San Marcos Experiments with Goat Mowing

BY: KEFF CIARDELLO, EXECUTIVE EDITOR

@Keff_C

The City of San Marcos is exploring innovative new practices to reduce their carbon foot print by using goats to graze areas in San Marcos, in lieu of using gas powered lawn mowers.

As part of a weeklong trial, up to 20 goats will be used to clear the underbrush, which poses a potential fire hazard, around Glover’s Island. Parks Operations Manager Bert Startemann told KXAN that the 20 goats could do as much work as five men.

Using goats as lawn mowers is an idea that has started to catch on the past couple of years and has been in used in major cities such as Seattle and Portland. There is even a company, Eco-Goats, dedicated to consulting those wanting to use goats on their lawns and there are even ways to rent goats online.

Goats can safely digest plants that are harmful to humans, such as Poison Ivy, due to a special enzyme in their stomachs. Another advantage for goats is their triangular head, which allows them to reach difficult spots that machines wouldn’t be able to get to.

One issue is controlling what the goat eats. They aren’t picky eaters, so while they will eat those pesky weeds, they might also devour some of your beloved plants

If the trial is successful and proves to be both efficient and environmentally friendly, then San Marcos could introduce goat mowing on a more permanent basis.

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