During a recent Kiwanis meeting, a man named Dave shared his story about working for a business that rents out goats to parks or landowners who want to rid their property of invasive weeds. Dear readers, is it just me, or is this a brilliant idea?
Rather than using harmful herbicides, the landowner is clearing away weeds and getting free goat-poop fertilizer. The goats are getting fed, and people like Dave are getting paid for overseeing the operation. It’s a win-win situation, don’t you agree?
Dave explained all he had to do was erect the electric fence, drive the goat trailer to the location, and provide water for the goats. I get a brain-blast. Caring for our two horses back in the day was fun; maybe I should get some goats!
I head to the computer and eagerly begin my research. Goats are immensely popular right now. One site says they’re the new kittens and shows miniature goats as family pets. Another site highlights smiling yogi students on their hands and knees with Nigerian dwarf goats on their backs.
I return my focus to goats as weed-whackers and discover landowners pay thousands of dollars to goat-owners for help ridding land of weeds like poison ivy, garlic mustard, honeysuckle, poisonous wild parsnip, and buckhorn. Another brain-blast. The weeds eventually grow back, so I can even count on return customers! I eagerly get paper and pencil for a “To Do” list.
I chew on the pencil’s eraser. I’ll need to buy the goats, grazing land with a barn or shelter, and fencing. I write.
1. Call realtor to ask about acreage with a shelter large enough for a few goats, say around 50.
2. Research the best goat breeds for eating weeds and where to buy them.
3. Look for a good deal on electric fences.
I realize I’ll also need to travel to the weed-infested areas and set up the required fence. What do you think, dear readers? Stringing barbed wire might be hard, but stringing an electric fence should be easy-peasy, right?
I continue my list.
4. Research how to string electric fence.
I realize I’ll also need to transport the goats. I tap my pencil on the table. How hard is it to get a herd of goats in and out of a trailer? Afterward, could I just clean it by hosing it out? Fifty goats can’t be that messy or smelly, can they? I add to the list.
5. Look into buying a pickup truck and a trailer or two to transport 50 goats.
I return to the computer to brush up on my goat vocabulary. I find both buck and billy are used to describe the male, doe for female, and kid for youngster. Another brain-blast. I’ll order a cute sign for the outside of the trailer saying, “Goats on board. No kidding.”
My pencil taps furiously now. I’ll also need a place to stay while I’m watching over my goats. I can’t very well sleep outside. Hotels can get pricey, so maybe I better invest in a camper or RV. It wouldn’t have to be very big. I’ll keep things simple. I add to the list.
6. Buy a camper or an RV, learn how to drive it and connect it to campsite’s water, sewer and electricity.
I’m going to have so much fun with this. I picture myself pulling up to a gas station with my pick-up and goat trailer. A bystander might ask, “What’s it like raising goats?”
“Oh,” I’ll reply, “it’s not too baaaaaaad.”
The bystander might smile and nod and say, “Whatever floats your goat.”
We’ll chuckle and then head to our vehicles. “Bye,” I might call out. “It’s been fun kidding around.”
Kidding around . . . That would make a catchy business name. My pencil scratches away again.
7. Set up “Kidding Around” website and build a social media platform.
I settle back in my chair. Yes, the money’s going to start rolling in, stress-free. I might even make national news. “Local columnist takes her hungry weed-whacking goats on the road.” Another brain-blast. Why stop at weed-whacking? Why not expand, buy 50 or so dwarf goats for yoga classes and set up my own yoga studio? I’ve taken a few classes, and it shouldn’t be too hard to teach while getting goats to stay on yogis’ backs, should it? Hmm, I better be prepared in case a goat has an accident while on someone’s back. Could they be potty trained? I add to the list.
8. Prepare for “accidents” during yoga class and research how to potty train goats.
I can see it all now. Someone might post a video of my “Kidding Around” goats on Youtube, and it could go viral. The business will explode, and I’ll be able to sell franchises to my friends. In fact, dear readers, maybe some of you are interested.
But what’s this? There’s no need to back away. “Wait! Let’s talk about this. Why are you running away? Come baaaaack.”