Mower Goats


Use goats to help control and eat plants that are invasive species. Less pesticides and gas powered weed whackers.


I feel that there is a common misnomer with alot of people who think that a goat will offer a solution to mowing their lawn. While goats certainly will make a good dent in a lawn, it is not the most suitable arrangement for either the goats or the lawn owner. A green lawn is perhaps the lowest order of brush control and that is why I am beginning my article at this point. It really depends on what you consider "mowing your lawn" as opposed to what the goats can really offer.


Trading Lawn Mowers For Goats
The city of Andover, Massachusetts has some unwanted guests: invasive species like the European buckthorn tree and the strangling bittersweet vine from Asia are shouldering out local wildlife. To make matters worse, in tight times the city can't always afford the mowing machines and the manpower required to keep the invaders at bay. That was until they brought in the experts--goats.

The mowing "machines are massive, constantly breaking down, [and they] use a lot of fuel so we have actually had to skip several years of the mowing program because it's very expensive," says Bob Douglas, the director of Andover's Conservation Commission.

Luckily, the commission recently hit upon a neat solution when one of their volunteers spoke to Lucy McKain, who tends dairy goats next to one of the city's preserves. They worked out an arrangement where her animals get to graze the land and the commission saves a few thousand dollars a year. The fix was a win-win for everyone.

People will want to do a green business like this, but interest will wane over time if it doesn't save them money in the long run," says Don Watson, a former CPA who owns the Loveland, Colorado-based company Rocky Mountain Wooly Weeders. That's why he tries to take on projects where his sheep offer a cost-effective alternative to mechanized or human mowers.

Watson also cautions that the business is by no means a get-rich-quick scheme. You have to be "willing to work 24-hours-a-day, 365 days a year," he says. "Sheep are constantly looking for a place to lay down and die" whether from poisonous plants, predators, or traffic. With that being said, he also sees a lot of opportunity for growth. He adds, "We need to do a better job of marketing what we do and we could probably double our revenue."


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2 thoughts on “Mower Goats

  • SteleEly Post author

    First of all, it is a fact that a goat will browse on your average lawn grass. However, the drawbacks to this are significant. A goat, or goats, will not uniformly "trim" the grass to look manicured. So if you are considering goats for the task, don't expect your lawn to look as neat and proper as the greens at a Jack Nicklaus golf course. The goat will often times leave behind large, spindly stalks that they refuse to eat for whatever reason. Perhaps a goat knows that leaving a few of these large stalks will produce more seeds to supply the next crop of lawn grass and weeds. While I seriously doubt that this is the case, it is a fact that they leave behind "untrimmed" lawn and weeds. _____