Goats absolutely love to eat bushes, especially the fruit kind. In fact many people get goats just for that one thing, to clear out their land of briers and overgrowth. Out in California, for instance, goats are heavily coveted for keeping fire breaks clear during the wildfire season.
However, the fruit that I want to talk to you about is actually one that mixes very well with goats and gardens. I’m talking of course about goat droppings or more commonly known as “goat berries”. When it comes to manure management goats are some of the cleanest animals you can have around. The reason they are called berries is obvious. Goat berries are solid, round, dark pellets about the same size as blueberries. From a healthy goat they are clean, dry and almost odorless and they stay that way for a long time. That property is what makes them one of the best fertilizers for your garden. In fact goat berries are unique from other forms of organic fertilizers in that there is no waiting for the manure to decompose before it can be used.
Most manures have to be dried and decomposed or the decomposition process will generate too much heat and kill the plants. Goat berries, however, dissolve slowly over time and release the nutrients into the soil at a perfect rate. My neighbor Warren calls them nature’s “time-release capsules”. One of the best crops of tomatoes we ever had was one where we mixed peat moss and a handful of goat berries with each plant. There was no smell and tomatoes were busting out everywhere that whole summer.
So besides all the other benefits of owning goats, now you have one more. That being, some of the best, free fertilizer you can get anywhere. Just make sure to close the gate behind you when you leave the garden or all those wonderful vegetables will quickly cycle their way right back into the goat again.
Happy gardening! ;-)