lawnmower, goats might not be what you're looking for. A study from Leopold Center’s Grass-based Livestock Working Group states that goats will eat grass, but they would much rather eat thistles, brush, weeds, trees, and other types of vegetation you don't want. Their diet won't be complete if it's solely comprised of grass.
And lastly, if you don't want to adopt goats for life, you can rent goats to graze your yard — customers can call Goats on the Go, Rent a Goat, Rent-a-Ruminant, or We Rent Goats to describe the size and terrain of their land, and the service will provide a cost estimate. Day-of, goats will arrive and graze for the day or next few, until the job is completed.