Goats and other grazing animals have been used for centuries for land management. Goats provide an eco-friendly way to eliminate invasive plants from your property. Goats will eat vegetation that other livestock won't touch and are able to clear brushy areas that are inaccessible to heavy equipment. Some of the invasive plants which can be eliminated are multiflora rose, bittersweet, poison ivy, sumac, Japanese knotweed, English ivy, garlic mustard, dandelion, kudzu, ailanthus, Japanese honeysuckle, mile-a-minute, and more.
Goat Grazing Facts:
Goats love broad leafed material, which means brush and invading field vegetation are consumed. But they don't prefer grass, so it is left to flourish.
Goats have been used by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Forest Service. State, county and city contractors (such as the city of Seattle) have also used goats for weed and invasive species control. Airports in Atlanta, Seattle, San Francisco, and Chicago, as well as the Google headquarters in CA are examples of businesses that have rented goats for this purpose.
Goats will graze all day, going through very dense material at about a half acre per week per 7 goats (this can vary widely, depending on many factors including density, location and vegetation species).
Goats will clear everything from 4-6 inches to 5-6 feet off the ground, whatever they can reach. However, they will leave woody stalks that are a quarter inch or thicker. After the goats leave, the low ground cover they fertilized and left behind (ex. grass, ferns, mosses) will take over and help keep out new brush growth and poison ivy.
Herbicides seep into water and soil, affecting other vegetation, animals and humans. They also can encourage mutations among vegetation, creating greater and greater problems instead of solving them.
Goats have a narrow, triangular mouth that allows them to crush what they eat, so seeds that might otherwise get passed through to fertilization are reduced. The use of machinery only encourages further growth in the next cycle.
Goat manure is odorless and provides nutrient rich organic matter to improve soil fertility.