Goats are useful for maintaining cleared land. Once a masticator, land clearing crew or dozer are finished, land is bare but roots and seeds are still present in the soil. In the coming years, regrowth is inevitable. Goats are good at keeping that new growth down year after year so you can continue reaping the benefits of your investment.
Goats are browsers which means that as they graze, they consume more than just grass. Goats like eating toyon, blackberry bushes, poison oak, star thistle, fiddleneck and many of the other varieties of low growing vegetation in our local environment. This activity results in a lifting of the general vegetation line five to six feet off of the ground. This can be beneficial for defensible space, maintaining fuel breaks and improving opportunities for wildlife viewing as well as improving access for humans. Goats also eat dry leaves, and their activity mulches and crushes dry leaves and branches. A well-grazed property is more resilient and easier to manage.
Many individual landowners and municipalities have moved towards using goats for vegetation management because they represent a natural and harmless alternative to herbicides.
Goats may be used for vegetation management in archeologically or culturally sensitive areas because they do not cause as much damage to the terrain as heavy equipment does.
Goats offer psychological benefits. Goats are active, friendly, interesting companions who will captivate your attention while they maintain your land. It is not uncommon for children to invent creative names for individual goats. Many people find it hard to say goodbye once a rental agreement is completed.