SSC Newsletter May/ June 2020

You Guys, THE GOATS ARE BACK at Athenian! Vendor providing goats:  Martin Boer Goats from Tracy, CA

in goat business since 2007 Goats under management: about 1000 Goat Herder: Angel The goat herder lives on a travel trailer that is brought to the site. He stays with the herd 24/7 during the placement to address animals that have escaped or are in distress, as well as potential predators, vandals, or neighborhood kids who tried to kidnap one of the younger goats. The herder also sets up fence sections to move the herd throughout the property – they are focused in confined areas to clear vegetation and then shifted to clear the next section. The only requirement for the herd is running water. Guard Dogs:  Rosie & Daisy (Great Pyrenees-Anatolian Shepherd Mix), Bo (Border Collie) The dogs stay with the herd and help scare potential predators or others that may interfere with the goats. They also herd goats from area to area.

Why goats: Using goats to control and remove vegetation is not only entertaining to watch, but also aligns with the school’s mission for environmental responsibility by avoiding the use of chemical herbicides or gas-powered mowers and landscape equipment. Goats are also much more effect ive for clearing areas that have steep slopes, uneven surfaces, narrow ravines , or dense trees and shrubs. Goats can clear areas that are difficult/impossible to navigate with tractors and mowers and as well as too dangerous to safely operate handheld line trimmers. The goats clear almost any vegetation, including grasses, weeds, leaves from trees and shrubs , and other hard-to- manage plants such as berry thickets that have thorns on the stems. Goats can reach to areas 4-5 feet off the ground by standing independently on their hind legs or balancing on a tree trunk using their front legs. A herd of 350-400 goats can clear vegetation , as well as temperature and, terrain will affect the herds’ progress. Random goats wear bells around their necks – when the activity of the bells approximately 1 acre per day. However, density and type of

goats are herded into that area and the previous sections removed . The set-up involved the arrival of a convoy of vehicles including: • A truck pulling a travel trailer • 2 pickup trucks, each pulling 2-story livestock trailers • A pickup carrying supplies for the fencing and other enclosures From arrival to deployment of the goats: less than 2 hours

escalates, it helps alert the goat herder to a possible predator or other activity that threatens the safety of the herd. Getting ready for goats: Goats are controlled with a flexible netting that is powered with a rechargeable solar battery. The herder travels with several sections of netting so that they can encompass areas of varying sizes and terrain. When the herd is ready to move, a separate fenced section is erected , and the





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