Cowgirl Up on

Friday, August 8, 2008

In Search of Goats

During our recent preparation for the class we did quite a bit of cleaning up around our place. Seems like we’re always doing stuff like that. With ten acres and nearly two of it being our immediate living area, it isn’t long before it gets out of control. Taking a ten day vacation in late June doesn’t help.

Our soil type here is very fertile and grass and weeds grow everywhere. We once had a nice little lavender bed in the front of the house. It’s not so nice now. Having containers in front of the barn makes it a bit easier, but most of our containers aren’t exactly the most attractive. Heck, they were free, left by the previous owner (a landscaper who left all his empty black pots). At least we are recycling. We have given away scads of them, but still have lots more.

In my blogging around, I came across the Crunchy Chicken blog. One of the features was the book Food Not Lawns, which I promptly placed on hold and got from the King County Library System. I have barely started reading it, but it got me to thinking. Thinking more in depth about stuff I already was thinking about.

Anyway, back to the weeds and stuff. Paddock Boy was running the weed whacker and the Billy Goat mower in an area that gets overrun with morning glory, reed canary grass, wild cherry saplings and American elm saplings. It takes a great deal of work, fuel and time to get each section under control, and even then it is a short-lived proposition. At one point, Paddock Boy declares “This is ridiculous. I almost think that the hassle of goats would be worth it.” This isn’t the first time goats have come up in our discussions.

We have lots of invasive species here. Himalayan blackberry being the main source of our frustrations. So, we are now on the hunt for some goats. I am perusing craigslist for free/cheap goats that need homes. The goats will be well-cared for, but they will be staked and tethered during the day and well-protected at night. The goats also must already be disbudded. We would prefer younger goats so that we can do some training to be good around kids and dogs and horses.

Got goats?

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One Red Horse said...

Warning: RANT ahead.

Morning Glory is a lovely name disguising an insidious life form best described by one of its other names, bindweed. I loath the stuff. When I bought my house bindweed covered everything in all the beds. I have a constant battle with bindweed. It got its name because underground it intertwines its fragile roots with the root system of other plants while above ground it does the same with its fiercesome, fast growing vine. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Anyone know of effective ways to kill its sorry ass?

Latigo Liz said...

Here are some helpful links on controlling morning glory. unfortunately it seems to spread faster than we can even implement any of these suggestions.

Battling The Morning Glory: It's A Jungle Fight Out There

Persistence Can Get Rid Of Wild Blackberries, Morning Glory

It takes a lot to kill morning glory

Cheryl said...

I HATE my front lawn. Actually, I don't have one...just a bunch of weeds. I would rather plant vegetables and herbs than have what I currently have! I'll have to look into getting this book.

Train Wreck said...

LL Thanks for stoppin by my page! Welcome!!
We have a friend that lived in Oklahoma, he used 2 4 D? I know he told us how he had to brush hog everything! He had about 800 acres! We are moving to Texas within the next 6 years, so I too will be looking for "goats" to keep the unwanted growth down! Good luck!

Latigo Liz said...


We’re not inclined to use any chemicals if at all possible. Keeping things “green” here. We have used CrossBow in the past on Himalayan blackberries and buttercup, but it’s just not something we feel good about doing.

We do brush hog to make a big dent, now that we have a tractor, but the goats can get places that the mower deck on the John Deere can’t get to.

Debi Kelly Van Cleave said...

Try for the goats. There's a section for farm animals.

Just checked out your blog because you went to mine. I like it! I am also into old houses and recently moved from a big 1904 like yours. I call that one the Amityville Horror House. Long story.

Anyway, my hubby is also from Washington. Seattle area. His brother lives on Lake Tapps. He says Virginia, where we live, is very similar. But he doesn't remember having king bees like we have now! lol

dp said...

Goats are usually easy to come by at local auctions if you can't find any in need of good homes. Of course I am fond of the pygmies, but they have much smaller appetites than the larger goats. We will probably start staking ours out next summer, but for the time being they love it when I cut them some canes to chew on. It's amazing how they prefer blackberry to any other feed (with the exception of pure alfalfa -- spoiled goats!).