Goats: Is There Anything They Can’t Do?

13-2-goats.jpgAt the “Life Can Be So Car Free” event at the Cornfield last fall, I saw a woman walking a pair of pygmy goats. And they were SO adorable that I immediately begged my boyfriend for goats as pets, once we bought a house with a yard. “They could mow the lawn and eat compost!” I argued. “They would be functional pets!”

Turns out that goats are not just functional pets, but also functional fire-fighting animals! The 1947 project just put up a whole page on the subject, linking to cases and articles where goats have been used to eat the flammable underbrush. They encourage everyone to sign their petition demanding goats for fire safety.

I’m a little concerned that the coyotes might find the goats to be meals-on-hoofs, but otherwise, I think it’s a great idea. Clearing flammable secondary growth = less brush fires. See, honey? Those pet goats I wanted might save our lives someday!

EDIT: The LA County Fire Department also encourages people to use goats to clear their own property – which is “biological control”. They refer to goat vendors as “hazard reduction services to assist landowners in complying with brush clearance codes.” More endorsements for goats!

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11 Replies to “Goats: Is There Anything They Can’t Do?”

  1. I love goats. I want my own flock. BTW – Tilden Park in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area uses goats for eating brush. They also use goats along highway 92 in Half Moon Bay (NorCal too).

  2. Yup…and when they ain’t nursing their kid you have access to a great milk source for making your own yougurt and cheese if you are so inclined

  3. We’ve been using goats in Pedro for brush control for two seasons now, and everybody loves them. Much quieter and cuter than weed whackers, too.

  4. Thanks so much, Jillian, for spreading the word. Sorry about 1947project.com being down–we hope to get it back up presently, so please check back if you get a bad link.

  5. i love goats, and they are great for grass and weeds. just be careful, they are easy prey for coyotes and mountain lions. my family had a hard time protecting our herd from predators..

  6. I believe you also need to be careful about how quickly they can reproduce! My sister got 3 baby goats, was told they were all female and soon had 10.

    Not sure what the “spay/neuter” situation is for goats….just sayin…

  7. I have a rather sizeable hillside – yesterday my gardener quoted $800.00 to clear the brush – my response – to check the internet for a goat instead!! I am looking forward to finding a goat to clear my hillside ! I am all in favor!

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