Why Rent when you Can Buy a Goat?
Sure you can get a goat to clear your property. But this is a job not to be taken lightly. Lets take a moment to understand the ins and out of goat ownership.
Owning a goat is a great thing to do. They make great pets, clear your weeds, welcome you when you get home and are great to watch. They come in all different sizes, colors and temperaments to keep you on your toes. Kids love them and most of the time your goat will follow you around. Goats average lifespan is 14-16 years so they can provided a long lasting companionship. But what if your motivation for getting a goat is purely to clear some property and "keep" things down vegetation wise. Well here are some things to keep in mind.
Goats are considered livestock by government agencies. They are not allowed to be owned by many urban dwellers. They are great backyard pets, but in most cities, they are not welcome to live in neighborhoods.
Goats are escape artists. They climb, push on fencing, get under things, on top of things and find it fun just to outsmart the fence. Yes, you can stake them out but really would you like to spend 14 - 16 years of your life on a chain?
Goats are very social. If you only get one, they will be lonely. Get two and you will have happier goats. But more fencing and more food will ensue.
When they finish clearing the brush on your property then what? You can feed them hay. They like it. But the cost for having a goat becomes pretty high when they don't have brush to eat.
Goats need supplements, foot care, worming and other things that pop up. They are not an invincible animal. Hardy yes, but they still need basic care.
There are very few Goat boarding facilities around. Unlike a dog, when you go on vacation, you will need to find someone qualified to take care of your goats. Goats are very good at sniffing out new ways to cause mischief.
Now for the final item to take into consideration: Money. How much will this goat cost you over the time of it's life vs. renting to clear property.
Let's assume I have one acre to have a goat eat down. It's not fenced but I have a dog house for shelter. I want to get two goats that are a year old to eat down the acre covered in blackberries so that it looks nice.
Year one costs
Purchase Goats = $100.00 (or more)
Fencing/ Labor = $ 750.00 using field fencing and t-posts
Supplements, worming, vet care = $300.00
Year two cost: They have eaten the brush and now have turned to you as the primary feeder.
Food Hay/Grain= $276.00
Year 3 - 14
Supplements, worming, vet care = $3300.00
Food Hay/Grain= $3036.00
Total costs for owning two goat assuming the fencing stays good, they have not done any other damage to property or themselves and they have stayed healthy: $8062.00
Our Average Price? $400.00 - $600.00
We put up temporary fencing, we supplement them, we take them away when they are done. As easy and quick as that.
Savings of at least: $7662.00. That's a lot of money to be letting the goats eat. Remember they like green.