By Stephanie Malench
Last week, a goat that had escaped while being loaded into its trailer after a shift with Goats on the Go the previous week was rescued about mile from the work site and transported back to her home. The question this reporter wanted to know was “What is Goats on the Go?”
According to its website, Goats on the Go is a “network of local goat grazing affiliates” that eat problem vegetation, such as poison ivy, honeysuckle, and other invasive plants that grow on hillsides or hard to reach areas without the use of herbicides or gas-powered machines.
The affiliate for this area is Goats on the Go South Central Illinois, based in Litchfield. owner Dustin Ellinger said he has had goats for 15 years and a couple of years ago some neighbors saw him using his goats to clear some of his property and asked if he could to have his goats clear some land for them. Word quickly spread and Ell realized that he could make money with his goats.
Ellinger bought a franchise with Goats on the Go last year for a side job and has not looked back. A crew of about 40 goats can clear one acre in five days. Ellinger will transport his goats anywhere south of Springfield and as far east as Coffeen and all of Madison County.
Goats on the Go sets up a temporary electric fence around the area you want the goats to munch on, drops off the goats and picks them up when the job is done. When the goats are not eating the roam around and drop some fertilizer on the ground to support new healthy vegetation.
Ellinger averages about 100 female goats (kikos) in his herd for working. Males (wethers) are more aggressive and more likely to fight than eat.
To schedule a goat visit to your property, email Ellinger at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (217)246-1605.