The eco-friendly way to clear land
What is goatscaping? Unlike other herd animals, goats prefer to eat weeds and thorny plants instead of grasses. Goats are also known to like such noxious plants as poison ivy! They eat from the top down, which means they look for new plant growth first. It also means they eat the seed heads of the plant, which is critical in weed reduction. In turn, the odorless goat manure enriches your soil quality.
The benefits of goatscaping
When goats are used to clear the land of scrub and weeds, they leave behind manure. This goat manure is odorless, breaks down in a few days and results in very few viable unwanted seeds. Goatscaping eliminates the need for toxic herbicides which could seep into your land or nearby rivers, streams or drinking water sources. Goats are also incredibly nimble creatures that can easily reach hard-to-access places in your land, making them more efficient at weed removal with fewer harmful side effects than the man-made alternatives. While goatscaping may appear to be a slower method than chemical treatments, it’s far more beneficial to humans, other animals and the local ecosystem.
Not only are goats more effective than herbicides, but they are also a safe alternative for your children, household pets, soil, and groundwater. Goats reduce noise pollution and easily clear hillsides. When goats remove thicket and underbrush, it creates a firebreak to control the potential spread of wildfires. Reclaimed pastures also provide increased profitability.
How Our Goatscaping Process Works
Schedule a time for us to evaluate your property. When we visit, we assess your land – the terrain, the plants you want to keep, and those you don’t. Because some plants are poisonous to goats, not all areas may be suitable for goatscaping. We will use this information to provide you with an estimate of goatscaping time and costs. You will receive a contract after our initial assessment that details all the parameters of the job and, most importantly, the start date!
The day before your scheduled start date, we install an electric fence around the designated goatscaping area. If no immediate water source is available, we bring water for the goats.
We set up a temporary shelter and bring the goats to your property. A Spice of Life Farm teammate checks on the goats and area at least once daily. At the end of the day, we house the goats in their trailer for the night or bring them back to the farm, depending on the size of the area to be cleared and the terms of the contract.
Goatscaping results are quick and dramatic. No matter how challenging the invasive plant growth, our goats are more efficient than weed whackers and lawnmowers. Utilizing a herd of goats to clear land also helps to protect our fragile pollinator populations by removing unbeneficial weeds and allowing room for the cultivation of pollinator-friendly plant varieties. According to the NH Beekeepers Association, approximately 75% of the state’s honeybee population failed to survive from 2020 to 2021.
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