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Goats do the yardwork at Google headquarters

May 5, 2009 |  1:57 pm

Goats rest inside pen waiting for their release into the hills of the Getty Museum.

In an environmentally friendly effort, Google had a herd of goats brought in to handle the yardwork.

When fields at the company's Mountain View headquarters needed brush and weeds cleared to reduce the fire hazard, it was decided that a herd of goats would be rented rather than using gasoline-powered mowers.

California Grazing provided approximately 200 goats, which spent about a week on the job. Not only did the animals clear the area, but they fertilized it as well.

"It costs us about the same as mowing, and goats are a lot cuter to watch than lawn mowers," Google director of real estate and workplace services Dan Hoffman wrote in a posting on the company's official blog.

Using goats for brush clearance is novel, but not new. The Getty Museum has used the critters the last four years, and cities such as Los Angeles and Laguna Beach and the Scripps Ranch community of San Diego have brought the animals in to clear overgrown areas and help with wildfire prevention. 

--Kelly Burgess

Photo: Goats wait to be released from a pen onto the hills of the Getty Museum. Credit: Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times

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