Using Goats for Grazing & Land Clean Up

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Goats are amazing at clearing up unwanted brush and weeds. In this post you’ll learn more about the benefits of using goats for grazing and land clean up. 

We have been raising goats for several years now. And they have been one of the best resources on our homestead. One of the best uses has been using our goats for clearing up weeds and brush.

goats are cleaning up weeds in a rocky area of land

Funny thing, goats are actually browsers and not grazers. But, they are often confused and referred to as grazers.

Related: Are Goats Browsers or Grazers?

Goats are natural grazers and make a great, green alternative to land clean up. Typically around our rural area, a lot of chemicals are used for land management. We would like to avoid that route.

During the summer months, we allow our goats to graze around the ranch for nearly the entire season, or as long as there is still plenty of vegetation.

There are a few steps that we do to make sure we providing our goats with plenty of quality food and ensuring their safety while they’re out grazing.

goats clearing weeds from a rocky area of land

Using Goats for Grazing

When getting started with using goats for yard clean up, it’s important to mention that they may not always create a perfectly manicured lawn.

Some people have mentioned to us that their goats won’t eat grass, but we have personally never had this problem. I think that there can arise a problem with goats becoming picky. They will actually eat nearly everything if allowed the opportunity to do so.

But we try to avoid this problem before it becomes a problem. We just don’t let our goats get picky. We allow them to browse as soon as the weather and vegetation becomes available every season. And we provide supplements as needed to ensure they receive proper nutrition.

goats grazing in green grass

Natural Benefit of Using Goats for Land Clean Up

Goats make an amazing green alternative to using harsh chemicals on your land. This is actually one of the main reasons why I wanted to get a couple for our homestead.

Chemicals are used way too often around our rural area and often times, people feel as though they have no other choice. But there are options.

The answer to most of today’s problems is usually goats. Ha, I’m kidding.

Plus, goats leave behind their manure, which is like gold. It’s always improved our lawn and land in areas that we set them up to clean up.

goats standing on rocky land and clearing up brush

Setting Up Goat Grazing Areas

One of the first things that I would suggest doing before setting up a goat area to graze, is to do a quick walk through and ensure that there isn’t anything harmful for goats to eat.

Because goats will eat just about everything!

Check out more info about all of that here.

Next, when setting up a rotational grazing area, you’ll want to ensure you are using a great electric fence with a proper energizer source. Always double check with the manufacturers recommendations to avoid a potential disaster.

This is the electric fence that we have used with success for many years.

But be warned, goats are natural escape artists! So it is important to ensure they are being checked on often. They usually will get used to the electric fencing and so it doesn’t become a problem for ours escaping often, but on occasion it has happened.

Protect anything you don’t want them to eat before you move them to an area to avoid heartbreak. Ask me why I know this and learn from our mistakes. Ha!

goats grazing area of land behind an electric fence

Some Breeds are Better Than Others!

Especially when it comes to setting up goats for browsing land. We like a good mix of taller breeds and shorter breeds. Alpines and some of our Boers are amazing at reaching taller areas, such as tops of trees that we want cleared up.

Pygmies are excellent smaller breeds that reach the lower areas that some of the other goats might ignore.


5 Best Breeds of Goats to Keep as Pets

Why You Should Consider Adding Alpine Goats to Your Homestead

Currently on our homestead, we keep a variety of goat breeds to help with the land clear up.

small goat herd cleaning up brush in a rocky area of land

More Amazing Benefits

Goats make yard and land clean up so much easier than manual labor, especially when you have a large area that needs work. This saves us so much valuable time and energy.

Plus, the goats are doing what they naturally love doing, browsing for their food! This also saves money on feed costs.

Goats will help clear up an area of land that machinery can not get to. Areas like small pens, rocky areas, sides of hills, behind the barn, just to name a few.

As mentioned above, be careful about setting goats up in an area that will have any potential hazards for your goats.

This includes poisonous plants. However, they will eat plants safely, such as, poison ivy, oak, hemp, and sumac. They will eat many invasive species of plants which helps keep annoyances at bay!

I’m telling you, adding goats to our homestead to use as browsers has been one of the best decisions we have made!

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  1. Thanks for such wonderful advice! I don’t have any goats YET, but I am pinning this for when I do. Hopefully it’s not too far in the future!

  2. Hi Mary! Hello from a fellow SoCal Catholic girl! 🙂 I am interested in getting some goats, probably pygmies, for brush clearling. Many of the places we want cleared are rocky hillsides, and I am not sure about the feasability of setting up electric fencing around these areas. Are there any alternatives that you have found to work? Thanks!

    1. It would be harder, but you could try to train them. Also training a livestock guardian and herding dog could be an option. We’ve done this in certain areas, too. It isn’t the easiest option though. Goats like to wander off as they’re looking for their preferred brush. I’ll definitely need to brainstorm some more ideas if you can’t use an electric fence.

  3. Great article. I have Shetland sheep and they are browser too. I have used the electornet fencing method and my sheep have helped clear much of our property of invasive buckthorn. Question, when you do find poisonous plants in the area of browsing, how are you dealing with that?. Nightshade seems to be our problem.

    1. If it is smaller area, we would just pull the poisonous plants. But in most cases around here, they would be invasive so we just avoid setting up our electric fence or allowing our goats/cattle to graze the area.

  4. I loved reading this, seem like down to earth people raising some goats. My goats have escaped their fenced in area so we are looking for a way to let them “free range” so to speak. Thanks for the ideas , best of luck.