A Study by University of Northern British Columbia professor Annie Booth, tracked the effectiveness and eating habits of a herd of goats over the span of two years in Prince George British Columbia.
Turns out that goats are incredibly effective in clearing weeds;
“As soon as we unloaded them, they turned around and started eating dandelions,” Booth said. “They do their job — which is clear up and clean out the weeds here.”
“We were very pleased to discover that goats do provide a very effective form of weed control, particularly for some tricky weeds that are difficult to eradicate even with the use of herbicides.”
While any farmer could have told you that this was the case, Booth’s study is the first that actually quantifies the lawn management skills of a heard of goats. Another important effect is the lessened environmental impact of the goats on the (munched) environment, unlike weed whackers and herbicides the surrounding area had very little in the way environmental impact. The only detrimental effect would be the fertiliser deposits that goats leave behind. More a danger to shoes though, then the actual environment.
Booth suggests that municipalities could save themselves some money, and manage their green spaces by leasing herds of goats during the summer months.
Of course Booth isn’t the only one to have this idea, the University of Washington State has also had a heard of Goats running around its campus, In August of 2007 the University’s Integrated Pest Management program hired a herd of goats as an alternative to chemical processes. s
The University of Washington’s Bothell campus hired a number of goats a few weeks earlier, and is considering acquiring a permanent herd. The University has discovered that, not only are goats cheaper than human labor, but they also provide free fertilizer. The university says that the goats are a way to cut their carbon emissions. s