Zakary Copeland, 28, of Aberdeen has a herd of goats that can clear your unwanted brush for a price. Watch them at work on an Idaho Falls property in the video above. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

IDAHO FALLS — For the past six years, weed control hasn’t been a priority for Eddie Walsh, who lives on a tenth of an acre of land on 12th Street in Idaho Falls.

The result is that the backyard is overgrown with weeds and shrubs. This could easily be removed with a weed trimmer or lawn mower.

The 33-year-old man felt things could be better and went to The Copeland’s Farm in Aberdeen, where 55 goats came to clean up the land by eating the foliage down to the roots.

“It’s a more natural way to clean up the area and it adds a little bit of excitement,” farm owner Zakary Copeland tells EastIdahoNews.com.

Copeland was at the Idaho Falls property on Wednesday to oversee more than half of his herd, which was let loose on Walsh’s property. Watch the goats in action in the video above.

According to Copeland, there are scientific benefits to using goats to improve the landscape, rather than machinery or chemicals.

“Overgrown areas like this, where a lot of those noxious weeds have gone to seed — there are scientific studies that show that goats kill 90-95 percent of that seed by ruminating and regurgitating. They eat the noxious weeds and the chance of them germinating and spreading is very low,” Copeland explains.

Copeland began experimenting with the idea about a year ago, but only started offering it as a paid service last week. He just completed a project in Archer, where his goats cleared a half-acre of grass in four days.

“They took a 7-foot thistle and cleared it down to the ground,” he says. “They’re very good at clearing trees and shrubs. There’s not much they don’t clear.”

The amount of time it takes for the goats to clean up depends on the size of the property and how many goats are used. Copeland estimated that it would take about a day to clean up the Idaho Falls property with 55 goats.

Walsh’s mother owns the property, but he has lived there since 2018. He has a vision for the garden and was thrilled when he found Copeland on Facebook Marketplace.

“I like to do the work up front to make sure I don’t have to do it over and over again,” Walsh says. “I’m so grateful to Zak for doing this. It provides an alternative that reminds people where we came from. Two hundred years ago (there were no lawns) and this (using animals to clear foliage) was all too common. It’s only fitting to pay homage to that.”

Copeland is aware of farms in Boise and other parts of the country that offer a similar service, but as far as he knows, his is the only one offering it in eastern Idaho. He hopes it will grow and bring in more customers in the region.

Copeland and Walsh
Zakary Copeland, left, with Idaho Falls resident Eddie Walsh. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

“We’ve done a lot of clearing with (the goats),” Copeland said. “We’re hoping to do some more of that and provide a service to someone that they don’t normally see.”

To order Copeland’s service or learn more, visit his TikTok or Facebook page. You can also call Copeland directly at (208) 251-0857.

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