Choosing the Best Goats for Lawn Mowing
There’s so much to love about goats – and this is perhaps why a growing number of people are considering goats for their own lawn-mowing goals.
However, when choosing goats for lawn mowing purposes, it’s vital to consider that goats aren’t naturally a grazing species – and so, with this in mind, choosing the best goats for lawn mowing can naturally become a little more complicated.
Fortunately, our expert is on hand to help you learn a little more about how you could use goat grazing for lawn mowing purposes in your own garden.
Remember: while it might not necessarily be their natural forte, if you have a large lawn and have been looking for a slightly different option to keep things under control, goats could be a great option to consider. Just be sure that you’re starting out with the best goats for lawn mowing, to begin with!
The Best Goats for Lawn Mowing
So, what are the best goats for lawn mowing? Well, this will depend on several different factors; for example, if goat owners have a large lawn, larger breed goats may be more suitable. For example, for a small lawn, or if you don’t have as high fencing, a smaller breed such as pygmy goats may be more appropriate.
So a range of goats will graze your lawn and keep it short, consider the following espcially
- Boer Goats
- Pygmy goats
The most important thing to consider here is that you should ideally look for goats that are used to grazing. Goats can and will graze grass, but it’s best to ensure your chosen lawn mower goats are used to this diet, to begin with!
This simple check can help ensure that your new goats will be up to the job from the get-go.
Other breeds and other goats will do the job, whether you have just a few or a whole herd, but don’t expect the results you will generally get with dedicated machinery for the job.
The Benefits of Using Goats for Lawn Mowing
There’s a lot to love about using goats for lawn mowing. Perhaps the most obvious benefit here is simple: they don’t churn up the ground like some other animals, such as horses and cattle.
Goats will typically also graze less than other livestock, which may help ensure that your lawn stays looking green and fresh for as long as possible.
Even better, goats often love weeds, which they may target above everything – keeping your lawn free of those pesky plants that you don’t really want there!
Using a goat to keep the lawn in check is environmentally friendly as well of course. They mow, and remove vegetation and new plants, but won’t cost a bean in gas.
Downsides to Using Goats for Lawn Mowing
While there’s a lot to love about using goats for lawn mowing, it should be noted that they are not ideal lawnmowers, and it is not unusual to turn them out on the lawn and have goats refuse to graze.
Indeed, while goats are cute, cuddly, and full of mischief, they are not grazers by nature and unlike an electric or gas mower, will leave goat droppings on the lawn too.
As such, when kept for mowing your lawn, don’t be surprised if they do their best to escape while searching for other tasty treats in your well manicured lawn and garden!
It’s also worth considering that regularly grazing low to the ground may increase the risks of your goat contracting internal worms; discuss this carefully with your vet before getting a goat to use for lawn maintenance purposes!
Additional Tips for Keeping Your Lawn Looking Great with Goats
If you want to use goats to keep your lawn looking great, the following four tips may further help:
- Move feed buckets and water troughs regularly to avoid soil compaction
- Ensure you have a path through your lawn to prevent your goats from trampling the lawn
- Be aware of poisonous plants, poison ivy, poison oak and the like
- Always provide shelter for your goats when using them to graze your lawn
- Good fencing is always handy to prevent escape
- Try not to overstock your lawn – depending on the amount of grass growth and the size of your goats, anywhere between five and ten goats per acre may be about right. If you have a small lawn, we’d recommend against using goats as lawn mowers!
Do Goats Eat Grass?
Biologically speaking, goats are in a good position to, and will eat grass. As a ruminant, they are among the most well-adapted species for digesting incredibly tough and fibrous materials, which may allow them to readily chow down on your lawn but they prefer other things that may be in the garden
However, the trickier bit here is that goats aren’t really adapted to eating just grass and are better for brush control.
That’s not necessarily to say they can’t eat grass, but as browsers, brush goats often go out of their way to find something else to add to their diet – and that means your lovingly tended rose bushes could very well be on the menu if not fenced off and treated as normal brush clearing. But they will clear weeds too!
It’s hard not to love goats – I always like to think of them as being very similar to dogs (except with hooves and horns!) and an attraction to eat many plants as well as your grass.
With this in mind, if you’ve been looking for a way to keep your lawn under control, but don’t fancy mowing the lawn or using traditional livestock species, goats could be a great option.
How many goats you require will depend on the size of the lawn you are looking to keep in check.
Still, it’s important to remember that even the best goats for lawn care can only do so much and if you want to keep your lawn looking pristine, a lawnmower is the only option to consider for gardens, but if you’ve blackberry brambles at the bottom of the garden, they are likely to be the first menu choice of the goat.
But, if weeds have taken over or you want to reduce your environmental impact, choosing the best goats for lawn mowing could be ideal.
A passionate owner and breeder of Boer Goats, Charlotte is ensconced in daily goat farm life at Himmon Boer Goats in the UK. A member of the British Boer Goat Society, she spends her spare time also involved with goats. You could say, and she would admit, she is somewhat obsessed!