Posts Tagged: goats
Interest in using goats to clear unwanted vegetation on rangeland is growing in popularity, according to UC Cooperative Extension livestock farm advisor Roger Ingram. In a Sacramento Bee story published today, Ingram confirmed writer Ramon Coronado's central thesis: Goats can be a green answer to wildfire prevention.
Coronado reported that more than 60 people attended a recent forum where Ingram discussed the pros and cons of using goats instead of machinery, chemicals and weed whackers.
The use of goats for weed abatement has drawbacks, however. Here are some of the concerns:
- Left unchecked, the animals can overgraze, leading to erosion and flash flooding
- The weeds targeted by goats are the first to grow back and the first to dry up and die, which could create more wildfire fuel
- The goats will produce CO2 during their munching and the trucks that deliver and move them around will also contribute to pollution
Ingram countered, according to the story, "You have to look at the big picture."
Goats on rangeland.
Not surprisingly, a story in yesterday's Sacramento Bee about goats that have been genetically modified with human genes is generating comments on the newspaper's Web site.
The story was prompted by a UC Davis news service press release by Pat Bailey.
In short, UC Davis animal scientists James Murray and Elizabeth Maga engineered a small herd of dairy goats to produce high levels of a human antibiotic-like protein in their milk. Pigs fed milk from the transgenic goats had significantly lower levels of E. coli bacteria in their small intestines than those raised on regular goat's milk. The scientists feel the results mean the goat milk could one day be used to protect or cure people of diseases, especially in poor regions of the world.
Comments on the story ranged from outraged to indifferent to funny.
"Completely disturbing... on so many levels," said one.
"What's disturbing is the irrational fear," wrote another.
"It might be disturbing, but it sure explains a lot about my mother in law," commented a writer.
Those interested in learning the ins and outs of dairy goat production may wish to attend a workshop May 15 in Merced. UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor Deborah Giraud says the market for goat milk is growing due to increasing popularity of specialty goat milk cheese and yogurt. For all the details and registration information, click here.