ST. LOUIS, Mo. — With each bite, goats are biting back at the brush. But Raymond Riddle never thought that goats would fall under his job description at Ameren Illinois.
“I laughed but when you stop and think about it what better way from the environmental perspective to do this,” said Raymond Riddle.
Ameren really wasn’t trying to get his goat. The company was looking for a more sustainable and efficient way of clearing out underbrush near their towers and substations.
“Stormy night crews are out. We need to do our work ahead of time to make it as accessible as possible. That gets our power back on in a timely fashion and methods like this allow us to do that,” said Raymond Riddle.
The goats are nibbling away at the problem and fattening up in the process.
“The honeysuckle, for instance. It’s got a high 20% crude protein. The goat feed I give them is 16% so they’re getting pretty good feed value out of the roughage,” says Dustin Ellinger, owner of South Central Illinois Goats on the Go.
The bigger goats can reach up nearly six feet high knocking down limbs for the smaller ones. They reach into places where humans have trouble.
“They are very sure-footed. The goats are great. This is their second nature,” says Ellinger.