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Planet Earth

Hate Yard Work? Amazon Lets You Hire a Goat

D-briefBy Carl EngelkingApril 27, 2015 11:13 PM


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To relieve customers of backbreaking yard work, various manufacturers have rolled out their versions of the automatic, robotic lawnmower. Amazon, on the other hand, has a different solution: goats. Yes, the same company that wants to revolutionize its delivery capabilities with drones is currently testing a service that allows you to hire a goat to trim your shrubs.


Amazon’s “Hire a Goat Grazer” service — still in testing — links you up with a professional who can work with you to assess all your “goat” needs. You simply input the type of vegetation on your land, how much acreage needs goat pruning, and whether you have a fence. Your goat pro will assess your land and build a goat grazing plan and cost estimate. The service, sadly, isn't available in all cities so you'll have to check online first. One city it is available, however, is Seattle, where a company called Rent-a-Ruminant was an early adopter. Owner Tammy Dunakin told Newsweek that she's had over 100 requests through Amazon's service since it launched earlier this month:

Before she accepts her first commission, she must drive to the site, size it up and make sure there’s nothing potentially poisonous. She has turned down requests to bring the herd to bat mitzvahs and children’s birthday parties. “I’m not a petting zoo,” she explains.

The service also has another added perk, according to Amazon:

“As they graze, they will likely leave behind some droppings, too, and you'll get to keep this fertilizer as a friendly parting gift!”

Great Grazing

Goats, like cows, have four stomachs to digest hard-as-nails cellulose in their plant-based diets. They are dietary “browsers,” which means they love to feast on woody plants and shrubs like thistle, poison oak, wisteria and other plants that are annoying to weed-whack. And just in case you were wondering, every single goat pro must pass a 6-point criminal background check before traveling to your home — though there’s no way to verify whether the goats themselves are law-abiding.

Photo credit: Nataliia Melnychuk/Shutterstock

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