Vegetation Control

Making safer ecosystems

It is a popular misconception that goats will eat anything. It is not true. Goat will eat an amazing variety of woody and weedy species of plants. Goats digestive system will break down the seed and leave seeds often only leave seeds that will not germinate. Some examples of noxious weeds in Alberta that goats can consume are:

  • Leafy spurge

  • Hawkweed

  • Knapweed

  • Thistle

  • Chamomile

  • Sow thistle

  • Oxide Daisy

  • Brome

  • Common Mullein

  • Toad Flax

  • Dandelions

 

Link to Government of Alberta’s Plant and identification guide: Prohibited Noxious and Noxious

https://open.alberta.ca/dataset/8bb61884-bbfb-4640-bd5d-96f6e633d4ee/resource/275f7dbe-8116-4d81-ba95-329df950be7e/download/6740590-2013-alberta-invasive-plant-identification-guide-2013-06-13.pdf

 

Targeted grazing uses goats to control unwanted vegetation in a natural sustainable environmentally friendly manner. Vegetation management focuses on improving landscape, removing undesirable or invasive weeds. Goat targeted grazing has been shown to reduce wildfire risk, remove noxious/invasive weeds and improve ecosystems by eliminating vegetation that is competitive with natural plant growth. Goats provide regenerative practice to landscapes, creating a healthy protein, rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium as well as they deposit nutrients into the ground feeding soil biology. Herbicides damage soil life, while goats provide sustenance.

Goats are an effective resource to help control noxious weeds in Alberta. An area takes a minimum of three years to effectively notice a difference in perennial herbaceous weeds. Effected areas may take longer, its up to the owner to modify their grazing strategy when problems occur. The main role of goats in targeted grazing are:

  • Problem prevention

  • Converting weeds to feeds

  • Ecosystem restoration

  • Noxious weed control

 

 

When planning to create a contract for targeted grazing, it’s important to be clear on timing, amount of goats, and the correct amount of monitoring to rehabilitate the affected area. A prosperous grazing program should include:

1. Cause impairment to the targeted noxious weed

2. Restrict damage to local vegetation

3. Combine with other weed control methods in ecosystem

For more accurate information, please go to

To learn more about contracting and targeted grazing please visit:

https://rangelands.org/

 

A method that herd managers teach their goats to acquire a specific plant is to starting as early as in the womb. Foraging skills are continued to be taught to each generation and with positive or negative feedback. It takes about 10 goats to clear an acre of brush.

 

Another great resource is:

https://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/rx-grazing/handbook.htm

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any questions

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Box 5202 
Westlock, Alberta
T7P 2P4 

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