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We live in a rental now that has plenty of noxious weeds around the house (cheat grass, white top, spiney lettuce, etc.) I would like to take our goats over to our new lot, now and then as I work on clearing it. I am worried about the goats may be transporting the weed seeds. Anyone know if goats transport weeds in thier digestive system, and what's the viability of weed seeds after they pass through a goat?

Thanks in advance.....
 

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salm0trutta said:
. Anyone know if goats transport weeds in thier digestive system, and what's the viability of weed seeds after they pass through a goat?
Many invasive weed species are successful because they have adapted multiple means of seed dispersal ... including riding through the digestive system of animals. They'll also often have spurs or other means of mechanical attachment to fur. And some just fall to the ground and wait to get stuck to the bottom of a shoe or hoof.

For goats, it's good news/bad news with regard to digestion. I have read of programs to control certain weeds using goats specifically because the viability of seeds is considerably less than with other livestock, which makes sense as they digest more completely than, say, a horse. However, at first blush this strikes me as a bit short sighted because as long as there is *some* viable seed (and there almost always is) the goat digestion is simply selecting over time for more and more viable seeds.

It's hard to avoid entirely, but being aware and taking basic precautions is certainly good idea. Clean hooves, brush fur, and to as much extent as possible you can try to keep them off of pasture with matured seed. You can go so far as to confine them and feed only certified weed/seed free hay. On the new lot subsequently try to manage towards ensuring the new growth is consumed or cut before going to seed.
 
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