Goats On The Go
Weeds and brush have no chance when a herd of hungry goats are let loose on it. A targeted grazing company from Ames, Iowa called “Goats on the Go” has 350 goats that are rented out in several states to help landowners control unwanted vegetation.
Owner Aaron Steele says the business is expanding and offering another benefit – providing meat for people. Goats destined for the dinner table will be sent to a local butcher when they’re 18-to-20-months old.
"They get two seasons of targeted grazing, they’ll weigh about 90-100 pounds or so at that age. So, that’s significantly different than the standard market size and the standard market demand. Most goats that are sold for meat are slaughtered at about 50-75 pounds, and maybe only 5-8 months in age," says Steele. "Ours have stayed with us a lot longer and lived a relatively long and happy life."
Steele says this is the optimum way to provide healthy meat because goats don’t layer on fat and grow quickly in a feedlot-style operation. And, it doesn’t require extra pasture.
"The best thing we can do for them is to give them lots of woody brush and broadleaf weeds, and the things that are most natural to their diet and raise them up that way," he says. "So, in our system, where we can use them both to satisfy our customers in dealing with their vegetation problems but also satisfy their appetites, that’s just a double win for us."
He says their model also economically benefits family farms and local butchers.
Learn more about the Goats on the Go meat project