Goats and Weed Management

The City of Red Deer Parks section is using goats as a tool to manage invasive weed species, including Canada thistle, in our parks and green spaces. The goats feed on the weeds and provide an economical, environmentally safe, and sustainable method of weed control.

About the goats

Goats are weed eating machines! They are browsers and prefer to eat broad leaf and woody plants over grasses. Herders push goats towards target species and the goats feast on the weeds. In the case of the Piper Creek site the goats enjoyed munching on Canada thistle as the main dish with a side of toadflax. Goats provide an ecologically sensitive and economically viable means of invasive plant control that benefits soil productivity and biodiversity. This method of weed control is especially useful in areas where chemical controls cannot be used due to their close proximity to water, such as at the Piper Creek location. 

For more information about this program please contact Parks & Public Works section at 403-342-8238 or parksandpublicworks@reddeer.ca.