Calgary hires herd of goats to eliminate invasive weeds in parks   Leave a comment


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The City of Calgary has hired 106 goats to ‘mow’ grass, weeds, and trees in an effort to control invasive weed species.

On Monday the goats arrived at Confluence Park (West Nose Creek) to start mowing. They’ll remain at work for the next two weeks as part of the city’s pilot project to control weeds in Calgary’s parks by use of goats.

“We have a whole schwack of breeds, from angora and boer to kiko,” Jeannette Hall, the professional herder managing the goats, told the CBC.

The company’s official site refers to this approach as “organic vegetation management.”

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This isn’t the first time goats have been used to control weeds in major cities. E-commerce giant Amazon rents out goats as part of their “Hire a Goat Grazer” service.

In addition to her speedy goats, Hall’s team is comprised of horses, a herding dog, and three “guardian dogs,” the CBC reports.

“The goats are an environmentally-friendly way that helps us manage weeds in tricky areas, such as along water-ways or on steep slopes, where traditional methods are not appropriate,” said Chris Manderson, urban conservation lead for Calgary parks.

Hall told the CBC that goats are the prime animal for weed control because they don’t redistribute invasive weeds through their fecal matter, unlike other species of livestock.

“They actually eat them and their stomach is so acidic, they just destroy the seeds.

The park will remain open during the grazing process, but the city reminds the public to be courteous and maintain a respectful distance.

Posted June 23, 2016 by markosun in Animals

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