From left

Weed-eating goats being considered for Parksville

Council directed staff to come back with a report to a future council meeting on how, and if, this business idea could work in Parksville

Move over Goats on the Roof — some of your cousins may soon be munching Scotch Broom on city boulevards.

Parksville city council heard Monday night from a business that wants to set up shop in the city, a weed service of sorts that employs hungry goats.

Representatives of Goats on the Hoof, an affiliate of U.S.-based Rent-A-Ruminant, made a presentation to Parksville city council on Monday night. The local people who want to start the business here, Beverly Ness and Allan Iwanyshyn, can’t be issued a business licence unless council makes changes, exceptions or amends a city bylaw that states it’s unlawful to keep goats in the city limits. The business may also need city permission to have a live-in trailer beside the area being munched while the goats do their job.

In the end, council directed staff to come back with a report to a future council meeting on how, and if, this business idea could work in Parksville. Before that, councillors were treated to what a few of them later described as an interesting and entertaining presentation.

Iwanyshyn brought Tammy Dunakin from Washington state to make the presentation to council. Dunakin described herself as the “owner and chief wrangler” of a company called Goats on the Hoof Vegetation Management.

Dunakin described how the service works. A business, resident or municipality rents a herd of goats from the company, which shows up with enough goats to to the job required. The goats are enclosed in an electric security fence and a “herder” is stationed near the goats, living 24/7 in a trailer until the job is completed.

Dunakin listed all the weeds the goats can take care of, and she also said the plan works best on terrain where traditional machines cannot access easily. She said the goats will munch blackberries, ivy, Scotch Broom, knotweed, morning glory, holly, nuisance trees and saplings, nettle, thistle, grasses, horsetail and more. She also said the goats’ digestive system sterilizes any seeds, reducing the risk of spreading weeds to other locations.

“It’s good for the earth, it’s good for the goats and it’s good for the communities where they go,” said Dunakin. “They are kind of a no-brainer to green vegetation management.”

In response to a question from Coun. Marc Lefebvre, Dunakin said variations in the size of land that needs clearing, and the corresponding size of the goat herd required to do the job, make it difficult to provide exact prices for the service, as well as what the market would pay here compared to the U.S. In the Seattle area, Dunakin charges US $250/day for a 15-goat herd to clear a quarter acre, which she said usually takes seven-10 days.

For more information about the business, visit: www.goatsonthehoof.com

Just Posted

Individuals chosen to begin ‘road to recovery’ at supportive housing facility

Orca Place at 222 Corfield St. is expected to open this summer

RCMP make arrest following break-in at Parksville’s Log Cabin General Store

Police credit tips from public for helping with case

Qualicum Beach craft beer festival to showcase local brews, spirits

Event will feature 20 Vancouver Island breweries and distilleries

Nanaimo, Lantzville, Parksville, Qualicum partner on studying child care needs

Union of B.C. Municipalities provides $125,000 grant

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Vancouver Island woman assaulted after confronting thief

RCMP warn residents to call for police assistance

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Island Health issues safer drug-use tips ahead of music festival season

Health authority aims to reduce overdose risks at festivals

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

PHOTOS: North Island home gutted in fire deemed ‘suspicious’

No injuries reported; firefighters prevented blaze from spreading

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Most Read