600 weed-eating goats take over the Boise Foothills

Credit: Eric Turner/KTVB

600 weed-eating goats take over the Boise Foothills

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by Ty Brennan

KTVB.COM

Posted on July 20, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 23 at 11:39 AM

BOISE -- Goats are now roaming and grazing in part of the Boise Foothills. Six-hundred goats have temporarily taken up residence in the Polecat Gulch Reserve in northwest Boise, just north of Collister Road.

The city of Boise hired the goats to eat noxious weeds in the 680-acre reserve. This is the first time the city has used goats.

Lynda Linquist and her husband own the company based out of Wilder, aptly named We Rent Goats. The couple and their herd of employees were hired by the city of Boise to clear out rush skeletonweed.

"It's a noxious weed, it comes in and takes over and chokes out the native plants. Our objective is to bring the goats in and they eat it and the way goats eat, they break it down and the then the seeds don't reproduce," said Linquist.

Julia Grant with the city of Boise says this is the first time the city has ever used goats for weed mitigation.

"Goats have been proven to be a very efficient manager of weeds," said Grant.

She says the goats are comparable in price to weed sprays and better for the environment.

"We decided to try goats because they access areas where you don't want to be driving an ATV to spray weeds through the Foothills this time of the year for fear that you're going to light a fire," said Grant.

Once the weeds are eaten down to a specific height where they can't propagate seeds, the goats will be moved uphill to start the process over again.

"They're really docile animals, they're really easy to deal with and I think that's why they're perfect for this job,” said Linquist. “We're not leaving any chemicals -- a little fertilizer, but it's just a more green eco-friendly way to manage."

The city says they plan to use the goats every year to control weeds in the Foothills.

The goats are expected to be in the area for about seven days or until they believe the goats have eaten enough of the rush skeletonweed so it doesn't spread.

The price for those weed eating goats is $2,100.

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