Residents of one McKinney, Texas, neighborhood got quite a surprise recently when they awoke to find a herd of 40 goats eating their lawns. Local TV station WFAA covered the story and spoke with the bemused residents of the neighborhood.
The goats in question had broken off from a herd of 500 goats, which is maintained by a nearby development to eat down vegetation during fire season. It is not clear how they got loose, as the development declined to be interviewed for the story, but they have since been returned to the herd and their owners even went so far as to replace the flowers they had eaten.
“They were coming down the road really slowly and just kind of chilled out right here,” one neighbor said, pointing to his lawn.
“I think they ate a little bit from everybody’s yard, all the way around the circle here,” said another neighbor. “In fact, one of the guys [was] just on two legs eating my tree. He was pretty, pretty wild.”
Goats can be a great way to control unwanted plant populations in the right circumstances, as they are known to eat everything indiscriminately — even poison ivy. One Tennessee company employs a herd of 220 goats for that very purpose, renting them out to clear yards of problematic plants. This strategy can be preferable to things like plant-clearing machinery, which cause soil erosion, and herbicides, which are toxic chemicals that can get into the groundwater.
All in all, everyone involved seems to have had a nice, non-traumatic time. The McKinney residents whose lawns were eaten got a bit of excitement, free landscaping, and minimal damage. And the goats got to go on a nice field trip, complete with snacks and enrichment time. The development that keeps the goat herd was forced to deal with some hassle, but that’s probably to be expected from time to time when you own 500 goats.
Goats will even help you recycle your Christmas trees, as one TikToker recently showed us — by eating them, of course. Believe it or not, coniferous trees are actually a great source of nutrients for goats (although, being goats, they would eat them even if they offered no nutritional value whatsoever).
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