Goats returning to Spencer later this month

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 10, 2015

By David Purtell


SPENCER — The kudzu-eating goats will return to Spencer soon for another round of all-you-can-eat foliage.

On May 17, 42 goats will arrive at the gully along the 1300 block of South Salisbury Avenue to continue the work started last fall by another group of the four-legged champion eaters. It’s estimated the goats will be in the town for around 20 days. Using goats is touted as an environmentally friendly way to clear land.

Kudzu is an invasive vine native to eastern Asia. It completely covered the area in and around the gully before the last group of goats devoured nearly everything in sight. Grass has grown in some areas this spring, but signs of kudzu can be seen, Town Manager Larry Smith said.

“I was completely surprised” by the job the goats did last time, he said.

The goats got plenty of attention last year. People often stopped by, especially in the evening, to watch them eat. This time around, the town has made a side trail connecting the Stanback Trail to the rear of the gully so people can see the goats from another perspective. People can park off South Rowan Avenue to get to the Stanback Trail.

“They’ve been there, they’ve been over here. They just wander around and eat,” Buddy Barringer, owner of Piedmont Radiator Works, said last year when describing the goats’ activity. His business is adjacent to the gully.

The town is doing a countdown to the goats arrival on its Facebook page by posting a “fun fact” about goats each day.

The town was able to get the goats through its partnership with the LandTrust of Central North Carolina. The new group of goats will come from David Lee with the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy. Lee raises goats utilized for invasive plant control.

Contact Reporter David Purtell at 704-797-4264.