One landowner will have a much easier time watering his crops after hiring an unusual maintenance crew to clear his irrigation ditches: a herd of goats.
TikToker cowboymax (@cowboymax) is a goat rancher with a herd of 220 goats. In a recent pair of videos, he shows the incredible difference those goats can make in restoring neglected landscaping that has been overtaken by weeds, brush, and young trees.
“It’s that time of year again when it’s critical that farmers can get water down the ditches quickly and efficiently,” he explained. “We were hired to come clean out this ditch.” The camera runs along a weed-choked ditch that he said is 350 feet long, leading from a diversion canal to the property of the landowner who hired him.
“He told me it was taking about two and a half hours just for the water to reach his property,” he said — a length of time that made it difficult for the landowner to use the water.
“Farmers are only given a small window of time to get the water to their crops and to their fields, so it’s critical that that water gets there quickly so they can use it before they lose it,” he added in the second video.
@cowboymax An incredible transformation of this irrigation ditch. The GOATS absolutely crushed it. This video is only day one of the job!! Stay tuned for the final portion of the job. @KencoveFarmFenceSupplies #goats #goatscaping #goatgrazing #grazinggoats #contractgrazing #targetedgrazing #grazingsystems #systemsgrazing #rentagoat #yardmaintenance #weedremoval #firefuelreduction #brushremoval #thegoatguy #goatguy #cowboymax ♬ Acoustic Folk Instrumental – Yunusta
Thankfully, where the farmer saw a barrier, the goats saw food. In the videos, Cowboy Max unleashes all 220 goats on the 350 feet of canal leading up to the property, plus the 150 feet that the farmer owns — which they clear in a total of seven hours. “They absolutely loved it,” he said. “So much tasty, healthy forage for my little guys.”
There were even young elm trees — a favorite of the goats, who stripped the bottom few feet of each tree, exactly as the landowner wanted.
Using goats to clear out unwanted greenery is becoming a trend. It benefits landowners, who get an inexpensive, low-effort way to mow, weed-whack, and prune, even on steep slopes or where there are irritating plants like stinging nettles and poison ivy.
It’s good for the ranchers, who can feed their goats on all that unwanted greenery. And it’s good for the environment, because unlike a gas-powered lawn mower, goats don’t need polluting fuel and don’t give off toxic fumes.
“Dang, that is impressive!” said one commenter after seeing how quickly the goats cleaned up an entire half-acre.
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