Herd Working

Today’s ragtag daily prompt is Herd. I’m recycling one of my favorite photos/events from last November. This is a herd of goats who are rented out to weed.  These photos were taken when they were working for a few days weeding on Davidson Mesa, one of my community open space areas, where I often run or bike.

I enjoy seeing the goats at work, and it seems to me a much healthier way to rid the area of noxious or invasive weeds, without the environmental consequences of herbicides. I imagine that like chickens, who eat weeds and grubs and such in their areas, they also add a little fertilizer during their process.  It certainly feels better to be exercising along grazing goats than to encounter someone in a respirator spraying chemicals.

weed eaters
on the job early

I am dismayed by some of the human herd mentality around the use of pesticides and herbicides, and how easily many of us can be convince that something is safe to use. More data is available about glyphosate “Roundup”, and while not conclusive, it is certainly suggestive of increased cancer risk in those exposed. The EU forbids its use, and while Monsanto, its manufacturer denies all risk, I am suspicious. Use goats and other less toxic methods.  Once again, we can do better.

13 thoughts on “Herd Working

  1. I agree we are to quick to use chemicals. I viewed RoundUp as safe until the reports started coming in – now I use a mix of vinegar, Dawn dish soap and Epsom salts, sparingly. When I can I just let the unwanted weeds and grasses do their thing. I’m trying to adopt a life with fewer preservatives, chemicals, all that stuff. Simplify, purify.

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    1. The same. I used roundup years ago when it first came out. Safe, breaks down quickly, takes out the root. Then I noticed the soil smelling like roundup for years afterwards and quite. I also do vinegar spray on weeds. Works well on walkways in hot weather. In the garden, no–I pull them.

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  2. In Southern California, there is growing use of goats as fire prevention agents. There are several herds that are rented out to cities with fire danger — they do their thing quite quickly and efficiently, and the after-effects are minimal!

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      1. I first saw the goats at work in Laguna Canyon, opposite the theater of the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters. It was magical wandering through the art exhibits and hearing the goats across the street!

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  3. I don’t use any pesticides either and pull all the weeds myself – I’ve never trusted the labels when they say that something very toxic is ‘safe for pets’. It’s lovely seeing the goats at work and the view is beautiful!🙂💖 xxx

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  4. Goats are increasingly being used for weed control in Australia too. They are particularly good at eating blackberry canes. Still they have the potential to be a feral pest if not managed properly. So often livestock are just abandoned and they cause a lot of environmental damage. Thankfully goats are also very tasty and they command a high price. I feel a little guilty thinking of them in those terms though as they have such beautiful eyes.

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  5. That’s awesome. I wonder if I could borrow a goat for an hour. My yard could really use their help. I’m with you. Cities should change ordinances a little to allow people to have one or two grazers. The side benefits is milk and other stuff. (yeah, manure is part of the other stuff–lot of gardens have a problem with a lack of topsoil here in AZ). Although most people wouldn’t want one, I bet if one person in the neighborhood had a goat, their neighbors would be borrowing their “lawnmower” on a regular basis. Beats weeding and mowing.

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