Newbie - can we borrow a goat? (Auckland)

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6 years 8 months ago #514889 by serafina111
Hiya,
Complete newbie here, living in Balmoral in Auckland.
The Bf has this crazy idea of borrowing a goat(s) for a few weeks to get the garden under control. I'm a city girl, so have no idea how feasible this is, but he reckons it could work. We have wandering Jew & Jasmine everywhere, along with other grass & weeds.
Question to all goat keepers - is this a feasible idea? And will tethering the goat(s) between trees or similar be enough, or do we need to fence the property and allow them free reign of the garden? Do you know where we can borrow/hire a goat/two goats?
Ideally we'd like the goat(s) to do the clearing for a couple of weeks, and then take it/them back, but will consider buying one if that's our only option.

Any and all feedback welcome - thanks! :)

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6 years 8 months ago #514898 by muri
If you would like your entire garden demolished, then a goat is the best option.
They are great at eating all sorts of things, including the trees, any plant in sight, toxic or not, washing on washing lines, and the line itself, in fact anything we consider to be inedible is fair go for a goats diet.
I am not sure if wandering jew is toxic to goats, but it certainly is for some animals
If I had a goat, which I dont, I would probably not want to lend it to someone in an urban area, neighbourhood dogs would be my most serious concern, especially with an animal that is tethered.
Other people, particularly goat owners, may have different ideas
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6 years 8 months ago #514902 by Thunda
Hi Serafina, I have a goat and as Muri pinted out they will eat anything, mine is free range but when I did tether her for 20 mins to see if she would eat the weeds on a bank - she ate all the covering off my heatpump fan instead!
Goats are amazing jumpers and escape artists so would need to be tethered unless you have amazing fencing, also suburban dogs would be drawn to the smell of a goat so i think it would be risky incase it got attacked.
Is your yard completely dog proof? Do you mind if everything in your garden is eaten? if both answers are yes then maybe a goat would be ok.
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6 years 8 months ago #514910 by Stikkibeek
Chooks in a chook tractor would be the best bet for your wandering jew. They love it and will eat and scratch out all they can find. They won't prune your trees like goats will, and will clean up your kitchen scraps too. If you want fresh eggs you will need to feed a layers mix of some sort , fresh water and you are allowed to keep some chooks in the city, you might be under council scrutiny if you try goats. Chooks will dig holes in your garden, but those can easily be patched and resown if in a place you want to have smooth lawn.
For the jasmie, it is quite easy to deal with. Put on some gloves (waterproof ones) and then cut the stems with enough lower stem and roots so you can bend it. Put some neat round-up in a small container (marked with the name of product) and bend and dip the cut end in. The upper growth will wither and die if it doesn't have touch-down anywhere, and the root bit you dip will take up the round-up and shrivel up. You have to keep at it for a few months but it will die out.
Anywhere you can mow it, do that too. it's much easier to cut than it is to try pulling out.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S
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6 years 8 months ago #514954 by RaeM1
A lot of plants in the garden are poisionus to goats, and I doubt that the person who lent you a goat would be happy to find that it had died a very horrible death due to eating rhododendron or something like that, you may find that the good old hedge shears will do the job on your garden, and the only thing is that it will take a while to get it under control. Also goats cannot stand heavy rain, they have to have shelter, as they have no fat on their bones where as sheep and cattle do have a lot of fat coverage. When you buy your own lifestyle block then you will have room to run a lovely goat or three, and enjoy having them.
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6 years 7 months ago #515609 by serafina111
Thanks everyone, your feedback has been super helpful!
  • Dogs aren't an issue - we don't have dogs roaming the streets in this part of town, and even if one did chance to get loose, we live away from the street and down a steep driveway with gates we can close, so they'd be pretty hard pressed to come down and find the goat
  • Poisonous plants - we've checked the garden already, and would be happy to go through again to double check for poisonous plants each time the goat is moved to a new section to graze
  • Very keen to have the goat eat EVERYTHING it can! The only thing in the garden that isn't made of metal or food we want it to eat is the trampline, but we'll move it before tethering the goat in that section of the garden
  • We won't leave the goat out in the cold & rain, would definitely organise a goat house/shelter for it - we'd hate to mistreat it!

Thanks everyone for your help so far - based on everyone's comments it's looking like buying/borrowing a goat/goats will be a good option for us, not crazy like I first thought!
If you have other tips/concerns about suburban goat-keeping, please do let me know - we're thinking very seriously about this, and don't want to unwittingly harm an animal. Also tips & leads on where to buy/borrow a goat are very welcome!

Thanks again!

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6 years 7 months ago #515613 by muri
did you check the council regs on keeping livestock in an urban area?

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