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We're Getting a Goat

I know nothing about goat ownership. The new place has poison oak, and we have it on good authority that the way to get rid of it is to keep a goat who will eat it up (no harm will come to the goat, I've been assured). And it should be a nanny, not a billy. So...now....where to start?

Anyone with goat knowledge out there?



( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 26th, 2004 10:32 am (UTC)
My mom has kept goats. What do you need to know?

They jump or climb over any fence. You feed them pellets from the feed store, in addition to the grazing (but don't underestimate how much they can graze). They will easily bite through rope, metal, wire, wood.... pretty much anything and everything. And their poop is good for gardens.
Jul. 26th, 2004 11:49 am (UTC)
As a former 4-H'er, I know lots about goats, and know people I can ask when I don't know. A lot of what Mortaine says is true, although goats are far more finicky than people think. They will eat roses before weeds, and they aren't stupid.

But if you just need to get rid of the poison oak this one time, you can rent goats rather than buy a single one, depending on how big the property is. I have a friend who did this, and I can get info from her if you want.
Jul. 26th, 2004 02:31 pm (UTC)
Rent vs Buy
Goats are herd animals, aren't they? So, will a single goat get lonely, or will the company of the family be sufficient to keep her sane?

I've heard that the goat will do a great job eating down the poison oak (to no detriment to the goat), but that constant browsing is required (since the goat will only eat down to the earth -- so you have the problem of new shoots). This suggests that the goat is a more long-term and ongoing solution.
Jul. 26th, 2004 03:37 pm (UTC)
Re: Rent vs Buy
I'm only going to say this one time. I REFUSE TO RENT A GOAT. If I meet someone with a goat who's willing to work out a barter arrangement (although I'm not sure how much time with a 12-year-old is equivalent to 1 goat/hour) I would consider it.

Perhaps pygmy goats, that way we could get more than one. They can keep each other company.
Jul. 26th, 2004 04:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Rent vs Buy
Why do you refuse to rent goats (this would be a herd, not one)? I liken it to hiring someone to clear your land, only you are hiring goats instead of people. But maybe you view it differently. What about finding someone who needs a place to keep their goats? Someone who would otherwise need to sell them?

Don't forget that goats are dairy animals and need to be milked twice a day - unless you don't breed them and let them go dry (assuming that's what most people who graze goats in this manner do)

The people I know who have used goats to clear their land have done it to knock down tall grasses for fire control purposes. I don't know anything about using them for poison oak control, so I may be taking the wrong tack.
Jul. 26th, 2004 09:02 pm (UTC)
Re: Rent vs Buy
It just seems so...sordid. Ew.
Jul. 26th, 2004 11:37 pm (UTC)
Re: Rent vs Buy

This is the last thing I expected to read today.
Jul. 27th, 2004 08:54 am (UTC)
Re: Rent vs Buy
I can't blame you. Myself, I usually expect sheep.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )