Hi I'm new! Anyone use goats for brush clearing?

Discussion in 'Pack and Working Goats' started by skatcatla, Oct 23, 2007.

  1. skatcatla

    skatcatla New Member

    4
    Oct 22, 2007
    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!
     
  2. alyssa_romine

    alyssa_romine Breaking Dawn Ranch

    Oct 4, 2007
    arkansas
    I'm not sure but I would be worried about the care my goats would be receiving while at someone else's house or on their land..
     

  3. Shelly

    Shelly New Member

    386
    Oct 5, 2007
    California
    Have you tried a grange or farm bureau? Shelly
     
  4. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    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.
     
  5. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    alyssa I believe they are only at a place for shot periods of time depending on the amount of brush removal needed.
     
  6. alyssa_romine

    alyssa_romine Breaking Dawn Ranch

    Oct 4, 2007
    arkansas
    I know but if they were to stay for a long period of time would be my concern. I guess I just need to hear more info on how the business is run.
     
  7. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    well if it was my business I would go to the place they were at at least once a day to check on them, make sure they have access to water etc.
     
  8. alyssa_romine

    alyssa_romine Breaking Dawn Ranch

    Oct 4, 2007
    arkansas
  9. Shelly

    Shelly New Member

    386
    Oct 5, 2007
    California
    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
     
  10. skatcatla

    skatcatla New Member

    4
    Oct 22, 2007
    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
     
  11. alyssa_romine

    alyssa_romine Breaking Dawn Ranch

    Oct 4, 2007
    arkansas
    It does sound neat and I wish you luck...just make sure you keep tabs on their worm status.
     
  12. el_cabron

    el_cabron New Member

    3
    Jan 10, 2008
    New Mexico
    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.
     
  13. Nupine

    Nupine New Member

    329
    Nov 13, 2007
    South Eastern Ohio
    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.
     
  14. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    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
     
  15. hprice3920

    hprice3920 New Member

    64
    Nov 21, 2007
    Wow..I would love to have a business like that :)
    Best of Luck :stars:
     
  16. LatigoLiz

    LatigoLiz Boise Creek Boers

    55
    Sep 25, 2008
    Enumclaw, WA
    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!
     
  17. Julie

    Julie New Member

    464
    Oct 5, 2007
    Southern PA
    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.
     
  18. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    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:
     
  19. LatigoLiz

    LatigoLiz Boise Creek Boers

    55
    Sep 25, 2008
    Enumclaw, WA
    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.