Goat Herding in Lakewood


Goat herders are on the west side of Green Mountain, near the area of Dinosaur Ridge in the city of Lakewood. They are here for a limited time as the city hired them to kill off invasive plant species.  The main types of invasive species are thistle, myrtle spurge, white top, and teasel. Fortunately, these are all part of the goat’s diet as they will eat the majority of these that have grown here.

The goats don’t really pull the roots out of the ground.  However, the stress from being eaten makes it so that the plants don’t make as many seeds, thereby limiting regrowth the next year.  The idea is that you hire the goats for several years in a row, and eventually the plants are eliminated.

The goats eat one acre of land per day. Last year, 30 goats stayed for six weeks.  This year, they hired over 300 goats for one week. They got some of the goats from a dairy farm.  These goats do not have any horns and wear collars like a dog or cat would.

They use a herding dog.  The herding dog gets them from pen to pen and protects them from predators.  You could also use herding llamas. The llamas get very protective of the goats, and the llamas will purposefully try to step on coyotes and other predators.  They chose to use a dog for this job, and his name is Pluto. They chose a dog as this job is near a road, and they were concerned that the llamas would create some commotion in traffic.

Goats make up 80% of the world’s meat consumed.  

The herder’s name is Harmony Davies.  In the past she’s struggled with thieves trying to steal the goats that she has to chase off.  At night she keeps the goats safe by keeping them within an electric fence. You have to keep them in the right conditions because if they get too hot or do not have enough water, the goats can and will escape their enclosure.

I found some of the goats to be really friendly.  I could pet some of them, and their fur was a bit course and oily at the same time.  None of the non-friendly ones ran at me or tried to head-butt me or anything like that.  They simply ran the other way, away from me.