This is a crunching, munching cleanup crew!
Centerville’s “GOat Green Cape Cod” offers a one-of-a-kind landscape service
There is no shortage of animal life at the Centerville home of Stacey Greaves. With 26 chickens, four ducks, three dogs, three cats and two rabbits, Greaves has her hands full. But she says it’s her eight goats that keep her busiest.
The goats—Gus, Bambi, Leland, Pepper, Peanut, Frito, Kyle and Brad—all males who range in age from 1 to 2 years, thereabout, are the most valuable employees of “GOat Green Cape Cod,” the vegetation management company Greaves started last May. “I love to work with the animals,” says Greaves. “I’m passionate about it. I feel like I’m contributing something to the environment.”
Dubbed ‘goatscapers,’ this hungry herd serves as a natural alternative to herbicides and machinery as the goats eat their way through invasive and hard-to-reach plants, such as poison ivy and thorny brush, controlling overgrowth while helping to restore a healthy ecosystem. Starting at $100 a day, Greaves rents out her herd in groups of three, four, or eight bucks depending on the size of the area to be cleaned up. “The goats are very bonded together, so I can’t send just two,” she explains. “I won’t separate them. Believe it or not goats are emotional; they are more like dogs as opposed to a cow or a sheep. They are very needy. They are pets, so when they’re not with one another you know it.”
Greaves explains that some projects can chew up three whole days, while others take a week, so the goats remain on the clients’ property for the project’s duration. In addition to the herd, Greaves provides clients with necessary supplies for their care, including buckets for water and a tin can of peanuts to shake in the event the goats get loose. She also provides a temporary shelter for the goats, and is on call around the clock.
During jobs, the bulk of which take place from spring through fall, the goats are secured within an electrified fence, which Greaves installs herself. She sets up a perimeter of up to 750 feet around the area to be ‘goatscaped,’ often working through thick brush by hand. “You have to have a thick skin, literally!,” she says. The fence can stand up to four feet tall to keep the goats in—and any predators out.