Something Got Your Goat?

When four years of drought turns suburban meadows into potential tinderboxes,


it’s time to call for help.


Curious and agile,


these bucks, does, and kids will eat just about anything.


As a result, the adorable natural lawnmowers have become a favorite for clearing dry brush on California hillsides and uneven terrain without the threat of sparks.


They have been busy at work for over a week in the preserved open space behind my work. These acres of meadow, oak trees and a bone-dry creek are bordered in the distance by suburban homes. A fire here would find plenty of fuel.


With their four-chambered stomachs, goats have a preference for weeds,


woody shrubs


and the occasional tree –


making their week here a feast fit for kings (and queens).


Their horizontal, slit-shaped eyes are designed for spying predators,


And when they require assistance,


it helps to keep a trusty dog nearby.


There are over 300 different breeds of goat … more than a few of them at work here.


Billy goats: conservation grazers doing their part in drought-stricken California.


Published by


I am a nascent gardener, rescuer, and photographer, chronicling the journey of the dogs at Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary near Sacramento, CA - and the Memorial Garden we have devoted to them.

9 thoughts on “Something Got Your Goat?”

  1. Oh I have thought about this for The Holler’s 8+ acres. You can rent the goats, but I fear coyotes would have a field “night.” I should introduce them to the dogs. You gave me a great idea. Plus it’s all so darn adorable!

    1. This dog was amazing. Sitting so calmly with them, but right on them when they started getting out of hand. They were fenced with an slightly electrified fence as well. Nothing deadly, as it was unmarked for passersby – but apparently enough to keep them in place.

  2. I love this! Our local power company has some property that is tough to mow under major lines and they bring in a herd of mow it down. 🙂 We have two goats, and I can attest to the fact that they prefer weeds because they won’t touch the regular grass growing in their outside pen. 🙂

  3. Nature really does provide! Imagine a four-chambered stomach? What a wonderful, organic and efficient way to rid yourself of weeds.

    The pooch in the center of it all is smiling at me. I’m smiling right back.

  4. This is so interesting. I have “herd” about this. It just amazes me how there stomachs whether 4-6 or eight chambers, how they digest the wood, weeds, stickers, etc. They are amazing little animals. And the smiling white pup in the center of it all – love it!

  5. Oh how fun! We always kept a goat here in AZ – just to help keep the snake-hiding weeds down to a minimum. It’s amazing how the yard has changed now that the goats are gone.

    Monty and Harlow

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