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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm seriously considering buying a small existing business that rents out a small herd of goats to do brush clearing around residential areas. My question is, I'd like to be able to purchase liability insurance for the business, since the goats will be in close proximity to busy roads and homes. Does anyone know who would offer me that kind of insurance? The current business owner mentioned that she'd had trouble finding insurers as this is such an unusual business.

Any tips or comments are welcome!
 

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My home owners insurance has my goats and llamas insured - I know it sounds corney! But then I have a "home business" and so I have the home business listed under the home owners also.

You may want to see if you can do it that way. I think it only costs me like 20.00 a month for the home business and I have 100,000 in liability and 2000 in product cost.
 

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The sheep flocks that eat down the fields always have a herder or lgd with them. I would think you would be checking on them daily. Shelly
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Kelebek, that's a great idea, thanks! I've got a call into my insurance agent right now, but due to the tragic fires we are experiencing right now (I'm in So. Cal), she's not dealing with any new insurance at the moment.

Alyssa, to answer your question, typical jobs only take about 2-3 days depending on the size of the lot. These are residential lots, so rarely more than 1/2 to 3/4 acre in size. The first day you are typically setting up the temporary fencing while the goats browse, they stay two nights and then usually they have eaten everything they will eat. The homeowners make sure they have water, and then I'd be there checking on them probably once a day.

Please feel free to ask any other questions! I just learned all this myself and its fascinating. Who knew people did this sort of thing in a major city? :-D
 

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I would be very careful leaving my goats out unattended. Dogs and coyotes can wipe them out in a hurry. Even nice, friendly, family pet-type dogs can go into a predator mode when they see goats. And coyotes, which I'm sure you have in SO CA are dangerous to your goats also.
 

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I would be way too afraid for my goat's sake anyway, but I would highly recommend some type of guard animal. And maybe a sheep or two with the goats to take care of any grassy areas in the brush.
 

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Good Luck, We are thinking the same thing around here. I have my animals covered under Farm Bureau. They deal with live stock.
What kind of goats are you looking at? I know of a few BIG farms in Calif, that have Cashmere and she takes them all over the US to do weed control, that way they do not have to use pest asides, and they get the weeds down and reduce the fire danger a little. When she brings them here it Colorado she is all over the news. People come form everywhere to see the goats. She has dogs that are with them at all times, and she camps there.
Good Luck
 

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There are a number of businesses in the Puget Sound area that seem to be doing quite well.

While we're not running a business, we got our goats specifically to do that job for us. We're starting small with just our own 2 goats and may or may not get more in the future. There is definitely a demand for the "green" way goats get the job done, for sure!

Here's a great link I found today:
http://www.cnr.uidaho.edu/rx-grazing/

And there are many more here:
http://livestockforlandscapes.com/
http://www.behave.net/links/

And some great info:
http://www.behave.net/products/factsheets.html
http://www.behave.net/projects/range-launchbaugh2006.html
http://www.behave.net/projects/range-biod-dietmix2004.html

I took a BEHAVE seminar a couple of years ago and loved it!
 

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I just don't understand how everyone that uses their goats for clearing weeds, etc. and rents their goats out, etc. ... how they keep the goats from getting into anything poisenous. There's all kinds of poisenous plants. I won't even let my goats out of their pens anymore for fear they'll eat something they shouldn't.
 

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There really is no way to make sure that they don't get into anything that they are not supposed to when doing brush clearing but at the same time - most of these goats are not "pets" - they are work animals that more then likely do not have care as you and I would give our goats. I doubt that they are CAE / CL tested, probobly not regular on vaccinations, hoof trimmings, or what not - but that is just my thoughts.

I know alot of times when a goatie goes out to graze they might take a bite of something poisonous and then move on - mine are let loose all the time to graze or to be tied in the taller grass for a bit while I am out there - and I have honestly never looked for poisonous vegetation...... :wink:
 

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Boise Creek Boers
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Well, when you look at what many of the "weeds" are that people want to have cleared, a good portion of them aren't toxic to goats, at least so far as I can tell. And, there is some documentation (mostly in the BEHAVE materials) that suggests that the toxic species can be partially or completely neutralized when plenty of the right species or species that balance out the toxins are also consumed, thus allowing more of the undesirable species to be consumed. Whether or not show or dairy or meat goat breeders/producers would do such practices or not is of course left up to the individual. I plan on allowing my goats to eat many species that they wouldn't normally eat as logn as plenty of fresh water and other forage is available. Some folks even think that those toxic species may even be beneficial as "natural" deworming methods.
 
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