who needs a deere?

Houston Arboretum & Nature Center herds in 120 goats for unique landscaping care

Houston Arboretum herds in 120 goats for unique landscaping care

goats Houston Arboretum
Who needs a John Deere when you have goats? Photo courtesy of Houston Arboretum

Anyone with a yard knows that keeping it trim is a pain. The Houston Arboretum & Nature Center is no different — and has unveiled a fun (we could all use that right now) twist to landscaping with the use of some hungry yard staff.

Starting in October, the nature center will employ more than 120 goats in October to assist with mowing (read: eating grass) slopes with overgrown vegetation around the two ponds located near Woodway.

The public is welcome to view the goats at work on the 1.5 acres of land from October 4 through 10. The goats will be contained in designated areas via electric fencing and managed by a goat wrangler. For public safety concerns, guests are asked not to touch or engage with the animals or to feed them (goats can be quite ornery).

Why goats? The animals, which graze on many varieties of grasses and plants, are an effective and eco-friendly solution to vegetation management that negates the need for commercial mowing and/or herbicides, according to the center. Goats are also natural climbers, making them an ideal choice for clearing the slopes around the Arboretum’s ponds, where machinery can’t.

The handy herbivores come courtesy of Rent-A-Ruminant Texas, which provides a workable alternative to traditional land clearing, chemicals or commercial mowing. A large portion of the herd comes from animal rescue or private adoptions and includes several breeds of goats, including Nubian, Boer, Kiko, Savanna, and Nigerian Dwarf, according to a press release.

Owners Kyle Carr and Carolyn Carr note that all 220 of their goats have names.

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