Local News

Poison-ivy eating goats go to work for Carrboro

Posted July 26, 2009 6:47 p.m. EDT
Updated July 27, 2009 11:07 a.m. EDT

— 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.