Best Goats for Clearing Brush and Weed Control

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When choosing the best goat for the needs of your homestead or small farm, there are really a lot of different factors to consider. And the same goes for choosing the best goats for brush clearing and land clean up. 

Which are the best options? 

If you’re looking for a natural, eco-friendly way to clear brush on your property. Consider using goats! Learn about the best goat breeds for brush clearing and how to utilize their natural grazing habits for effective land management.

goats in an outdoor pen

This posts has been updated from its original publish date of January 16, 2019. It has been updated to provide better photos and additional helpful information.

Benefits of Using Goats for Brush Cleanup

There’s so many benefits to using goats to help with small clean up jobs on the small farm or acreage. The first (and my favorite) benefit is how efficient they are!

Utilizing goats to help clean up an area that is loaded with weeds saves so much energy! Plus, we haven’t had to rely on using any chemicals in our efforts of brush control.

Goats are a great, eco friendly alternative for removing many invasive plants.

Goats will eat many problematic vegetation such as leafy spurge, poison ivy, poison oak, nettles, kudzu, brambles, and more.

However, beware of toxic plants that are harmful to goats. These are things like sumac, honeysuckle, azaleas, nightshade (ok in moderation), poison hemlock, foxglove, yews.

For more on harmful plants, read this post about keeping livestock safe from poisonous plants.

In addition, goats are great at improving land. Not only by clearing unwanted brush & weeds, they also leave behind fertilization.

These beloved farm animals have so many wonderful benefits that you should definitely consider adding them to your homestead. Goats are natural lawn mowers and so helpful on keeping pasture land healthy.

using goats to clean up weeds and brush.

Helpful Tips to Get Started

Using goats for brush cleanup, also known as goat grazing or goat browsing, can be an effective and environmentally friendly way to manage vegetation. Here are some tips for using goats for brush cleanup:

Assess the Site:

  • Evaluate the site to ensure it is suitable for goats. They are excellent at clearing rough terrain, but make sure there are no toxic plants or hazards.
  • Ensure proper fencing to contain the goats and protect them from predators.

Choose the Right Goat Breed:

  • Some goat breeds are better suited for brush cleanup than others. Our top choices are Alpine, Boer, and Pygmy. Breeds such as Kiko, Spanish, and Boer are known for their browsing abilities.
  • Consider the size and temperament of the goats, as well as their ability to thrive in the local climate.


  • Use sturdy fencing to contain the goats and protect them from predators. Goats are known to be skilled escape artists, so make sure the fencing is secure.
  • Portable electric fencing can be useful for rotational grazing in different areas.

Rotational Grazing:

  • Implement rotational grazing to prevent overgrazing in one area. Move the goats to a new section once they have cleared the vegetation in their current location.
  • This helps in preventing selective grazing and promotes more even vegetation control.


  • Regularly check on the goats to ensure their well-being and safety. Make sure they have access to clean water and provide supplemental feed if needed.
  • Check for signs of illness or stress and address any issues promptly.
goats in a pasture.

Supplemental Feeding:

  • While goats are excellent browsers, they may need supplemental feeding, especially during periods of drought or when vegetation is sparse.
  • Provide mineral supplements to ensure they get the necessary nutrients.


  • Schedule regular veterinary check-ups and vaccinations for the goats.
  • Implement a parasite control program to maintain their health.

Environmental Considerations:

  • Be mindful of the environmental impact. Goats can disturb the soil, so consider erosion control measures if necessary.
  • Avoid using goats in sensitive ecological areas where their presence may disrupt native flora and fauna.

Community Communication:

  • Inform neighbors and the local community about your goat grazing project to avoid any misunderstandings.
  • Address any concerns or questions that may arise.

Legal Considerations:

  • Check local regulations and zoning laws regarding the use of goats for vegetation management.
  • Obtain any necessary permits and permissions before implementing goat grazing.

By following these tips, you can effectively use goats for brush cleanup while promoting their well-being and minimizing environmental impact.

goat eating grass in a pasture.

Best Goats for Brush Clearing

When we first started our homestead with raising goats, we didn’t anticipate using them for brush and land clean up. But I quickly realized what a valuable resource they are and how much they love to do this naturally. 

It saves us a lot of time and money. 

Initially we started with a small herd to clear up small areas around the house. We grew a little over the years and experimented with a variety of breeds to narrow our top choices down. And now they clear large areas around area ranches. 

I have my favorite goat breeds to raise as pets. Some of those breeds do a decent job of cleaning up brush. But there are 3 specific breeds that we’ve raised that are the most efficient and top choice for grazing land. 

Plus, all three of these brush clearing goats are friendly and docile. 

We really like to use a mixture of these breeds to be the most efficient when we send them off to clean up an area of the ranch.

herd of Boer goats in a pasture.

Essentially, adding in large, medium, and small breeds of goats really makes the best options for brush clearing several acres. 

No goats? No problem! There are many rental company / businesses that have begun offering this service! You may find that goat rental is a great environmentally friendly option to consider!

alpine goat

#1 Alpine Goats 

The alpine goat breed is a definite favorite for our homestead. They make a great option for clearing brush because they’re able to reach higher parts of branches. 

Alpines have great personalities and make really good herd leaders. This is helpful with getting other goats motivated and moving the groups of goats around grazing cells. 

They are also excellent dairy goats to consider raising for your homestead or small farm!

Related: Alpine Goats

Boer buck goat breed standing next to a fence

#2 Boer Goats

Boer goats are usually raised for their meat and make a great investment to a homestead. When it comes to our homestead, we try to source as many income sources as possible. And raising meat goats is a good option for additional income. 

This breed of goats are very hardy and makes a great grazing option because they will clear land a little faster than some other breeds. 

white pygmy goat browsing and eating grass

#3 Pygmy Goats

My first choice for using pygmy goats around our homestead is to raise them as pets. But pygmies are also a great choice to use for clearing brush. 

Since they are a small breed, they can easily reach the lower areas of brush and small trees that the larger breeds wouldn’t usually prefer to go after. 

Nigerian Dwarf goats would be another small goat breed we would recommend.

goats grazing area of land behind an electric fence

Other options you may want to consider are Spanish goats, Kiko goats, which are also great choices for meat.

Depending on the area that you will need to be cleared, Angora goats or other long haired goat breeds may become tangled in brambles.

Raising Brush Goats

We use both male and female goats for clearing brush. However, most often wethers or a castrated male goat is the best option. 

This is preferred for some types of brush because the taller and thicker brush can be damaging to the udders. 

We prefer a mix of larger goats and smaller goats to ensure that they’re able to reach all areas while cleaning.

If you’re concerned about predators such as coyotes, consider raising a livestock guardian dog for protection of your herd.

While raising goats for land clean up, it is best to start them in grazing cells once they reach maturity.

 For grazing cells, we use this electric fence. A trick to training the goats to the electric fence is ensure that it is kept hot enough. It is also important to follow the manufacturers instructions and use the proper heat sources to avoid a hazardous situation. 

Note: If you have goats with horns, it may be possible that they can become tangled in the electric fence.

This option will make a great portable solution to an overgrown or weedy portion of your land!

Don’t Want to Buy Goats? Consider Rentals

There are many companies available who will rent out their goat herd for use in clearing out land. Many places like California will use goats for fire prevention and maintenance.

Using a rental service is also a great choice for testing out goats on your property before being fully committed.

Be sure to check what is available for your area and the local laws for such a service.

More Goat Grazing Info: 

How to Use Goats for Land Clean Up

Are Goats Browsers or Grazers

Avoiding Poisonous Plants for Grazing Livestock

FAQ (frequently asked questions)

Are goats good for clearing brush?

Goat are an excellent sustainable and green alternative to traditional land clean up. They are great at clearing up unwanted plants and weed control. Allowing them time to browse the land is also beneficial to their health.

How many goats does it take to clear an acre of brush?

The number of goats you use will depend on how long you would like to use them to clear the brush. It could take anywhere from a day to a couple of weeks based on the size of the herd. A rough estimate would be about 300-400 head herd of goats can clear an acre of brush per day.

Which goats are best for brush clean up?

Our top three choices are Alpine, Boer, and Pygmy. Spanish and Kiko breeds are also great browsers. Consider the size and temperament of the goats, as well as their ability to thrive in the local climate.

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  1. I’ve heard that goats are good for clearing the brush out of your land, but I didn’t know there were different kinds! I like how you said that pygmy goats will go for the lower brush that the others won’t go for because they’re too tall. I have a big lot that I need to clear out, so I’ll definitely have to think about which goat is best for it.

    1. My sister lives Perris ca,
      Her property is about acre. I’m thinking to get a goat to help clear the brush/ weeds for her yard. Are goats are to take care of? What is required to have them. She is on a fix income. What do u think?

  2. Thank you SO much for all the info on goats..I inherited 189 acres in the Ozarks & plan to clear hillsides next year.