Industrious Goats Clear Savannah's Invasive Vines

Jun 25, 2018

Savannah has a new landscaping crew, made up of goats. It's an increasingly popular way to clear vegetation.


It was pretty quiet last week in Laurel Grove North Cemetery, on the west side of Savannah: just the sound of goats, chewing away at vegetation. And that’s the point.

 

“They leave a softer footprint on the Earth," said Laura Walker, the city’s public works department. “Sometimes the equipment that we have to use is very heavy and the exhaust and pollution, air pollution, this kind of negates that.”

 

The goats also keep the city from having to use herbicides to clear invasive plants like kudzu and poison ivy.

 

Watchful dogs protect the goats, barking at anyone who gets too close.
Credit Emily Jones / GPB News

Accompanying the herd of 53 goats were two guard dogs charged with keeping them safe from predators like coyotes and wild dogs. Last year, Augusta lost five goats from a seven-goat herd to a dog attack.

 

But goat protection comes naturally to this pair of Great Pyrenees mixes. "It's marvelous," said Peter Flamming of Get Your Goat Rentals. "They need no training. It's all instinctual. They know, and they want to just protect the goats."

 

Atlanta, Roswell and Sandy Springs have also used goats to clear vegetation.

 

 

 

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