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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't know if I am serious or not. I have been spending many hours trying to rid the yard (by hand) of ivy and blackberries, and 4 foot tall grass-type weeds, with the occassional thistle here and there for punctuation. I am losing my enthusiasm for the this project. While I was working today, I was singing "Mares eat oats, and does eat oats, and little lambs eat ivy. A kid'll eat ivy too, wouldn't you?" So it occurs to me that I need to borrow or rent a goat, stake it out in the garden, and have it turn this weedy mess into fertilizer for me. I have a shed for nighttime, if it wouldn't do too much damage (it's really a kids' playhouse, and I imagine the landlord wouldn't appreciate if it were eaten). Is this a reasonable plan? What am I missing? How long would it take a goat to eat how much area?The future veggie garden area is about 15x40 feet, and there are several other patches, one 8x25, and 2-20 foot round ivy/blackberry patches. I don't think I would want to continue this into the winter when housing requirements increase. How do I find a goat to borrow? Is this a stupid idea, and should I just get back to work?
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Well, not that bad of an idea, really. Just so long as there is nothing you really car about in the same area. Goats will eat EVERYTHING, not just the weeds. So, be forewarned about that !
 

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I see a few problems.

I have two dwarf/pygmy crosses.

The goat will butt and chew on the house, if it's wood. I imagine it would beat teh heck out of plastic.

Goats dont' always tether well. Some will, if they've been raised that way. But will you be going out? THe goat has NO protection, LIke from a large roaming dog, coyote etc. And they HATE to get wet,
: so they need shelter from the rain. (COnstant access to the house)

Since they can jump about 4 or 5 feet, you need a TALL fence.

Lastly, goats don't graze, (like horses and cows) they browse (like deer). So, a bite of this, some dead oak leaves, a mouthful of that, till they get to anythig you wish they'd leave alone. Then they finish it. Ours have been in a 16 x16 foot enclosure for ovr a year and there's still plenty for them to munch.

Sheep, however, graze. THey eat everything down really low. Lower than cows. I don't think they mind the rain, but they'd still need protection and shelter.

And both goats and sheep would also need grain and water, so you'd need to sturdy buckets for them.

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How about juust taming those blackberries. Dig em up, plant soemwhere you'd like them. Offer canes om Freecycle and say they can come and dig their own. (ours are just ripening now and we had blackberry pancakes for dinner! YUM!) You can also use a weedwhacker to take most of them down really low.

Come spring, (I think you do it in the spring) lay newspaper mulch. I haven't done this yet, but it's my plan for teh strawberry patch next year. I understand it works great and you plant through it (cut a hole, put the plant in) The weeds can't get light so they die.

HTH
 

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Where are you located? I actually know of a set of goats, put there to help keep the place from getting overgrown. But the owner wants to get rid of a couple of them.

These goats have no problem with rain. But they ARE escape artists.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ahhh, I've shelved this idea. I don't feel confident I could keep the goats safe. We live on a busy road, and I know my fences are not goat proof. We are at the rural edge of a major city, and a loose goat would not do well. Tethering might work on days I am here, but I work out of the home 3-4 days a week right now, and kids or Grandma might not be the best goat-sitters. Although I have a hilarious picture in my mind of the 3 of them chasing an errant goat down the road, Mom with her walker...


Maybe I'll look into sheep - less escape artists/climbers, and if they are a little less destructive, perhaps I could give them the playhouse permantly. I might actually want to have them for life - I will research sheep's needs. I've lived with goats, but never sheep.

Oh, well, back to the grindstone... DEATH TO IVY!!!
 

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Funny story;
I had a pet ram when I was a teenager (
: stupid, I know) He LOVED to eat english ivy!
He didn't do well with blackberries canes though they would get wrapped around his big wooly scrotum, velcro style.

DH (we were dating) still laughs about it, he says when Lenny was caught and "baahing" for me to rescue him, it sounded like he was saying "HELLLLLLLP MEEEEEEEE, my BALLLLLLLLS, my BALLLLLLLLS"
 

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