Stand Baack I’ve Goat This! Goats Hired to Tackle Cheyenne’s Weed Problem
Those weed-loving seasonal employees we've all grown to adore will be "baack" in Cheyenne starting tomorrow, May 12, the city announced Thursday.
For years, the city has been hiring goats to keep its drainage ways, Crow and Dry creeks, free from an overgrowth of vegetation in case there's a storm event that causes potential flooding.
"The goats attack this challenge by eating the overgrowth away," Construction Engineer Sam Berta said in a press release.
"With two to three eating cycles a day, an adult goat can remove up to five pounds of grass," Berta added. "That’s 1,000 pounds of vegetation per day the herd removes!"
Berta says the city could have city crews cut down and remove the vegetation, but many of the drainages have difficult terrain, with steep slopes and uneven ground, and the effort would be very time-consuming and more expensive.
He says the city could also use chemicals to kill the vegetation, but it too is costly, and could potentially contaminate the waterways.
That's why the four-legged Weedwackers are the best option.
And since they'll eat all vegetation, including noxious weeds like Leafy Spurge and Bull Thistle, weeds the city battle every year, they play a big role in eradication efforts.
Berta says the goats also help with bank stabilization, reduce erosion, and prevent sediment from moving downstream, which helps keep the city's waterways even cleaner.
Berta says the final bonus to hiring goats each year is public enjoyment.
"Citizens of all ages really do enjoy seeing the goats and look forward to them every year, with the local news covering their arrival each year," said Berta.
"The social media postings of their return are always positive, and people contact the city to see where they are moving next," he added.