Goatscaping near Buffalo's Elmwood Village

"We let them do what they do best - eat all day!"



Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - Goatscaping has arrived in the city of Buffalo. It's an eco-friendly concept, but it's not about keeping the grass trimmed.

"We bring in seven goats to an area that has problematic growth, such as invasive plants or poison ivy, and we let them do what they do best, which is eat all day," said Jennifer Zeitler, owner of Let's Goat Buffalo.

The goats are at the Richardson Olmsted campus off Forest Avenue this week to work on a plant called Japanese Knotweed. "It's a very troublesome plant in Western New York. It spreads very quickly and does a lot of damage to buildings. And the goats happen to really love it," said Zeitler. 

How much can goats possibly eat? "Oh my goodness," said Zeitler. "We actually ran into a wonderful problem here at the Richardson Olmsted campus. The goats ate almost the entire area that they were scheduled to eat this week, in one day." Goats can go through an acre in a couple of weeks, depending on what you're trying to remove.

The goats are on the backside of the Richardson campus, to the right of Hotel Henry. 

Goatscaping may be new to Buffalo, but it is rapidly growing and a well respected means of landscaping in other parts of the country.

"We don't use any chemicals, pesticides,or herbicides and we feel really good about that," said Zeitler. The goal is to restore native plants to Western New York and get rid of invasives without causing more problems. "When you use things like Roundup and herbicides, it takes out every plant in the area, not just the one you're targeting. 

Let's Goat Buffalo will soon be grazing in Buffalo's South Park in September.  "We're working on a plant called phragmites. It's an invasive plant that everybody sees in ditches and along waterways. It's like cattails, but with a bushier top." Zeitler says its taking over a waterway in South Park.  

Let's Goat Buffalo uses retired goats from a farm called Alpine Made in South Wales. These goats are no longer producing milk, so Zeitler says they're getting a second chance at life.

Fencing is used to keep the goats from wandering. "We use two layers of fencing. A net fencing that is electrified. It's low voltage and they know about it and don't touch it. And we use an exterior fence to keep people, dogs and other predators like coyotes from getting in."

When the goats are not "on the job" they are returned to the farm at Alpine Made.  





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