Invasive species of plants are a problem all around the world. But a Tennessee business has found a solution that just might be the GOAT — literally.
In a recent Instagram Reel, YouTuber and influencer Joe Brock (@joeebrock) interviewed Keith Bridges, a Marine veteran with a unique approach to clearing invasive plants: herds of goats.
“We bring goats out, they eat the food, they eat the vegetation,” Bridges says in the clip. “It cleans up the backyards and makes things usable again.”
Bridges’ goats are particularly adept at clearing out problematic plants like kudzu. His company, Knox Goats, currently employs 220 goats, which it breaks off into teams as small as seven or as large as 70.
“Every job is paired up with a number of goats that it needs to complete it in about a two- to three-week span. The larger jobs get more goats, the smaller jobs get less goats,” Bridges adds.
The goats have taken on a number of jobs around Knoxville, including visits to the University of Tennessee and Maryville College.
The company’s website explains the environmental and economic benefits of its alternative plant-clearing services. By using goats, customers avoid using herbicides, which can leak into groundwater and cause health problems.
Additionally, the goats remove the necessity for plant-killing machinery, which causes soil erosion and pollutes the environment. If that’s not enough, the company also claims that its services are 50% cheaper than machine-based plant clearing.
As Bridges has seen firsthand, goats are voracious eaters with miraculous palates.
Goats can eat a lot of things that you really don’t want to interact with yourself. They eat poison ivy with no ill effect.
“Goats can eat a lot of things that you really don’t want to interact with yourself,” Bridges explains in the video. “They eat poison ivy with no ill effect. Any seed they consume, they actually destroy the germ inside of their rumen system so they don’t transfer seeds anywhere. Any vegetation they eat is completely rendered neutral and when they excrete it, it’s ready to go as a really good fertilizer.”
Brock’s video currently has more than 5 million views and more than 400,000 likes. Users expressed their excitement and their own experiences with goats in the comments.
“Love it! I have a little goat business in CA. Goats are helpful in so many ways! Wishing you much success and thank you for sharing the goodness of goats,” one user said.
“We had a goat when I was a kid. Man, she cleared out all the Kudzu and all of the other weeds on my grandparents property,” another wrote.
“In 2009, I was a town worker (NC) and we brought in goats to clean up our parks from the Kudzu!!! 🐐are truly GOAT,” a third user shared.
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