Rent a goat to clear/maintain a field?

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health teacher
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Re: Rent a goat to clear/maintain a field?

Post by health teacher »

nydoc wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 11:48 am Only on BH forum you can have parallel threads about hiring private jet and goats.
The epitome of America.

:sharebeer
mptness
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Re: Rent a goat to clear/maintain a field?

Post by mptness »

Look at that pack of goats.
It's not pack it's herd.
Heard what?
Herd of goats.
Certainly I've heard of goats you dope!
No, goats herd.
Why should I care what a pack of goats heard?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_V0b2usj-4
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Sandtrap
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Re: Rent a goat to clear/maintain a field?

Post by Sandtrap »

My brother lives in a large private development of acreage size properties on the Big Island of Hawaii with high mountain slopes that are lush with "kikuya grass". Residents pay a goat herder company/person to rotate goat herds through their vacant or occupied properties to keep the growth manageable. Because the area is so lush, there's little chance of over grazing or reaching bare ground. "Rent a goats" seems to have worked well over the years in this place.

For myself: To maintain acreage growth, I use a John Deere tractor and a Brush Hog (3 pt with PTO) that mows 6 feet across on a pass and about 6-8 inches mowed height. :D :D

j :happy
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Sandtrap
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Re: Rent a goat to clear/maintain a field?

Post by Sandtrap »

mptness wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 8:16 am Look at that pack of goats.
It's not pack it's herd.
Heard what?
Herd of goats.
Certainly I've heard of goats you dope!
No, goats herd.
Why should I care what a pack of goats heard?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_V0b2usj-4
Who's on first?

j :D
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retired recently
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Re: Rent a goat to clear/maintain a field?

Post by retired recently »

I bought about 200 acres of land last year that is mainly wooded but contains about 5 to 7 acres of pasture. Last year I planted about 125 trees and this year I plan to plant about 250 trees. Hopefully over the next few years I can completely plant the fields with trees that I want. In the meantime, I have it bushhogged.
Isabelle77
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Re: Rent a goat to clear/maintain a field?

Post by Isabelle77 »

Here in the PNW it's not a rare thing. Goats are particularly good for clearing blackberry bushes, at least that's what I've been told. I think the City of Portland uses them pretty regularly.

I used to have a neighbor who kept his goat on a cable, like a dog zip line. He'd move it around his property to keep the grass mowed. I'm not sure how efficient it was but it made me laugh every time I drove by.
barnaclebob
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Re: Rent a goat to clear/maintain a field?

Post by barnaclebob »

Goats are as smart as dogs with no desire to listen. So keep that in mind if you think about owning them.
Xrayman69
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Re: Rent a goat to clear/maintain a field?

Post by Xrayman69 »

whodidntante wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 7:46 pm
F150HD wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 7:10 pm
Has anyone here owned goats and/or a donkey?
never thought I'd see this forum degrade to questions like this :D


Did Jack Bogle have any quotes about donkeys?

I wonder what his solution to this problem would be?
Don't look for the goat in the herd. Just buy the herd!

Or maybe...

Own all the asses! :P
Whodidntante,

This is the best response I’ve read in years. I couldn’t believe I would open this topic but this made my day.

😂
chuckb84
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Re: Rent a goat to clear/maintain a field?

Post by chuckb84 »

I just wanted to say how much I enjoy the diversity of topics on bogleheads! Investing, movies, books, coffee makers...sure, why not goats!

And STRICT exclusion of anything political!

This is one of the first places I turn to for good advice on almost anything.
Dregob
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Re: Rent a goat to clear/maintain a field?

Post by Dregob »

Kennedy wrote: Sat Oct 10, 2020 11:35 pm I have a field that is around four acres, comprised of tall-ish weeds, native grasses and the like (think natural prairie). It's quite an eye-sore, and I would like to get it under-control. I want to minimize the weeds and keep the native grass short and tidy.

I paid a guy $400 to mow the area with some attachment on his tractor. At the time, the weeds were tremendous in height, and the job took him over ten hours. The weeds/native grasses aren't nearly as tall now, but it's looking unsightly again.

There is a company near me that rents out goats for land clearing purposes.

I'm wondering if hiring a pack (?) of goats (or maybe even keeping my own goats??) would be a good solution. I could continue to hire the guy to mow, but his price did not include hauling away the old dead material, and nor did it include any edging. In other words, the acres were mowed but they were still unattractive.

Any thoughts on this? I'm going to call the company and see if the goats generally eat all the native grass down to the dirt or if they prefer to munch more on the weeds. I don't want to be left with just a field of dirt, but perhaps this is what happens when one sets a pack (? flock) of goats loose.
The goats only eat off the tops and almost all of the plants will come back after the the pruning. A neighbor did it and yes it was fun to watch. But is not a permanent solution.
It is pretty amazing that they can eat poison ivy! They'll also chew bark off some trees.
Miriam2
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Re: Rent a goat to clear/maintain a field?

Post by Miriam2 »

Flobes wrote: Where I live, itinerant goats are hired by government agencies for weed management.
What's the difference between an itinerant goat and a regular goat?
John Bogle, "The Twelve Pillars of Wisdom" - Pillar 3: Time Marches On. Time dramatically enhances capital accumulation as the magic of compounding accelerates.
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Pete12
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Re: Rent a goat to clear/maintain a field?

Post by Pete12 »

I can’t speak to goats but my Dad was a sheep farmer so I have some insight there. Each season the local sod farms would let my Dad graze his sheep on their fields. Sheep have very sharp teeth and would “mow” and “fertilize” the grass better than any machines or chemicals! A main issue is providing enough water for the sheep, you really need a water trough available for them. Also during wet weather you run the risk of the field turning to mush under their hooves so you need to be able to move the flock around from field to field.
Good luck and keep us posted!
ScubaHogg
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Re: Rent a goat to clear/maintain a field?

Post by ScubaHogg »

You should do it once for the experience alone!
“Unexpected Returns dominate the Expected Returns” - Ken French
goaties
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Re: Rent a goat to clear/maintain a field?

Post by goaties »

wanderer wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 7:35 am Rent-a-runinant in texas
https://www.khou.com/mobile/search?q=Goats
Thanks for this link. It has provided me with hours of happy reading and squealing "Oh how CUUUUUTE!"
Miriam2
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Re: Rent a goat to clear/maintain a field?

Post by Miriam2 »

goaties wrote:
wanderer wrote: Rent-a-ruminant in texas
https://www.khou.com/mobile/search?q=Goats
Thanks for this link. It has provided me with hours of happy reading and squealing "Oh how CUUUUUTE!"
goaties user name checks out :D
John Bogle, "The Twelve Pillars of Wisdom" - Pillar 3: Time Marches On. Time dramatically enhances capital accumulation as the magic of compounding accelerates.
flyingaway
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Re: Rent a goat to clear/maintain a field?

Post by flyingaway »

Get a few goats of your own and make money out of them.
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Kennedy
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Re: Rent a goat to clear/maintain a field?

Post by Kennedy »

chuckb84 wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:48 pm I just wanted to say how much I enjoy the diversity of topics on bogleheads! Investing, movies, books, coffee makers...sure, why not goats!

And STRICT exclusion of anything political!

This is one of the first places I turn to for good advice on almost anything.
Agree. This group has never let me down. I'm constantly amazed at the breadth of knowledge on a diversity of topics.
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Kennedy
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Re: Rent a goat to clear/maintain a field?

Post by Kennedy »

kj10 wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 11:35 pm Past goat and current livestock owner here. Two parts to this response - my thoughts on why you should not use goats and then what you should do instead:

Why you shouldn’t get goats:
(1) You will not achieve the look you’re wanting on your property unless you starve the goats. Goats will only eat everything in sight (including what is toxic) if they have nothing else to eat. If you have too few goats, and you’ll still have a lot of growth in your pasture (which you don’t desire). Too many goats on your land (which could potentially get you close to the look you’re desiring) will mean you will have a herd of malnourished goats. Please don’t do this - it is not fair to the animals at all. Goats, even starving goats, will not eat woody stems. So even if you have goats that eat all the leaves off of weeds because they’re malnourished, you’ll still have unsightly stems of weeds on your property.

(2) Goats are expensive right now. Near me, they are selling for $250 each! You’ll have a lot of invested in a decent size herd of goats to be able to clear your property. (See point #1 for why you need a large herd.) Then you’ll have property preparation/maintenance costs (fencing, water, hay) and veterinary costs (deworming, neutering young males, etc.) Goats, like any animal, are expensive to own if taken care of properly.

(3)Plus, don’t forget the costs of liability insurance. What if your goats get out - and eat your neighbors’ expensive shrubs? Or one of your neighbors hits them on the road at night and totals their car? If you own livestock you should always carry liability insurance.

(4) You should only be a goat owner if you actually really want to be a goat owner. They are live animals and should be looked after regularly. If this is an investment property where you don’t live and you have no interest in daily going over to it to make sure that they are healthy (no injuries, no escaped goats, etc.), please don’t buy goats.

(5) Even if you get goats, if you don’t treat the “problem” (aka the weeds growing) you will still have a weed problem for as long as you own the goats. The goats will not kill the weeds, they will just suppress them. To actually kill the weeds and establish a better mix of plants (grasses) growing, you will need to manage the weeds through weed management tactics - like a combination of mechanical management (mowing or disking pasture, planting new grass species) and chemical management (spraying broadleaf herbicides).

Better options than goats in your situation:
(1) Actually killing the weeds and establishing low-management native grasses. As other posters have suggested, contact your local Extension office. Every state in the nation has an Extension program that is connected with the state’s land grant university. Your state Extension will have specialists who work with pasture management, native grass management, and weed management. You need someone who works with all three preferably that can come out and look at your pasture. He or she will then be able to make recommendations of how to renovate your pasture to a mix of grass species that will over time need little hands on management each year. You can search online for the Extension faculty member at your state’s land grant university that works in that area. He or she will most likely be housed in a plant and soils department (or similarly named) within the College of Agriculture.

(2) Follow said plan prescribed by Extension faculty or specialist. Hire the labor out, rent the equipment, or purchase your own tractor, sprayer, and rotary cutter (aka “Bush Hog mower”). Yes, equipment may be an expensive initial cost, but it will achieve the look you want and not have any of the drawbacks that I’ve listed above associated with owning livestock or small ruminants. If you’ve never planted, sprayed, or mower pastures, I would recommend hiring the job out. Your Extension agent should be able to recommend someone that is competent and also economically priced.

Best of luck to you!
Excellent advice. Thank you for your well thought out response. Much appreciated.
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