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Eco Goats (Chemical Free)

by Clare Delaney

feeding an eco goatI must admit I did laugh when I saw them being called eco goats.

After all, goats are, well, goats.

But, they are indeed “green” and eco.

I’m used to seeing goats used as “lawn mowers”.

They’re remarkably efficient at eating grass, and weeds.

Many people own eco goats and earn money by renting them out to municipalities to clean up overgrown areas.

When eco goats act as “lawn mowers” and “weed eaters” they:

  • decrease the need to use herbicides
  • improve the soil’s fertility
  • decrease the risk of fire
  • increase the diversity of plants in the area
  • control weeds in hard-to-reach areas like steep hills

eco goat floppy earsThe ones I met in Africa looked really cute, with floppy ears. Bred mainly for their meat, as well as milk during their lifetime, they were prized possessions.

Here on the little tropical island where I live now, eco goats are used to maintain graveyards and public spaces by munching on the grass and weeds.

They save a fortune – no labour, no machinery, no petroleum or diesel, no fumes, no noise, no herbicides, no chemicals…….

When I was growing up in Ireland it was a bit of a disaster if the local cows got into your lawn because they are quite heavy and so tended to trample and muddy your garden, but goats (though not common in Ireland when I was a child) don’t have that problem.

Eco goats have other benefits too:goat kids mohair

  1. They provide you with milk and from that you can make cheese too, cutting your dairy bills
  2. They’re much more green than cows because they use far fewer resources
  3. Depending on the goats you choose, you can harvest their hair and get cashmere or mohair
  4. Eco goats can be great pets – you can train them and walk them like a dog to give you exercise and company
  5. If you enjoy hiking, take your pet eco goat with you – they can carry your backpack and they’ll feed themselves!
  6. Teach children responsibility by caring for an eco goat.

In this short video, see how eco goats have been used instead of herbicides, saving money and the environment.

 

Goats are really remarkable animals!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Will

I read somewhere recently that a local authority hired goats to clear a densely overgrown public area. Simply put up a temporary fence where required and turn them loose for two weeks and everything edible was gone. Properly cared for semi-domestic goats are also quite clean animals and not destructive – unless they get in to your flower/veggie beds!

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Clare Delaney

Thanks for that, and yes, you’re right, you don’t want to let goats (eco or otherwise!) loose on your veggie patch – fences are important!

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