Interview with the World's Best Weed Eater

Hear what this goat has to say about his species’ reputation as effective and efficient weed-eaters.

| July/August 2007

  • Goat
    Goats are experts at getting rid of troublesome weeds.
    istockphoto/ Aleksandr Lobanov

  • Goat

If your back yard or pasture has a weed problem, you may be happy to know that there's an effective, all natural weed-eating solution: Just bring in a goat. Goats have a well-earned reputation for being willing to eat anything, and because they're more interested in eating weeds than grass, you don't have to do much more than turn them loose where you want them to devour weeds.

They're so effective that they're often used to control noxious weeds that are otherwise hard to get rid of, such as kudzu in the South and leafy spurge in the West.

To understand more about how this works, we went straight to the source and talked to a real live goat. Here are his candid answers to our questions about his favorite kind of work.

I've heard goats will eat anything, but what's your favorite food?

I'll eat just about any kind of plant, but I prefer weeds to grass. I've got my favorites, but I like to mix it up. I like cheat grass, dandelions, purple loosestrife, yucca ... what have you.

So you could say you're a natural weed-eater?

Sue Hall_3
1/14/2010 5:24:36 AM

Goats are great, Burl Ives the singer had a pet goat he took with him I hear. Goats can be picky in that they work up first eating bushes, tall plants and grass last. They tend not to want to eat what they have stepped on like hay that is dropped as they eat. the goat dairy I worked on a lot of hay was wasted after it fell at their feet.

D Williams
11/12/2008 1:41:19 PM

We have several goats and they do a great job of clearing the weeds, however we are careful about where they roam as the neighbours lost some to poisonous plants - poison peach being one nasty. Fireweed can be eaten as goats are 20 times less susceptible as cattle to the poisonous alkaloid it contains, but the liver is still damaged in some way. Whilst I agree that goats are better than herbicides, I would suggest that the responsible goat owner look for info on these poisonous plants that grow in their area - and how to trim their hooves!!

T.S. LaBarre
10/16/2007 12:00:00 AM

Love all I've read. Have a question: Is it ok for out little weed eaters to eat leaves from grapefruit and orange trees? Thanks for your time,T.S.

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