PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The last thing Bates Street commuters might expect to see is a herd of goats.
But that’s just the sight they saw Tuesday. Why? Because goats are good at, well, eating.READ MORE: Online Presentation Honors Martin Luther King Jr.'s Legacy
Carrie Pavlik and her husband Doug Placais have a new company called Steel City Grazers.
“We basically rent out our goats after setting up a perimeter of an electric fence to keep them contained and keep predators out,” Doug Placais says
“Goats can go places that traditional landscapers and machinery can’t, like steep slopes and tight spaces,” adds Carrie Pavlik.
It helps that they love the taste of knotweed and other invasive plants.
Gardens director Art DiMeo says the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy hired the goats as a no-chemical, no-labor approach to clearing those plants.READ MORE: Live Winter Storm Tracker: Winter Storm Blankets Pittsburgh Region With Heavy Snowfall
“Once we get the goats to eat all this, we’ll come in with a mix of shrubs, forsythia, some juniper, and some other stuff, get that stuff established before the knotweed comes back,” DiMeo says.
He says goats appear to be less expensive and less harmful than chemical treatment. They can clear an acre in three to six weeks.
The goats get protection from Hobo, the guardian donkey.
“If a coyote or stray dog were to approach the area, he would chase them off,” Pavlik says.
Everyone has a job to do at Steel City Grazers.MORE NEWS: Beloved North Huntingdon McDonald's Employee Ruth Shuster Dies At Age 100