Eco-Friendly Lawn Mowers
Here's another wonderful post by my future sister-in-law Amy H. Enjoy!
If you live in an area where you can have goats, they make a wonderful addition to the family as well as providing a nicely trimmed lawn. Goats are low maintenance animals, as long as you have two of them (they are social animals) and have some sort of shelter for them (they despise the rain), they make nice pets. I would suggest getting younger goats so you can tame them or you may be able to find an old petting zoo selling their animals, so those goats would be super tame -- plus you would get a recycled animal. :)
We have a small herd of Nigerian Dwarf Goats, we bought them to keep the pasture trimmed and for weed abatement.
This past fall we borrowed a billy goat from our neighbors and our three females had babies in March, The baby goats are adorable and so much fun. They chase each other and hop around and play hide and seek. They are so sweet and gentle with our daughter.
The environmental upside is that we don't need to use a gas/electric powered mower or edger to keep our back yard and pasture weeds and grass under control. We rotate the goats to different areas on our property to keep the weeds away, so when the dog's yard is getting overly green, we put the dogs in the goat pasture and let the goats munch at the greens in the dog yard for a day or two.
When we sell our babies in June, the money we make will be enough to pay for the food for the goats for the upcoming year, so they are pretty much self-sustaining. Additionally, our neighbor offered to clean out the goat barn because the goat droppings and the hay had mulched and created a wonderful fertilizer for his family garden. Typically we only have to clean out the barn 2 times a year and we simply rake out the droppings into the pasture and the rain and sun break them down and all the nutrients go back into the land.
If we were up for more of a challenge, we could milk the goats and make goat cheese, goat milk soap, or simply drink the goat milk. But with full time jobs and an almost 2 year old, for now we simply have the goats as pets/lawn mowers.
Other than de-worming the goats two times a year and an occasional hoof trimming (depending on the goat, some goats have genetically better hooves that don't need as much trimming) and providing them with fresh water, a mineral block (ours has lasted over a year) and a bale of alfalfa grass--- that is about all you need for a happy, healthy goat. The benefit to you is one less chore in the yard -- plus the entertainment of watching the goats play.
Here are some links for more info on goats:
Labels: Amy H. Posts