Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilityWMU hires goats to fight unwanted plants | WWMT
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WMU hires goats to fight unwanted plants

WMU hires goats to fight unwanted plants.
WMU hires goats to fight unwanted plants.
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KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Fighting invasive plants in an all-natural way at Western Michigan University and there are no gears or gadgets involved, just some four-legged eating machines; Goats.

No heavy equipment and no toxic chemicals, just goats. These natural brush cutters are going to town, eating their hearts out at a salad bar.

What the goats don't realize is that they're offering an environmentally friendly solution to controlling unwanted vegetation at WMU.

Nick Gooch, a horticulturist at WMU, said, "The previous management tactics we have been using are heavy machinery, hand tools, herbicides, and we were not seeing progress and improvement."

Gina Fickle, who owns munchers on hooves, is renting out her goats for a week. They are tackling poison ivy, bittersweet and honeysuckle.

Fickle said, "It's actually healthier for the goat, because they are more in their natural environment. Versus standing in a pen, and eating hay and grain, and it does make their coats slicker and healthier."

WMU officials said these goats will also save $400 a quarter acre in labor costs, but the best part is free fertilizer.

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The goats are also being used around the country to clean out invasive species at airports and commercial properties.

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