Developer uses goats to clean up neighborhood

Developer uses goats to clean up neighborhood

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by ANN SHERIDAN / NBC Charlotte Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @SheridanWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 7:31 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 24 at 7:39 AM

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C.—Vermillion is a beautiful neighborhood with all the bells and whistles.  But it's an unexpected gem that’s getting attention these days in the quaint subdivision.

"Oh yeah, oh yeah, I love it.  It gives it a cozy feel," said resident Nancy Schaffer.

She’s talking about the 40 goats that fill a field in the middle of the neighborhood.

“I think it's a great idea.  It's as green as you can get.  They’re using all this livestock for something that’s usually done mechanically,” said George Bannon.  Bannon just moved to Huntersville from Houston, Texas.

“I think it's a cool idea.  I'm going to take a picture and email it to all my friends,” he said as he snapped a shot on his iphone.

Bannon will need to explain to his friends that the goats are here on weed control duty, a secret weapon against kudzu that's surrounding the field in the neighborhood.

“We decided to give it a try.  They've been here for almost a week now,” said Drew Bowman, who works for the developer.

It's the second time they've tried to get rid of fast-growing kudzu.

“We had one guy out there with a sprayer walking around trying to kill everything, and after a couple of weeks it grew back,” he said.

This time around though, no guys.  Just goats.  

Which begs the question… does it smell?

“A little bit of a smell, but being a country girl that's ok with me,” laughed Schaffer.

Bowman says the goats should be able to stress the plant enough that it has a hard time growing back. 

The developer expects the goats to work for about a month, and then return for a final chance at killing of the vegetation.  After that, the county will take over the land and develop it into a greenway.
 

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