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Poison-ivy eating goats go to work for Carrboro

Posted July 26, 2009
Updated July 27, 2009

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— To rid the dog park at Hank Anderson Community Park of poison ivy, Carrboro town officials have come up with an environmentally-friendly solution – the Goat Patrol.

“I think this is right up their (the goats') alley,” said David Poythress, Carrboro street superintendent.

To the 14 goats that make up the Goat Patrol, poison ivy is not an itchy nuisance, it is a delicacy.

“From what we understand, they eat most of the day, and one of their favorite foods is poison ivy,” Poythress said.

The Goat Patrol has been on the job at Hank Anderson for about a year.

“What they're really good for is penetrating thick brush, overgrown areas, tackling some of the tougher, tougher plants,” Alix Bowman, owner of the Goat Patrol, said.

Poythress said the town is pleased with the Goat Patrol's work and that the approach is better for the environment. The goats don't need gas like a lawn mower and are non-toxic.

The goats are also creating an attraction for the dogs at the park.

“I bring her (my dog) here to run around and play, and she would just spend all of her time over at the fence terrorizing some goat,” dog park visitor Claire Darden said.

The town's pays the owner of the goats $10 a day.

“I have a really good feeling it is going to be very successful,” Poythress said.

16 Comments

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  • Farmgirlnc Jul 27, 2009

    "Now their burping, that's pungent."

    You got that right!

  • 68_polara Jul 27, 2009

    As admin4 stated goat droppings are completely harmless, it doesn't even smell. Now their burping, that's pungent. But unless your planing on kissing one who cares.

  • Farmgirlnc Jul 27, 2009

    "Does that include cleaning up the goat droppings?"

    Why clean them up? They're tiny little rabbit looking droppings, like pellets. They literally melt in the rain or get washed away. They're good fertilizer. The goats are helping in every way, not hurting anything. Although having goats clean up a dog park makes so sense to me. Dogs are goats' biggest predator.

  • Farmgirlnc Jul 27, 2009

    "You have got to be kidding me. A savings on the taxpayer. If they have been there a year at $10 a day, that's $3650 and counting. They could go the sale and buy the goats for $40-$50 a piece and that would be the end of it. Now, 14 goats at $50 is $700 and they could get the vet students from NC.State to keep a check on them. I am not saying that it is a bad idea, but why not just buy instead of lease."

    This is a business. People have business where all they do is rent out their goats. Why would the town buy 14 goats???? What would they do with them when they're done with them? And it wouldn't take 14 goats a year to clear out even 50 acres of land. I have 5 goats and they cleared out an acre as tall as they can reach in less than a month. And where are these $40 goats??? LOL

  • Sick N Tired Jul 27, 2009

    Does that include cleaning up the goat droppings?

  • TheBullCity Jul 27, 2009

    The $10/day covers the person looking after the goats too. If the town simply bought goats, it would have to hire someone to oversee them.

  • 68_polara Jul 27, 2009

    blossom,

    It's Carburro it's not about efficient government. They tax the you know what out of their residents and spend it like crazy. It's a nice place just can't afford to live there unless one is rich. Sounds much like our newly elected federal government now huh...

  • blossom3100 Jul 27, 2009

    great solution to a problem and with a savings to the taxpayers on this.
    jrfergerson

    You have got to be kidding me. A savings on the taxpayer. If they have been there a year at $10 a day, that's $3650 and counting. They could go the sale and buy the goats for $40-$50 a piece and that would be the end of it. Now, 14 goats at $50 is $700 and they could get the vet students from NC.State to keep a check on them. I am not saying that it is a bad idea, but why not just buy instead of lease.

  • Bendal1 Jul 27, 2009

    Goats have been used with success out west on kudzu infestations too; they eat everything down to the root, making it easier to dig them up.

    OM NOM NOM NOM

  • jrfergerson Jul 27, 2009

    great solution to a problem and with a savings to the taxpayers on this.

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