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Amazon’s Newest Venture: Goats


Ditch the lawnmowers, sharpened sheers, and every weed trimming device piled in the garage—there’s an even better tool getting a lot of buzz in the market. The catch is that the top-notch resource for lawn care can’t be purchased from your local Home Depot or Lowe’s. That’s because goats are the new landscapers.

Goats are getting the chance to prove themselves as part of Amazon’s new Home Services offering, a campaign that allows customers to purchase things like yoga instruction, music lessons, and computer assistance all online. The goats also have a money-back “happiness” guarantee, just like all of the other home services being offered. If you can imagine how adorable a milky white goat is nibbling on your lawn, then you probably understand that happiness is definitely guaranteed for this service.

The practice of using goats and other grass grazers as personal gardeners isn’t new at all. Goats have been used for this purpose for hundreds of years and get the job done faster than some of their farm counterparts. It is estimated that it would take 83 sheep to mow 50,000 sq. ft of grass, but only 38 goats for the same job. Why? It turns out that goats have four-chambered stomachs well-equipped for processing large quantities of grass as well as other plants and substances off limits to many creatures.

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Woodrow Wilson actually had his own herd of sheep that tended to the White House lawn, and even the Philadelphia Phillies hired a ram and two ewes to maintain the playing field in the 1920s. There’s a phrase that everything comes back in style, and I would say that applies here. Even though technology is advancing the strategies used for agriculture and farm maintenance, it is hard to ignore the energy needed for powering these new tools. Hiring a herd of goats to maintain the grass is a climate-friendly way to get the job done.

Amazon is merely bringing this practice to the mainstream consumer base. The company’s branch in Japan has supported the practice of goat-grazing for about two years now. Amazon Japan created a “weeding corps” of 40 goats at its Tajimi distribution center and found the goats masterfully tackled the 12,300 sq. ft of grass. With such high praise, Amazon United States felt justified in partnering with Rent-a-Ruminant to offer goat grazing as a home service in Seattle.

Rent-a-Ruminant is owned and operated by Tammy Dunkin, who started the company with ten goats in 2004. The response from those who utilized her services was so overwhelmingly positive that she was able to grow the herd to a current total of 120 goats and sheep. She has had clients ranging from the Department of Transportation to locals looking for a goat to clear out weeds.

Amazon allows customers to rent anywhere from 16 to 120 of Rent-a-Ruminant’s herd. The process is fairly simple, since goats can be rented with the click of a button online. Before the service is finalized, Dunkin drives to the site and ensures the environment doesn’t contain anything that could poison her precious goats. Once the site has been cleared, the customer just needs to await their four-legged landscapers.

Shrinking your ecological footprint never seemed so simple.

Feature Photo Credit: Modern Farmer Article

Jacqueline Roman

Jacqueline Roman is an Emerson student in Boston who never misses an opportunity to make a cheese pun and utilizes her social media accounts to post pictures of her pride and joy: cheeseboards. She has other interests but does not brie-lieve they are as gouda.