Story time - My dad asked the local school which had a goat if he can borrow it for a weekend. It was to tame his backyard. As the backyard was enclosed with no chance of the goat escaping, we left it by itself. The goat was be extremely hungry and ate everything insight including the roots, leaves and bark. By Monday, the backyard is barren and took months recover.

Moral of the story - keep an eye on the goat.

My sister has a small farm and in addition to cows and horses she also has rabbits. Every spring, parents show up to buy a rabbit to have at home. When the deal is done my sister takes the parents aside and tell them that if they plan or feel by the end of the summer that they want to let the rabbit loose, they can return it for free.

What she does not tell is that our brother-in-law is a chef and happily makes rabbit stew of the returned rabbits. If there was ever a win-win situation, this is it.

Another story from a fellow hacker with a backyard goat - It actually starts in a very subtle way. Goats have different tastes and moods, and it's not like they eat everything right away unless the density of a goat per backyard m2 is too high. I started giving mine some free "roaming" time with the chickens every day before the sunset. It looked very innocent - first few days she ate just some weeds, nettle and some low hanging branches of pear trees. No worries, I was planning to cut those anyways. After few weeks of not paying that much attention in the evenings, bottom third of all our ~12 trees were gone, she got into salads, potatoes, zucchini, pumpkins, peppers and cucumbers, all nettle was done, and she started checking out tomatoes (which seemed that she is really really not into at first). I am building a new goat house with it's own separate "backyard" with weeds that she won't be able to escape. :)
Lawrence Berkeley National Labs uses goats to tame the brush on the steep slopes surrounding the campus (over 45 degrees in many places). More than once I've had to wait on a bus for the herd of goats to transition across the main access road from one slope to the other.
Which reminds me of a very old joke:

Two friends meet in a bar.

Says one: "I've bought a goat."

Says the other: "A goat? Where do you keep it?"

"In the bedroom."

"In the bedroom? What about the smell?"

"Well, the critter will have to get used to it."

I looked into this for my yard. Unfortunately given how bad of a shape it is, it still would cost multiple thousands to clear with goats. Fortunately, it only costs a few hundred to buy some goats and do it over a longer time, with the bonus of making my niece happy.
in terms of goat's ability to eat almost literally anything, even the things you don't want them to eat, they have a saying in afghanistan (translated from the dari):

if you don't have any problems, buy a goat

The map on this page has some sort of CSS issue in Firefox. It constantly resizes and shakes. Using the page zoom function is enough to get it to eventually stop.
My office landlords hired some goats (not from this company) to tame some overgrown bushes by a river. They arrived in a gutted school bus (which is where they slept over night). As far as I could tell, the procedure is: set up fence around area to be eaten, let out goats, and let them wander and eat for a few days. The end result wasn't very pretty, but it was remarkably effective.
I looked into this a couple of times for an urban-ish lot with an overgrown backyard. (I don't have a green thumb!). There were several services in my area, including the awesomely-named Rent-a-ruminant.

Unfortunately, for smaller lots, it just isn't feasible - the way the pricing is structured, the setup fees get you. They are really for multi-acre lots where they set up significant fencing and leave the goats for several days.

Ah nice seeing something like this on HN. In India, it's common to hire goats for another, lets just say complementary reason. Their droppings are really good natural fertiliser. So farmers pay sheep/goat herders to get them to visit their farm for a few days before the sowing season.
Fantastic. I've got 1-1/4 acres that I've paid yearly to have cut. I worry about the workers because they encounter rattlesnakes. I've searched for goats to hire for several years, but not been able to find them. Very glad to discover this!
Just finished watching Clarkson's Farm; Jeremy got some sheep for this purpose. Recommend watching.
My wife and I hired goats from a gentleman on Nextdoor to help clear our backyard in our newly purchased home (like ~10000sqft of overgrowth) - he dropped off 7 goats, and they performed admirably, were extremely calm and well behaved until they ran out of food, at which point they turn into food-hunting, petulant children. If you do this, make sure to get only as many as you need!
The map judders uncontrollably on Firefox for me.
The list of services is blank.

I've often seen this done. The Hetch Hetchy pipeline operator uses it to clean up their right of way, which goes up, down, and through hills. Someone puts up a temporary electric fence around the right of way, and they truck in about a hundred goats. The goats graze everything down to bare dirt, and are then moved on to the next section.

I've seen this done with sheep, too. Those are easier to herd but not as agile on rough terrain.

We've got a service in Western New York (letsgoatbuffalo.com, clever play on Let's Go Buffalo!). They used an old school bus to transport the goats, which sadly burned down. But, the Western New York community raised $16,000 via a go fund me for a new bus!
The city of Rotterdam has sheep that are owned by the city and shepherded by a city employee.


I'm kind of surprised someone would use goats for this purpose instead of sheep. Sheep are dumb, docile and easy to manage. Goats are impossible to manage.

Much more detail on one of the listed goat rental companies:


Ha, this reminded me of a similar service: goat rental for videoconferences [1] :). It was a hit during the pandemic, with everyone scrambling to combat screen fatigue in creative ways.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=32435090

Less than three weeks ago, goats as a service was a topic of discussion on HN: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=32191140

(A nice example of comments drifting away from the putative topic)

At my former working place we had a freelance consultant on retainer who looked into cutting his hours down for health reasons and thus explored new ventures. Because he already had a few sheep he decided to offer sheep rentals as a "biological" lawn cutter.

But there were 2 problems: Sheep can be somewhat picky eaters, so they let some grass stand. But the bigger problem was, that while his prospective customers liked the idea of having their lawn cut "biologically", they pretty much did not like the sheep droppings the sheep left behind in practice.

I have property in a pretty rural area (Anza, CA) and every goat owner I know says that they're actually picky eaters. But these articles I see pop up now and then pretty much prove the opposite...
In the same vein regarding tackling invasive plants.

In Germany, I came to realize that many cities have unpaid "employees" to tame the city gardens, namely wild ducks, gooses and rabbits.

Thankfully people leave them be, back home they would have been snaped in less than a week.

However as they are used to humans, it also means they make themselves invited guests to any picknick if one doesn't pay attention to the "teams" taking care of the grass.

Inspiration: Ask HN: Do you maintain a list of RSS links of GOAT blogs https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=32191140

And, yes, my cousin's goat business is listed: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=32191666

Goat Ops[0] is real!

[0] https://www.goatops.com/

My dad hired goats to mow down his entire lot in the Hell's Canyon area of Eastern Washington. Saved his cabin from a wildfire, and got the dang thistles reduced to nothing. It was a bargain too, $400.
The head of HPE EMEA is married to the head of Palo Alto networks EMA sales...

They have an amazing home in Auburn, and they have a LOT of goats. My friend, who is married to the ex chief of staff for Cisco also bought a ranch in auburn and they have ~100 goats or so. They rent them out for ~$800 per acre to clear bramble and what not. I spent a week helping them move goats between projects earlier this summer and its a hell of a lot of work.

There are a lot of tech people that went and bought land with goats and have started goat businesses.

When goats eat weeds will they eat and destroy the whole weed? Or do they eat just down to the surface level of the ground which will let the weed grow back immediately?
Tried hiring a local goat rental to tame my parents' yard, the guy on the phone complained about "this thing called a living wage" that he has to pay his workers. He won't take jobs less than 10 acres or his business runs at a loss. Many cities need regular plant clearing, though, so by reliably selling services to local city and county governments, his business will never fail.
My parents had goats.

The problem with goats for your nice landscape is that they will nibble at everything including your trees and any shrubbery.

The map got all jittery on me and would not stop. All I did is scroll down the page. Running some version of Edge on Windows 10.
I’ve rented bees, I would like to try a goat. Last one I met was great, but some are complete arseholes.
This is amazing, good friend of the family rents out their goats to farmers and friends for the exact same purpose. Reduce pesticide use, naturally improve farm land all the while providing an ideal food source for meat goats, real ESG innovation at work!
When I saw the title, I thought that it's about hiring The Greatest Of All Times people. LMAO
If you think about it, this is probably the most ecologically friend method of clearing scrub and weeds. No chemicals involved!

The only thing I wonder about is whether the weed seeds would regrow. But I’d imagine clearing it on the second round would be easier.

Seems that NSW has 1 in the northernmost area (Byron) and 1 in the sothernmost area (Bega). I'm sure there's probably some Goats in between.
This has become pretty common over the last few years in Atlanta for clearing out larger wild areas - they make short work of it
Does anyone know how much this tends to cost in an actual direct X goats for X days tends to cost about this much sort of way?
No goats in New Hampshire or Vermont? I guess those farms don't have internet access...
Couldn’t one also rent goats just to appear in video calls?
I thought this would let you would hire 10X programmers...
I am waiting for GaaS
You don't rent a goat, you lease that surly bastard
Goats are the future of transportation.
You had me at goat rentals!
GaaS - Goats as a Service
Where to hire tyson
I thought we were opposed to the Nanny state?
I have my chromium browser window at half screen width - the map rapidly resizes itself in a busy loop. Makes you a bit nauseous to look at it.
The "world" seems to be made up of Canada, the US and Australia
So you want me to pay you to feed your goats?
TIL Michael Jordan nor Tom Brady are featured on hiregoats.com... which is a shame
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