Jump to Main Content
Animals for Biological Brush Control
- Wood, G. M.
- Agronomy journal 1987 v.79 no.2 pp. 319-321
- abandoned land, pastures, brush control, goats, sheep, cattle, biological control, grazing, Vermont
- Biological control of undesirable brush species in rundown or abandoned pastures using animals, particularly goats (), is a viable alternative to chemical and mechanical methods. Vermont experiments on a brushy hill pasture (mesic Aerie Hapalaquepts soil) with cattle (), sheep (), and goats showed that the goat was the best animal for the task. Goats reduced the brush in 1 yr and virtually eliminated it from a badly infested pasture in 2 yr. In contrast, 2 yr of grazing were required before cattle and sheep could decrease brush below the ungrazed control. Unlike cattle and sheep, the goats destroyed small trees and saplings by debarking, were not deterred by thorny vegetation, and browsed much higher by standing on their hind legs. As brush was destroyed, grass increased.