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Goats might be used to clear ponds

Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014 10:42 PM
Last updated 10:47 PM
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Augusta might soon be looking at a four-legged solution to maintaining the hundreds of retention ponds in Richmond County: goats.

At the Richmond County Board of Health meeting Tuesday night, environmental health county manager Randy Wishard said his service is looking to team up with city departments to try an unconventional approach to controlling some of the 875 retention ponds in Augusta. Many of them are overgrown and difficult to treat to keep mosquitoes from breeding there, he said.

“Retention ponds are a major problem,” Wishard said. “They’re bad.”

The idea would be to start a pilot program with two teams of perhaps three goats apiece, which would be placed inside a fenced and locked area, to see how quickly they could graze the pond back into shape, he said.

The program has the backing of Augusta Commission member Marion Williams, also a board of health member, who said it has worked in other areas, such as behind a mall in Atlanta.

“They’ll clear it off,” he said. “And they’ll keep it down. It will work in our city.”
The idea prompted immediate questions from other board members, some of them half-jokingly.

“Who’s going to protect the goats?” Board Chairman Elijah Lightfoot asked.

Or “Keep them from getting stolen?” Board member Jack Padgett inquired.

“Or eaten?” Lightfoot added.

There will be signs on the fences to let people know about the program and temporary shelters placed inside for the goats, Wishard said. It will probably take 60-90 days before the county can begin to get all of that put together, he said. And they still need to get the goats, Wishard said.

Goat costs were not discussed during the meeting, but Wishard said the cost of the program will be “minimal” compared to that of getting the ponds under control.

The goats will be closely monitored and it will take a while to see how long it takes them to clear an area and then be rotated, he said. The plan is not to put goats on every retention pond, but if a good percentage can be brought into compliance “it would definitely keep a lot of things down,” Wishard said.

The goats better be closely monitored or the program might work too well, Lightfoot said.

“Goats will clear off everything,” he said. “They’ll eat everything down to the dirt.”

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corgimom
38321
Points
corgimom 01/14/14 - 10:58 pm
7
5
My prediction is that the

My prediction is that the goats will end up on somebody's table.

Riverman1
93494
Points
Riverman1 01/14/14 - 11:02 pm
10
4
Get Herds

Heck, just get herds of them and turn them loose in Augusta to clean it up. Bring a couple to commission meetings.

my.voice
5167
Points
my.voice 01/15/14 - 01:19 am
10
3
I say the goats get one vote

I say the goats get one vote each at the commission meetings.

dwb619
104066
Points
dwb619 01/15/14 - 06:18 am
5
1
Mayberry

Don't let the goats eat dynamite.

Dixieman
17306
Points
Dixieman 01/15/14 - 07:03 am
9
3
Help wanted

Goatherd, flexible hours, healthy outdoor working environment, animal companionship, must be able to distinguish goats from ARC Commissioners and be willing to live with your herd in the city. Apply at Marble Palace.

nocnoc
49121
Points
nocnoc 01/15/14 - 07:41 am
5
4
Can any one say

BBQ?

Somehow I don't expect these goats to be around long.

Where is AS-US & PETA on this ;-)

redfish
809
Points
redfish 01/15/14 - 08:02 am
11
2
Great idea...

This is a great idea. UGA used goats to clean up the banks of the river near campus and it was a huge success. Temporary fencing was placed along the river and the goats were left there until they cleaned up that area and then the fencing was moved to a new area. As long as Marion Williams doesn't mind having "workers" who are much smarter than him cleaning out the retention ponds, I don't see the downside.

Riverman1
93494
Points
Riverman1 01/15/14 - 08:26 am
12
3
The goats must be from

The goats must be from Richmond County.

Little Lamb
48968
Points
Little Lamb 01/15/14 - 08:36 am
8
3
Fencing

They can rent the fencing from Fred Russell's company.

Riverman1
93494
Points
Riverman1 01/15/14 - 08:38 am
6
3
LL, if Russell is elected

LL, if Russell is elected you're going to have a stroke. :) Who are you going to support?

seenitB4
97254
Points
seenitB4 01/15/14 - 08:48 am
7
3
Goats from Richmond county

Hahhaah...now that is funny!

(only the head goat from Richmond county--the others can come from Columbia)

itsanotherday1
48274
Points
itsanotherday1 01/15/14 - 09:35 am
6
3
I can see the protesters now

I can see the protesters now with their FREE THE GOATS signs. I don't know that people will steal them for food, goat isn't that popular; but they will probably quit with Marion micromanaging them.

corgimom
38321
Points
corgimom 01/15/14 - 09:36 am
4
3
Itsa, it is in the Hispanic

Itsa, it is in the Hispanic community.

Cabrito!

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 01/15/14 - 09:51 am
3
1
The Carribean joint on Broad

The Carribean joint on Broad can cook up a mess of goat. Fatten'm all up on retention grass and let the chef's take care of the rest. SSSSon!!!

Dixieman
17306
Points
Dixieman 01/15/14 - 10:38 am
5
1
When I was in the Army...

...we used goats and sheep to crop the grass around ammo bunkers because of the risk that a power mower would strike a stone, cause a spark, and....KABOOOOOOM! It worked. The grass was cropped short enough so the Colonel did not have apoplexy when he drove by and saw long, untrimmed grass (almost as bad in commanders' minds as long hair in those days) and the bunkers never exploded.

------------
Also, there are 875 retention ponds in Augusta? Really?

Sweet son
11585
Points
Sweet son 01/15/14 - 11:49 am
4
0
Before these guys buy goats they should look into renting

them. Can't remember where but I have seen goats cleaning up places and they were rented. Maybe Atlanta. That would mean no more county employees or equipment required.

Bizkit
35499
Points
Bizkit 01/15/14 - 12:14 pm
3
3
Now just plant the homeless

Now just plant the homeless in there and you got an ecosystem-grass feeds the goats, and the goats and any fish in the pond feed the people-their fecal matter fertilizes the grass and the circle keeps going. We will just have to worry about too many homeless people living there.

dichotomy
37418
Points
dichotomy 01/15/14 - 12:38 pm
4
1
Not only

Not only mosquitoes........RATS.....big black RATS. Since they built the one next to my property that has spring water running 24/7/365, my front 8 acres has become infested with rats. Been here 23 years and no rat problem until they built the fresh water treatment plant and retention pond next door. They do pretty good at cutting the grass but don't maintain the pond at all. It has grown over with weeds and tree saplings. The more overgrown it gets, the more rats I see. And the 24/7 supply of spring water must be great for rat breeding. When I cut my field rats jump and run everywhere. They are so big that at first glance you would think they are small rabbits....except they are black.

I will give the Utilities folks credit for keeping the grass around the water plant cut but the retention pond that keeps water in it 24/7 is a BIG rat breeding problem.

saywhatagain
418
Points
saywhatagain 01/15/14 - 12:57 pm
3
0
Old MacDonald's

So THAT's why they have goat families around the large pond at Old McDonald's Fish Camp!

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 01/15/14 - 01:26 pm
3
1
Gettin hungry for curry

Gettin hungry for curry

Sweet son
11585
Points
Sweet son 01/15/14 - 01:46 pm
3
1
Hey David, I got it!

Wonder if anyone else will? LOL!

Bizkit
35499
Points
Bizkit 01/15/14 - 02:29 pm
2
2
Rats are a delicacy in

Rats are a delicacy in Thailand. Feed the homeless-a goat and rat diet.

Bizkit
35499
Points
Bizkit 01/15/14 - 05:56 pm
2
1
Two thumbs down-I grew up

Two thumbs down-I grew up eating goats and squirrel-just a tree rat. Both tasty though an older goat can be quite "stringy".

augusta citizen
10010
Points
augusta citizen 01/15/14 - 11:29 pm
1
0
right breed

Get the right breed, plain old briar goats will eat everything in sight, but good luck keeping them fenced in.

bubbasauce
24260
Points
bubbasauce 01/16/14 - 01:42 am
1
0
800+ retention ponds in

800 +retention ponds in Augusta? Good old govnt. regulation at its best. What a joke they are! And watch the price of goats go sky high if goat farmers hear about the County experimenting with them. Just like beef prices being sky high now goat meat.
By the way, loved all the jokes! Hilarious.
Just checked goat prices. $75.00 for an individual, $1,000 for Richmond County, each that is.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 01/16/14 - 11:12 am
0
0
Adopt-a-goat dot ORG

Adopt-a-goat dot ORG

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