The city of Savannah will join the cities of Atlanta, Roswell and Sandy Springs in using goats to clear vegetation. The city joins a growing trend of governments and individuals seeking a non-toxic way to clear undesired greenery.
Savannah will begin a pilot program in mid-June and will rent 60 goats and two livestock guardian dogs from Atlanta-area company Get Your Goat Rentals.
The goats will be used to remove vegetation along a ravine in the Laurel Grove North Cemetery located near W. Anderson Street and at the Clinch Street Pond behind Derenne Middle School.
According to officials the goats are ideally suited for this task for the following reasons:
- Goats are able to clear vegetation in areas that are difficult for workers to clear or to access with machinery.
- Goats thrive on poison ivy, poison oak, Kudzu, blackberries, nasty vines, and briers.
- The city will save money by using the goats instead of city workers.
- The type of vegetation goats ordinarily eat requires heavy machinery or toxic chemicals to manage and they leave behind natural fertilizer.
Savannah will get the goats on June 19. While the goats are working they will be confined using marked electric fencing.
Get Your Goat Rentals estimates it takes 20 to 25 goats one week to eat one acre of vegetation.