Next week, a herd of goats will be coming to Chestermere to feast on some weeds.
“There are various types of weeds in the off-leash area, some of which we cannot spray due to environmental factors. We are committed to controlling these weeds in a way that is both safe and environmentally responsible,” says Kathy Russell, Parks and Recreation Manager. “We’re excited to welcome the goats, as they have done an excellent job in targeting weeds in other places.”
The technique is called ‘target browsing’. Unlike sheep and cattle, goats are browsers that naturally prefer broadleaf plants like weeds and leave the grasses alone. They destroy the seed so it does not get re-distributed, and have special enzymes in their stomach that allow them to eat even toxic plants.
The all-they-can-eat weed buffet at the north end of the lake will be visited by the goats for three short periods this summer. Their first visit is scheduled for May 14-18.
If you see the goats, please keep your distance and obey the shepherd at all times. All dogs must be on-leash when goats are present to avoid disrupting their work. There is an electric fence in the area so keep a close eye on your kids and dogs in this space.
The City of Chestermere Parks and Recreation team is planning an opportunity for residents to attend an educational session with the goats. Stay tuned for more information.
For more information and for dates when the goats will be visiting, visit the website at www.chestermere.ca/goats