Goats are the oldest domesticated animal in the world, first used for their milk and coats, but now they’re taking on even bigger roles.
Jacob Porter is also known as “The Goat Daddy” is the owner of Green Goat Land Management. He has 108 goats munching their way through the Carolinas and Georgia. They eat invasive species such as poison ivy, poison oak, muscadine vines, wisteria, and kudzu.
"They eat 140 feet per goat, per day, up to 5 feet high or as high as they can reach," says Porter. "To make that makes sense they eat about the size of your bedroom per goat per day."
This method of land clearing is good for the environment and is cost-effective. Porter charges $8 per goat per day, which breaks out to be 33 cents per labor hour.
"An average land clearing company that uses heavy equipment, which by the way breaks the tree roots and kills the large trees later, charges about $6000 an acre. On average it’s about $12-$1800 for goats," says Porter. "So we are about a third... of the cost and we are using a natural solution."
That's why they chose this method for the Heathwood Court Condominiums off of Devine Street, according to Drucilla Brookshire who is one of the Homeowners‘ Association Board of Directors.
"It seemed to us like a great recourse for having that ground cleared, environmentally safe and efficiently, and cost-effectively," says Brookshire.
The goats are contained by an electric fence that Green Goat Land Management puts up, and Porter says all his goats are friendly.
"I don’t own a mean goat. I have liability insurance, but I don’t own a mean goat because if I’m going to do this every day I don’t want to deal with one," says Porter. "As far as bringing them to someone’s house I don’t want them to have a mean goat. I show people how to go inside the fence, they can disable the fence and go inside and pet them and love on them."
People are more than welcome to feed them if they'd like, just be sure to reach over the electric fence.
"It reinforces that people-animal bond, so as they continue to work and go to different people's houses, they get more and more people friendly," says Porter. "So we actually encourage the customer to buy them a pack of saltines and give it to them."
The goats enjoy mini marshmallows as well.
To "get your goat on" or for more information, visit their website here.