Wednesday, June 9, 2010

#195...firefighting goats

This post is completely off the "do-it-yourself" topic, but it is so entertaining to me that I thought I'd share.
In the quaint California town where my sister, brother-in-law and niece live, there are rolling hills of greenery, which are lush and pretty during rainy season, but a huge fire hazard during dry season. It is important for the town to keep the dried grass trimmed low to the ground to help prevent wild fires.

In lieu of using tractors to plow the hillsides, the town has employed a goat herder and  his flock to clear the land. As a city dweller, I thought it was quite a sight to see the goats moving across the hillside over the course of a week, plowing down everything in their path.
The herder uses the orange mesh fence to contain the herd into a specific area to be cleared. Using the assistance of a border collie, he moved the fences and goats to a new section every 12 hours or so. When I first saw them, I thought it would be a very slow process having them eat the grass down in sections, but it was amazing how quickly they ate and moved on.
audrey & me

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