Many times people raise livestock for meat or dairy or eggs, however, when it comes to raising goats, there is another benefit, and that is clearing land. But not all goats are good at this, so this list of the best goats for eating weeds will give you an overview of what breeds work well.
How to raise dairy goats that are good weed eaters will give you livestock that works hard to help you on your homestead.
If you are looking for a natural and efficient way to clear your land of pesky weeds, goats might just be the answer you’ve been looking for. Goats are amazing creatures that can eat and clear anything in their way, including plants that are difficult to remove. They can do the job faster than you would on your own and come with an added bonus – goat manure fertilizer for your soil.
But which goats are the best weed eaters and brush clearer? Let’s look at 5 of the best goats for eating weeds.
Can goats eat poison ivy?
Yes, goats can eat poison ivy without getting sick. In fact, they may even be able to help you clear out poison ivy more quickly than other methods. Some goat breeds have specific traits that make them better suited for clearing out difficult vegetation, like poison ivy.
Will goats eat weeds with thorns?
Goats will eat just about anything including plants with thorns or prickers like wild rose bushes. Goats have prehensile lips meaning they can eat around the thorns, however, if they should accidently eat one, don’t worry. Their skin is thick and can usually withstand the thorns without issues.
5 Best Goats for Eating Weeds
Goats can be an effective way to clear brush from land. because they are highly efficient grazers, and they prefer eating weeds over grasses or other vegetation.
Kiko goats are a perfect breed for clearing brush in a pasture, as they are very hardy, meaning they do well in just about any environment. They eat almost everything they come across and can go up to days without water. Kikos produce better results in clearing larger pastures, and they do an excellent job of eliminating woody shrubs and weeds from your land.
Boer goats are a widely recognized group of goats that are well-known for their meat. But they are equally adept at eating brush, twigs, shrubs, and weeds. They are larger and stronger than many other goats and are ideal for clearing out dense vegetation, as they are known to be enthusiastic browsers. With Boers, you can expect to clear large tracks of land in no time.
Spanish goats have been around for centuries and were originally brought over by Spanish explorers. They have been used to clear land for just as long. Spanish goats are known for being hardy and adaptable, and they are a great choice for those who live in dry climates. They have a high level of curiosity and will often taste various things growing around them, which makes them ideal for weed clearance.
Nigerian Dwarf Goats
If you have a small patch of land to clear and you don’t want larger traditional goats, then Nigerian Dwarf Goats are a good option for you. Nigerian Dwarf goats love to eat weeds and will devour them quickly, leaving your plot cleared of all vegetation. As they are small in size, they are easy to handle and move around to different areas on your property.
The most active browsing goat on the list, Alpine goats are highly energetic and love to climb up and browse on trees and shrubs. They are great at clearing areas in a short amount of time, which makes them ideal for gardeners who want to quickly clean out weeds in their backyard. Alpines are also known for being intelligent and social, which makes them friendly and easily trainable for weed management.
Other goats for eating weeds
The good news about goats is all of them will eat weeds, and that means whatever goats you are raising now will work to clear out an area on your property. We raise Nubians for example, and they do a great job keeping things mowed down in the areas we graze them in.
How to use goats to clear brush
When using goats to clear brush, it is important to choose the right breed that will fit your situation specifically. A larger goat will do well in larger areas whereas a smaller breed will do well in more compact locations. It is important to have enough goats for the size of your property; while one goat might be able to clear a small plot, an acre or more may require several animals.
Finally, use temporary fencing to keep your goats in an area until they have things cleared enough for you to take over. We like to use electric fence netting as it is easy to move and works great to keep our herd where we want them.
Goats are the perfect solution for clearing out weeds and brush on your land. Whether you need to clear brush in a larger pasture or you want to eliminate weeds in your backyard quickly, goats are incredible creatures that can do the job quickly and effectively. If you don’t have your own goats, there are resources available to rent goats for your weed-clearing needs and clear up your property in no time.