Goats have been known to control invasive weeds. Monday was the last day for the city’s grazing program. The goats are brought in twice per summer to graze at both Alexander Wilderness Park and Indian Battle Park.
An official with the city says the goats typically will target leafy spurge, wormwood and thistle.
“Absinthe wormwood has been here for a long time but it’s not something the goats have really taken to like they have taken to spurge really really well, they search it out, they want to eat it. The wormwood is just not as palatable so whenever we can get a group that really likes it, that’s great, and they will teach the others that hey this is something that we need to chew on and get rid of, and kind of manage that way,” said Jackie Cardinal, Parks Natural Resources Coordinator for the City of Lethbridge.
The goats are managed by a herder and the co-owner of Creekside Goat Company Robert Finck who says they are with the animals 24-7.
“We supply the water, the tanks, the fences, the goats, the dogs, when we come into a job we supply everything. It’s hands free maintenance for whoever is hiring us, that way we do have guard dogs. In the cities, we don’t use guard dogs as much because we have so many run-ins with people and their own dogs so we just keep a better eye on them when we are out. In more open spaces we do use the Peruvian or the Pyrenees the Great Pyrenees dogs, and then we run Border Collies that are, they are our right hand,’ said Robert Finck, Co-Owner of the Creekside Goat Company.
There were about 200 goats nibbling down those weeds on Monday afternoon.