Do goats really eat anything and everything?
No. No, they don't. They are actually rather picky in their own way. But, they do eat nearly every type of vegetation, including many types that are a challenge to manage.
Goats get their reputation for "eating everything" (including tin cans) from the fact that they mouth just about eveything that they come in contact with. We experience the world first with our sight... dogs first with their nose... goats first sense is their mouth, so they "taste" almost everything that is in their path.
Are the goats noisy?
The vast majority of the time they are surprisingly quiet. They do tend to get pretty excited when they know they are going into a new area, but that's usually about the only time they make many sounds, other than some quiet crunching and satisfied happy noises.
Does it work?
Yes! It really does! Now, it may not work the way you envision it working, but we will be glad to explain the process and answer any questions that you may have. This site also has a growing amount of information that should help provide the answers that you need.
Are the FlockWorks goats right for me?
We can't answer that for you, but goats are:
MUCH quieter than power equipment
Environmentally friendly, disturbing the soil less and cause much less damage and pollution.
Safer and better for the environment than using herbicides.
Good for the soil. They add fertilizer to the soil as they work!
Usually cost competitive.
Adorable and interesting.
Can I play with the goats?
We have a lot of different goats, each with their own personality. We will be glad to introduce you directly to most of them, and depending on your setting (how busy the area and streets are) we may take one or two out for you, but we do not recommend that you go in with the herd... certainly not unattended.
Several of our goats are favorites at petting zoos and other community events, but any animal is capable of getting startled and reacting - potentially causing a injury.
Can my dog play with your goats?
No. Not unless you have a trained livestock guardian dog that was raised with goats. Most dogs see goats as prey. Even very friendly dogs can startle a herd of goats very easily and cause chaos and confusion. The truth is, our goats have not been around many dogs yet and so far seem fairly unsettled by them.
Do goats smell?
Well, everything is said to have some type of odor... but, that's probably not what you mean.
Female goats and fixed males (wethers) generally have no perceivable odor unless you are burying your nose into their fur.
Unfixed males always have some odor, but it is generally pretty minor except from September through the end of December. When they are on pasture it's not too overpowering. If they are shut up in a barn, or similar, it can be quite strong.
Are your goats treated well?
We like to think so. Our goats are treated like they were made to live naturally, but with some extra help and protection. We provide simple shelters but you are likely to notice that the goats sleep outside more often than not. Our shelters are built to be portable and keep off the sun and rain. They are made to allow airflow in the summer and block drafts in the winter.
The electric fencing is very good at dissuading predators, so they are quite safe... much safer than on their own or even in a traditional barn.
What is the benefit to using goats that most people don't quite realize?
The way goats eat, they start most plants at the top and eat down. This means they strip the plant of it's ability to photosynthesize AND they eat the seeds (or seed-making parts) early on. They then crush the seeds and between their powerful back teeth and their unique digestion system, with 4 stomachs, let very few seeds pass in a viable state.
Compare this to mowing... The seeds are scattered and basically distributed over a broad area, effectivly planting more of the problem vegetation.
Do you rent goats for anything other than grazing?
Yes. Our friendly goats go to fairs and other community events. We even take them on the road for a petting farm a few times per year. We have been asked about goats for other purposes and would be willing to discuss things like goat therapy and similar. Contact us here if you have something in mind.
Do you retire your goats?
At this stage we do not foresee retiring any goats from service. As herd animals, goats are not meant to be alone. Their digestion system also does not operate properly if they are not active with the food that they are accostomed to.
Do you rent goats for fire prevention?
In some parts of the country goats are used mostly for creating firebreaks. We do not see that there is likely to be a need here for that regularly, but we certainly are open to it.
Wherever goats graze, they reduce the amount of vegetation. We routinely graze goats in woods to clear out the understory and help manage woodlots. Removing the remaining woody material is essentially all that remains to create a reduced wildfire zone.
Do you sell goat meat or goats for butchering?
No. Our goats work for us and are pets. We understand the financial benefits to selling goat meat, but we have no intentions of doing so at this time.
Will other animals on my property be a problem?
We have not had an issue yet. The electric fencing is quite effective at keeping animals on their respective sides.
Who watches the goats?
Depending on the setting, the goats are checked on once or twice per day.
What type of land do your goats clear?
You name it! From vacant land and lots to overgrown parks.
Our specialty is banks of ponds, woods and transitional areas.
What is the first step to getting started?
Are goats always the answer to an overgrown area?
No. Not always. We were requested to clear a field of lambs ear. This is a wild plant that looks like it would be delectable to goats, but it is not. In fact, it's one of the few plants that goats won't hardly even touch!
How much does it cost?
This is not an easy question where one answer can be provided. There are many factors that go into the estimate. Some of those items include:
What makes FlockWorks different from other goat rental companies?
We have keep our goats on moving pasture year-round and our goats have been trained to eat what is available.
We offer a unique two stage grazing pattern (Goat Pro) for nearly all prime season jobs. This equals more thorough clearing and healthier goats!
How many goats will you be grazing for my job?
This is also job dependant. The amount of land, quality, quantity and type of vegetation and time of year all come into play. It almost never makes sense to bring less than half-a-dozen goats. We can bring out over two dozen, usually in two (maybe more) stages.
What do I have to do to get ready for the goats?
Nothing. We take care of the prep work, fence configuration and set-up, the moving of housing, etc and of course the transportation and moving of goats.
Now, if you want to be involved, we can discuss that. And it's almost guaranteed that you'll want to spend some time around the goats and watch their unique skills and work ethic.
How do you keep the goats in place?
We use portable electric net fencing. This style fence keeps the goats in and the predators out!
What if I have some plants I wish to preserve that are in the middle of the grazing area?
Depending on the type and quantity, we may exclude this area with the electric fencing, or we may protect one individual plant or tree with piping or netting.
What about coyotes or other predators?
The fencing is an amazing deterrent to predators. We have never had a goat lost or injured and the electric fencing is the biggest part of that!
What about rain?
Goats do not like rain... or water... or to be wet, but they love to eat! Typically the goats make up for any rain delays at unusual times. They will eat at night if they choose to be in housing during the day due to weather. They also will choose to eat at least partly at night when daytime temperatures really soar.
Have other questions that you think should be here??? Send them to us! Contact Page.
PO Box 207
Roxbury, PA 17251
Phone: (717) 417-8683
Text: (717) 417-8683
Serving South Central Pennsylvania
Principly the Cumberland Valley