It’s goat time at Wascana Centre.
The Provincial Capital Commission (PCC) hired a company to deal with noxious weeds in an environmentally sensitive way. The PCC brought goats from the No Kidding Weed Management Company brought about 60 goats to the Centre to eat the weeds twice this summer.
“This area here is intended to be natural prairie landscape,” said Jenna Schroeder, PCC executive director. “Our goal is to return it back to natural grasses (and) natural flowers. We do have an invasive weed problem here. So (we’re) using the goats as a method to control those rather that chemicals.”
The project is a pilot that the PCC is looking at for this year to take care of Canada thistle and absinth and others.
“They’re very good at grazing invasive weeds,” said Florentine Maathius, shepherd with No Kidding Weed Management. “Sheep tend to eat grass first, while goats like to nibble on weeds. What they do is they pick up the tops and eat the flowers so the plants won’t go to seed and won’t spread anymore.”
The goats have been brought in now and will return in a couple of months.
There are border collies making sure the goats are safe as they nibble.
The public can look at the goats, but they’re asked to be careful not to make too much noise or feed the goats. The fences are electrified during the day for the goats’ safety and they will be in a pen during the evenings. The collies help move the sheep between the paddocks.
“After they have finished this paddock, I will set up a new paddock with fresh alfalfa and fresh weeds and I will move them there with my dogs,” said Maathius.
She said the goats will take care of about half an acre in a day.