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LB goats’ welfare = wildfire prevention

Our home is bordered by the watershed known as Aliso/Woods Canyon Park. In normal years the stockade fences are set up and we entertain the LB goats, managing the kid escapees. This year it was Camaroon – he learned to jump the electric fence and was teaching others jump technique. Every September the goats come, I provide water for them and trim our yard greens just to supplement their diet – they love green yard clippings. In years past the rancher also supplemented these goats with alfalfa bales but due to cost the rancher stopped the supplements.

Because of the western drought there is little rain and very little watershed grass to graze on. Now the goats are climbing trees to nibble new growth and yard fences to reach the ivy. This year the drought impact is exceptional – the goats have bloated bellies and very shaggy coats; I’ve never seen them in such bad shape. There is so little to graze the goat keeper had to move them every day, that means set up and tear down the stockade every day. Normally we host goats for a week; they stayed three days.

The LB goats are Laguna’s wildfire prevention specialists; the goats remove chaparral fuel by eating it. Our LB goats perform Laguna’s best fire prevention duty 24/7 without complaint and little notice from Laguna residents or visitors. When you read about the nutrition requirements of healthy goats compared to conditions in Laguna’s watershed it is easy to see the shortfall in their nutrition. I forwarded some goat nutrition facts to our LBFD and asked if a veterinarian assessed our goats. My concerns will be forwarded to the rancher was my reply.

From the LB City Budgets, here is the goat-math for 12 years averaged. The Fuel Modification contract is 2.5 percent of the LBFD Budget. A 20 percent alfalfa supplement to feed the goats is 1.7 percent of the Fuel Modification budget –

that’s 0.043 percent of the LBFD Budget. If anyone is interested in higher goat-math, contact me.

Letter Miklosy

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Len Miklosy

Our LB goats deserve better; our city should treat them better.

Les Miklosy
Apprentice Goat Keeper

Laguna Beach

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