Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Using Goats, Not Chemicals, to Kill Weeds
Bend Bulletin ^ | March 15. 2010 | Kimberly Bowker

Posted on 03/16/2010 12:53:59 PM PDT by nickcarraway

Hundreds of goats browse through a field, nibbling and foraging through the available fare. These aren't just any goats, though — they are the work force of Lariat Ranch Ecological Ser- vices.

The business, based in Powell Butte, owns nearly 400 head of Spanish Boer and San Clemente goats. The goats' job is to pursue their love of eating. Their tastes include noxious weeds found on the High Desert, such as medusahead, hemlock and Russian thistle.

Lariat Ranch is the only prescribed grazing company in Central Oregon. Prescribed grazing is a green way to clear fields without using chemical herbicides. A certain number of goats are placed in a fenced area and eat the noxious weeds that have overtaken the normal ecosystem.

Noxious weeds are non-native, invasive and sometimes toxic plants that easily seed and destroy the natural ecosystem. Nationally, it's estimated that invasive weeds are taking over 4,600 acres of land every day, or 1.5 million acres a year, according to research conducted by the University of Idaho.

“Noxious weeds are up there with global warming and depletion of water,” said Rachel Jones, 35, owner of the company. “This is actually a huge deal, but it's on the back burner because people don't understand that we are losing our native habitat.”

Lariat Ranch incorporated as a business last year after the Central Oregon Irrigation District approached Jones and her husband, Doug Muck, 44, to experiment with prescribed grazing on a small piece of land next to an irrigation canal.

“I like to experiment with all methods of noxious weed treatment,” said Larry Roofener, COID operations manager. “That includes chemical application, mowing and biological methods that I would consider the goat operation to be.”

(Excerpt) Read more at bendbulletin.com ...


TOPICS: Agriculture; Business/Economy; Gardening
KEYWORDS: chemicals; globalwarming; globalwarmingscare; goats; junkscience; methane; weeds

Doug Muck has two Akbash dogs, Josie and Mary, and a Great Pyrenees (not shown) that protect Lariat Ranch's goats from coyotes, cougars and other predators.

1 posted on 03/16/2010 12:53:59 PM PDT by nickcarraway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

But animal farts are killing the planet!


2 posted on 03/16/2010 12:55:22 PM PDT by a fool in paradise
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: a fool in paradise

Goat poop is chemicals.....


3 posted on 03/16/2010 12:56:13 PM PDT by Sacajaweau (What)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

They are like gubmint workers.They generate work to justify their jobs.The goats eat the weeds and crap everywhere thus fertilizing the growth of new weeds.See how that works.


4 posted on 03/16/2010 12:58:54 PM PDT by HANG THE EXPENSE (Life is tough.It's tougher when you're stupid.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Nice dogs.

I have a friend in MN who lives in an underground house. Most of the roof is grass. For many years he kept a herd of goats who ate the roof and my friend sold the milk.

I wish that I had a couple of goats, but they are hard to contain. They climb fences and would destroy my vegetable garden, I fear.


5 posted on 03/16/2010 1:00:28 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Nice dogs.

I have a friend in MN who lives in an underground house. Most of the roof is grass. For many years he kept a herd of goats who ate the roof and my friend sold the milk.

I wish that I had a couple of goats, but they are hard to contain. They climb fences and would destroy my vegetable garden, I fear.


6 posted on 03/16/2010 1:00:29 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: imahawk

So are the goats pinned in just where the weeds are located? Is that how they direct them to only fill up on weeds and not other vegetation?

What about free range goats?


7 posted on 03/16/2010 1:01:33 PM PDT by a fool in paradise
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Its a darn good idea! Besides that Bar-B-Que goat is the best there is!


8 posted on 03/16/2010 1:01:47 PM PDT by flash2368
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: imahawk
You were saying ...

The goats eat the weeds and crap everywhere thus fertilizing the growth of new weeds.See how that works.

Well, I would say it works exatly the way that God intended it to work. God made plants, He made them to grow. God made animals and certain ones eat the plants. Plants grow again, animals eat more. Everyone is happy... LOL ...

It sounds like a plan to me...

9 posted on 03/16/2010 1:02:17 PM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
We have a noxious weed in our ‘subdivision’ (lots range from 1 to 8 acres) - leafy spurge.

It can't be effectively controlled with chemicals.

I have fleas on mine and they are doing a great job.

One neighbor petitioned for the use of goats (our covenants do not allow goats) for 30 days. They did a good job, but had to be brought in every night so the bobcats would not eat them.

10 posted on 03/16/2010 1:05:12 PM PDT by Leo Farnsworth (I'm really not Leo Farnsworth.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
They have been doing this for years in the hills of my town here in the SF bay region. Believe it or not, a fair number of people are opposed to this because of the "noise" that is created.

The goats can usually clear an area in 2-3 days and are rounded up each evening.

Some people just look for opportunities to complain.

11 posted on 03/16/2010 1:05:37 PM PDT by Michael.SF. (At least Hitler got the Olympics for Germany)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Leo Farnsworth

They also love to eat (like candy) poison ivy. They are immune to the toxins.


12 posted on 03/16/2010 1:08:52 PM PDT by PA Engineer (Liberate America from the occupation media.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Star Traveler

My dad was the first eco friendly shop owner here in town with his two goats.The city would raise hell with him and he had a running battle that he eventually won.The city got tired of him showing up at city meetings and raising hell so they called a truce.The goats also loved lucky strike cigs.


13 posted on 03/16/2010 1:10:13 PM PDT by HANG THE EXPENSE (Life is tough.It's tougher when you're stupid.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: afraidfortherepublic
Had a Pygmy goat for a while to keep the weeds knocked down. Obnoxious, smelly, gas passing pain in the butt. He did have a good personality though. If you made the mistake of bending over near him you were going to the ground. and then he would stand over you and smile.
14 posted on 03/16/2010 1:12:30 PM PDT by mad_as_he$$
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: imahawk

LOL... those goats will eat anything... :-)


15 posted on 03/16/2010 1:13:00 PM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

My Homeowners Assoc. brought in goats to clear the firebreak around the perimeter of the houses. It worked for the most part and cost about as much as hiring people to do it. The sheperds set up temporary fencing and moved it as the goats cleared each area. The herding dog was really cool to watch.

The good part is that the work got done and the neighborhood kids had a little petting zoo for a week or so.

The bad part was that the goats did not clear the weeds as far down as mechanical clearing does. They left a lot of material.


16 posted on 03/16/2010 1:13:03 PM PDT by Owl558 ("Those who remember George Satayana are doomed to repeat him")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mad_as_he$$

Heck, my Golden Retriever has done that to both me and my husband (knocked us down and smiled.) We love him anyway.


17 posted on 03/16/2010 1:15:24 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

The problem with goats is that they don’t limit themselves to the weeds. I had a pet goat when I was young, and it destroyed every bush in my parents yard. Didn’t eat cobras, though, and eventually one got him.

Do they eat kudzu, though?


18 posted on 03/16/2010 1:22:39 PM PDT by chesley (Lib arguments are neither factual, logical, rational, nor reasonable. They are, however, creative.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: afraidfortherepublic

My goats have never climbed a fence. Goats will, every time, exploit weaknesses in their enclosure, but if you have a solid fence and keep it maintained, the goats are not difficult to contain. It also helps that they have adequate food and something to jump around on to entertain themselves. A bored, hungry goat will look for something to get into and who could blame him/her? My goats have been out without permission only once in several years, and it was my fault because of a flaw in joining a corner of fencing. We stacked up some old concrete culverts into a pyramid that the goats climb and play king of the hill. Not only does it provide entertainment, jumping around on the concrete helps keep their hooves trimmed.


19 posted on 03/16/2010 1:25:28 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies. Plan it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: chesley

Mine love kudzu. Vicksburg is covered in the stuff and every time we have occasion to drive there, we will bring home a vine or two as a treat. Goats are one of the only ways you can control kudzu.


20 posted on 03/16/2010 1:29:15 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies. Plan it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: JustaDumbBlonde

I’m used to Freeper cat and pit bull lovers—but I never expected a thread full of goat owners!


21 posted on 03/16/2010 1:35:19 PM PDT by 9YearLurker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
Annabelle (standing) and Buster

Photobucket

22 posted on 03/16/2010 1:36:03 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies. Plan it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JustaDumbBlonde

They look hungry.


23 posted on 03/16/2010 1:36:52 PM PDT by nickcarraway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: JustaDumbBlonde
Beware...


24 posted on 03/16/2010 1:42:51 PM PDT by scoobysnak71 (I'm light skinned with no negro dialect. Could you milk me?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: JustaDumbBlonde

You need to stretch that fence. Its floppy, critters can get under and over it.


25 posted on 03/16/2010 1:45:55 PM PDT by Concho
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: mad_as_he$$

My uncle had a Pygmy goat, almost round he was so fat in the middle.

My uncle would tell men he loves to play. Put your boot on his horns and push him.

The goat would rear up on his hind legs and crash into your lifted boot.

After a couple time my uncle, now laughing, would say “try to stop”.

You could stop, but the goat wouldn’t. His horns reached almost waist high when he reared up.


26 posted on 03/16/2010 1:46:06 PM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: hiredhand

Caprine ping.


27 posted on 03/16/2010 1:56:34 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JustaDumbBlonde

My fence is in no condition to contain anything. But, some day...

I had a neighbor in Washington State who bought a goat. They kept it tied in the back to eat up all the undergrowth in the woods. My dog started barking one night — she was indoors with me. She just wouldn’t shut up. A pack of feral dogs attacked my neighbor’s goat on its tether and killed it. I felt terrible that I hadn’t gone out, but I was alone in the woods and we had mountain lions, bear, etc.

My neighbors were stupid people. I was glad to move away.


28 posted on 03/16/2010 1:57:16 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Concho

It has since been stretched. We were in the process of putting up the wire when the photo was taken. I do appreciate your post though ... it was an important thing to take note of.


29 posted on 03/16/2010 2:04:19 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies. Plan it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: afraidfortherepublic

I now have two miniature donkeys that are guard animals for my goats, after an incident with a dog from a neighboring community. That dog is no longer a threat to anything.


30 posted on 03/16/2010 2:06:43 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies. Plan it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: PA Engineer
I did not know that. We don't have poison ivy here.

As an aside: There was a FReeper who posted just a while back on a thread having to do with campaign signs being ripped down in yards.

He mentioned that he donned some gloves, rubbed poison ivy all over his McLame/PALIN! yard sign. The next morning the sign was gone, and the next day the neighbors teen-aged son had an awful bad case of poison ivy. I had to laugh.

I could get some use out of that stuff if we had it...

31 posted on 03/16/2010 2:10:15 PM PDT by Leo Farnsworth (I'm really not Leo Farnsworth.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: JustaDumbBlonde

I felt so sorry for my neighbor’s goat — he was just helpless being tied to a chain.


32 posted on 03/16/2010 2:10:31 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: afraidfortherepublic

Also, goats are very gregarious and to have just one is almost cruel, unless there are other animals that will actually play and keep it company.


33 posted on 03/16/2010 2:11:03 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies. Plan it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Can we get the goats to clear out Congress? That way there would be no chemical residue...


34 posted on 03/16/2010 2:13:20 PM PDT by Recovering Ex-hippie (Ok, joke's over....Bring back Bush !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
This is what they look like when they're hungry. ;-)

Photobucket
Annabelle and Jezebelle

35 posted on 03/16/2010 2:37:52 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies. Plan it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: thackney
lol. Must be genetic in them .Mine was the same way. Never quit trying to get over on you.
36 posted on 03/16/2010 2:44:35 PM PDT by mad_as_he$$
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: JustaDumbBlonde

You’ve taught them to eat at a table. Next: silverware.


37 posted on 03/16/2010 2:46:04 PM PDT by nickcarraway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: JustaDumbBlonde

I whole heartily agree. Goats are very social, never get one, always two or more, and dont get any bucks unless you plan on raising them. And if you get a buck, keep him seperate from the does till breeding time and get him a wether(castrated buck) to be buddies with, so he wont be lonely.


38 posted on 03/16/2010 4:58:27 PM PDT by Clint_Thomas
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: afraidfortherepublic

A cousin of mine has a pair of goats that follow him everywhere on his farm including when he’s riding the tractor. They are more like dogs than goats. They hang out under the porch when he is inside and he pens them up at night.


39 posted on 03/16/2010 5:13:58 PM PDT by Rebelbase
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: 9YearLurker
"I’m used to Freeper cat and pit bull lovers—but I never expected a thread full of goat owners!"

Once again proving what a diverse and interesting bunch of folks we are. I have bully dogs, goats and a cat.

40 posted on 03/16/2010 6:23:05 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies. Plan it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: DuncanWaring

Goats are actually QUITE good at weed control. But I don’t entirely agree with the article. If I remember correctly, milkweed is toxic to goats, as is hemlock. But they’ll try ANYTHING once! We have at least two every spring that we have to treat for bloat because they ate too much of something “new” and green. :-)


41 posted on 03/16/2010 7:54:35 PM PDT by hiredhand (Understand the CRA and why we're facing economic collapse - see my about page.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
Uh, seeds have a certain property.....

After passing through the disgetive tract, and when they "fall to the ground."...they germinate.

Presto! More weeds.

42 posted on 03/16/2010 8:01:09 PM PDT by stboz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JustaDumbBlonde

Now the more important question. How does kudzu-fed goat compare in taste with commerical after proper barbecuing? :)


43 posted on 03/17/2010 8:18:21 AM PDT by chesley (Lib arguments are neither factual, logical, rational, nor reasonable. They are, however, creative.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: JustaDumbBlonde

Actually, come to think of it, kudzu is edible by humans, and, I think, is eaten by them in Asia, from whence it came.


44 posted on 03/17/2010 12:49:48 PM PDT by chesley (Lib arguments are neither factual, logical, rational, nor reasonable. They are, however, creative.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: chesley

It is eaten deep fried every year at the Kudzu Festival in Waxhaw, NC.


45 posted on 03/17/2010 12:57:05 PM PDT by csmusaret (Sarah Palin thinks everyday in America is the 4th of July. Obama thinks it is April 15th.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: chesley
"Actually, come to think of it, kudzu is edible by humans, and, I think, is eaten by them in Asia, from whence it came."

The leaves are indeed edible, but not all that tasty and rather tough. Kudzu starch from the roots is highly coveted in Asian cooking and is pretty pricey when you can find it in a specialty store. Personally, I'll stick with arrowroot starch from Penzeys (far superior to corn starch).

No kidding though, goats love kudzu and are very good at controlling it. You would need to supplement their diet, however, to keep the critters in optimum health.

46 posted on 03/17/2010 1:37:33 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies. Plan it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson