With their four-chambered stomachs and insatiable desire to nibble on anything even resembling a plant, goats have gained credibility as land clearers among Seattle-area government agencies and private developers.
Skeptics, he's found, quickly become converts. Once the hooves hit the ground, few can question the tenacity of these
ruminants to devour unwanted foliage.
Bringing goats into the city to do what they do best has its advantages: They're cheaper than manual laborers, chemical-free and popular with parents and children. Even the critters' droppings are in demand.
When it comes to steep slopes covered in blackberry vines, goats are faster and cheaper than human crews or heavy equipment. Goats can't compete with herbicides for speed but can work in wetlands and along stream banks with minimal threat to water quality or salmon habitat. If allowed to return to an area for a couple of years, they can almost entirely remove English ivy, Scotch broom and blackberries.
Unlike people with weed-whackers, goats can clear vegetation from steep hills and other hard-to-reach places, and they'll eat the seeds that pesticides leave behind, keeping next year's generation of weeds at bay.
The sound of a gas-powered lawnmower. So skip the mowers and get your goat. The scrub-grass we loathe is like French fries to billies, so rent a few four-legged lawnmowers for pesticide-free weed-clearing.
• Goats eat it all, including typically hard-to-weed blackberries, poison ivy and oak, and thistles.
• It's yodel-ay-he-healthier. Of the 30 most commonly used lawn pesticides, 19 have been linked to cancer.
• Quiet as a yodeler with laryngitis. Unlike weed-whackers, goats hardly make any noise at all.
Menlo Park, California officials began relying on goats to reduce unruly vegetation back in 1997.
Goats eat a large variety of vegetation including: Blackberries, Ivy, Scotch Broom, Knot Weed, Morning Glory, Holly, nuisance trees and saplings, Nettle, Thistle, grasses, and Horsetail.
Latest Seattle trend? Rent herds of goats to get rid of ivy and blackberry vines.
City Goat Farm & Zoo
811 168th street East
Spanaway WA 98387
$5 per person to enter the Farm & Zoo
$5 pony rides if you would like your child to ride the pony
$3 Treat Buckets to feed the Animals & you keep the bucket
Open Wednesday-Saturday 10am-6pm
Open Sunday Noon-4pm
CLOSED MONDAY & TUESDAY