Contract goat grazing is a new niche business that assists horse and cattle owners with pasture management. It is also utilized by cities to manage vacant lots, creek bed areas, or other public lands that need to be maintained without spraying harmful herbicides.
The goats are a brilliant solution to weed control, because not only do they eat pretty much everything that horses and cows won’t eat, but their feces does not contain any seeds. Due to their lateral chewing/grinding motion and ruminant stomachs, whatever plant matter comes out the other end does not contain any viable seeds – which further helps to control the spread of weeds.
Here’s another super cool tidbit from this fabulous video: Did you know that as goats graze poisonous plants, their guts (enzymes, bacteria, etc) develop a ‘memory’ of how to deal with those plants – and they pass this ‘knowledge’ onto their offspring?
Okay one last nugget from Lani Malmberg of Goat Green: When you spray a herbicide for weed control, you also kill the fungi in the soil. But to have a healthy grassland, the soil needs a 1:1 ratio of fungi:bacteria. So when your herbicide kills all the fungi, the soil becomes heavy with bacteria, which produces an even bigger weed problem.
If you’re like me and just crazy for stuff like this, then read Isabella Tree’s book, Wilding, and also check out Will Harris’ mixed species grazing method. You may notice in that post – written 3 years ago – that I suggest the very thing shown in this video as an excellent business idea! AND I would still pay someone with a herd of goats (and portable electric fencing) to come graze my pasture 🙂