Don’t Buy a Lawn Mower, Rent a Goat

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Mowing the lawn is a very time-intensive and also energy-intensive activity. I’ve heard of people using goats for this job, which seems like a cool and more sustainable way of trimming your lawn and dealing with weeds, but how many people have goats to use for such a task? And it doesn’t make much sense for most of us to get a goat just for trimming the grass.

Nonetheless, where there’s efficiency, there’s money to be made, and some creative, environmentally caring entrepreneurs have decided to start goat rental services in some cities to capitalize on this green-friendly alternative.


Some major companies and the U.S. Navy have even started using these goat rental services, the Wall Street Journal reports:

"Internet rivals Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc. hired herds to clear around their Northern California headquarters this year. So did the Vanderbilt Mansion, a national historic site in Hyde Park, N.Y. And this April, nannies and billies were deployed at the U.S. Naval Base Kitsap Bangor in Silverdale, Wash., to annihilate pesky scotch broom plants."

Goats’ great agility makes them especially good at getting hard-to-reach places and steep slopes. And they are able and happy to go into thick and thorny areas for their lunch or dinner.

Folks in the goat rental business are also starting to consider using sheep for some jobs because sheep are especially talented at trimming grass. And like we’ve talked about here on the Fun Times Guide to Living Green, even wallabies are also being used in some places!

Goat rental services are not as simple as you might guess, says Tammy Dunakin who has been in the business for 6 years and is expecting to make $100,000 in gross this year. "There are a lot of mistakes people can make" with regards to caring for the goats and also with regards to government laws. She is now developing an affiliate model to help others who want to get into this business.

Sounds like a great, practical solution to vegetation and weed management. Have you seen any goat rental services in your area yet? If not, maybe soon…or maybe you could start it up!

For more details and a video on this topic, visit "Free-Range Landscaping" on the Wall Street Journal.

[Photo: wYnand! on Flickr]