Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Pet Goats In The City
Goats as the New Urban Pets in Portland , Oregon Lex Loeb Contributor Network . It used to be illegal to keep chickens and goats as pets in the city limits or at least it was not something you saw very often. In the close in suburbs there have always been a few old farm lots with sheep and cows and horses. A few people kept chickens long before the latest fads. First came the urban chickens with Roosters outlawed for obvious reason and now it has progressed to goats. The favorite type is the Pygmy dwarf goat. Now the goats are back living in the city as pets, lawn mowers and livestock. Goats are even seen right downtown grazing vacant lots. Goats and lambs are also a specialty item on several restaurants in town. Suddenly goats are green. Goats are great. I love goats no kidding. For some reason it had been considered non hygienic to have goats in the city limits in just the recent past. Now the goats are green and back in town. Goats make great lawn mowers that don't burn fossil fuels or spew carbon dioxide into the atmosphere except when they breath. In Autumn they may even eat fallen leaves off the streets and lawns making that annual mess of leaves on the ground disappear. The problem is we just don't have enough goats. What many people don't realize is that goats do need to be minded. If they get into the wrong gardens those gardens will be gone and left too long in one yard with a lawn it will be gone. Goats will strip a lawn to bare dirt and then mud in rainy weather. Goats have traditionally had goat minders we used to call Shepard's. Goat heard Shepard's might also have sheep dogs to mind larger hards but in Portland you can't keep your dog off the leash to do the job required. Goats will do amazing things like remove bramble berry thicket like Himalayan blackberries that will grow up into the tree canopy in Oregon if not controlled by hacking them back. Blackberry's are a scourge in Oregon. Goats could do an excellent job of destroying the worst of thickets but they will do the same thing to crops and gardens. Oregon really does need some large herds of goats with Shepard's and so does California. Goats can control undergrowth and underbrush that becomes wild fire fuel when nothing is done about it. Goats could have helped to prevent some of the worst forest fires and wild fires in Oregon and California and they can be led to areas to graze and then be taken away. In France large herds of goats and sheep are taken up into the mountains to graze in the summer and they come back down in the winter en mass. In Oregon and California the environmental wacko kooks have taken over the BLM and the Forest Service where they actually prefer to let forests burn than to have unnatural animals graze them to relive the under brush fuel problem to some degree. It is such a shame that the ideologues have taken over our natural wonderland. Goats are however green and welcome in Portland . Unlike dogs there are no rules for picking up the little black pellets behind them. One would think by now that the Forest Service would have larger flocks of goats and sheep than they have of bureaucrats to control dangerous accumulation of flammable forest undergrowth. They actually would rather see it burn because they seem to enjoy the excitement of putting out fires or just watching them burn. Some day the forest service will have big herds of goats that go up into the mountains in spring and come down to graze in the valleys during the autumn and winter so that trees will be left standing instead of burning because they have economic value for logging that exceeds there value for letting nature take its course in burning. To keep your pygmy goats safe from predators like dogs and coyotes that come into the city at night you can find a way to lock them in the garage at night or keep them up on the roof for safety. They can be attacked by vicious raccoons. Raccoons maybe the vicious animal responsible for chupa cobra attacks because they will attack the soft under belly of large sleeping animals for a quick blood feast. For that reason keeping goats up on the roof might not be completely safe. If the city allows it you can get a lama or an alpaca to watch your goats at night in a fenced yard enclosure. Lamas and alpacas make good goat and sheep guardians when they join the flock. We might need an ordinance that allows lamas to live in the city and why not have cows for fresh milk in the suburbs? In Bangkok Thailand a few people actually keep elephants as pets. Why have the elephants cooped up in the Oregon zoo when they can come into the city parks and clean up underbrush? If having exotic pets in the city is what green is all about I am all for it. We could have pet snakes to go on rat patrol in the city. Snakes can go in most places rats can into the spaces between the walls of houses and out in the alleys behind restaurants where they eat garbage and breed. There are no snakes big enough to get the rats out of Portland politics. At least the small ones can set a good example. Portland's Forest park could use a goat contingency to clean out areas of under brush. I am not sure but goats might even feast on plants like English ivy and wild growing passion flowers that grow up into the tree crowns. If goats are properly herded though parks they will eat ferns and wild flowers too but those will grow back from the roots if the goats are led to move on after doing their grazing. I have seen amazing comebacks from the roots of ferns and wild flowers after goats and after wildfires have scorched everything else on the surface of the land. If goats will not eat English ivy there maybe some other animal that does that can be found with a little research. English Ivy gets an unfairly designation as an evil weed because it actually is rather beneficial in holding banks and slopes against the forces of erosion. Like black berries , English ivy does not grow above certain elevations in its invasive habits. Goats can be used to target the blackberries vines but those mostly occur in sunnier waysides and not under the forest canopy. Every family with one of those stupid lawns should have a goat or contract to have a herd come mow it down. We could have sacred goats in Portland that are free roaming like the sacred cows in India. We could dress them up with jewel necklaces and diamond studded ear rings to make them more sacred and urban and at night we might need to apply some kind of reflective vest for them so automobiles won't run over them as frequently. Goats are great. No kidding. .