The City of Red Deer Parks department welcomed back goats to manage invasive weed species at Piper Creek Gardens July 19th.
This is the second year the goats of Baah’d Plant Management & Reclamation came out to Red Deer, but this time Owner and Operator of Baah’d Jeannette Hall brought almost 400, double the amount of last year.
“We travel all over Alberta. We have a number of clients and we do organic weed control, utilizing goats and sheep,” said Hall.
The goats worked on munching down primarily Canada Thistle along with some Yellow Toadflax.
“In under 24 hours we should see very little thistle on this property. It’s a part of a pilot project that was initiated last year and will be happening for three years,” said Ken Lehman, parks ecological services operations coordinator with the City of Red Deer.
He added that it takes a few years for the goats to come back and keep chewing down the weed to deplete the root source and beat the weed.
“It’s a great way to control weeds especially in an environment where you don’t want to be putting herbicide and pesticide on the landscape,” said Lehman.
Hall added that it’s important to safeguard consumers to let them know that you can’t just do this with any sheep and goat.
She said ruminants know to eat what their mom teaches them to eat, “So first we have to start by teaching the mom to eat it and as each generation goes on we go ahead and influence the preference of specific weeds with the next generation.”
Lehman said it’s a tool the City wants to try and implement more to control ecologically sensitive areas and that they are working with bylaws right now to make it a municipal use in each of the zonings.