I had a friend...
...who tried this. The problem is that they'd rather eat all of the leaves off your trees, the shrubs and the assorted plants before getting around to the grass.
Job openings are few and slim in Silicon Valley these days, but at least Google is hiring. Applicants are required to have at least 2 years experience eating grass with a four-chambered stomach. Google said today it has enlisted a small army of hungry, hungry goats to help manicure the expansive fields at its Mountain View …
So let me get this straight, a heard of goats get to have a lovely, nutritious meal (well, 4 meals, for each stomach) of weeds, grass and such like, on googles beautiful fields, then at the end of the 4 courses, Google has to pay them for the privilege?
When will other restaurants take a leaf out of Googles book?
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My parents went through a few years of Good Life inspired attempt at self-sufficiency in the early 80s; goats were amongst the biggest win of all their experiments with livestock (stop sniggering at the back, there!) Goats a remarkably cool, intelligent creatures with loads of personality. And goat kids are about the cutest thing this side of icanhascheezburger.com . (In other news, sheep are dumb as a sack of spanners, cows are too big for amateurs to cope with (even calves.) Chickens are really good - tasty eggs, tasty corpses, and there's something that heals the soul about the cackling of a hen proudly announcing a new egg. Ducks are great in theory, but they need a lot of pond per duck if you don't want to be up to your thighs in the unbelievable stench of liquid duckshit once a year when clearing the pond out.
Hmmm, I turn 40 in a couple of months and I'm still working in a damn office... perhaps it's time to start looking for a little patch of cheap land with agricultural use permission, and start knitting my own yoghurt.
The stuff that the goats seem to be eating is not the manicured corporate lawns but the rough stuff on spare land, the sort of material that has to be mown by June 1st per fire regulations. Goats are really good at this because they'll eat anything -- it takes a tough mouth and stomach to manage the local vegetation but they're up for it.
Sheep are also used for this purpose.
There are a couple of people in the local villages here that use goats to keep weeds, hedges etc. under control. Trouble is, as others have pointed out, goats will eat just about *anything*. On the other hand, when I lived on a farm during my later university years it wasn't uncommon to turn a handful of sheep loose on the lawn at the back of the house to give the grass a quick trim.
Goats or sheep - either are good, but I prefer curry goat to mutton vindaloo :-)
Unlike sheep and cattle, which simply bite off the grass leaves at ground level, goats tear out the roots and even eat the soil around them as well. The most spectacular demonstration of the damage goats do to the landscape was one I saw at a local wildlife park. There were a series of small paddocks, fenced off side by side, with different animals in each; kangaroos, horses, sheep, camels... and goats. All the other animals' paddocks had short cropped grass and weeds in them, but the goats' paddock had been *mined* down two feet lower than the surrounding paddocks over EVERY SQUARE INCH right to the fence line on all sides - and not a single green plant anywhere in the enclosure. This is why, despite Australia's strict gun laws, hunters are actively encouraged to cull off the wild goats in the Flinders Ranges and similar areas.
You don't use goats for mowing, you use them for strip-mining! Maybe Google knows something about ore or oil deposits under those paddocks that we don't?
Good point, however, one thing everybody forgot to overlook: Methane and sparks. Albeit the risk may be astronomically remote, the fact that goats produce substantial amount of flatus, there is a very small statistical possibility that an electrical spark could cause a massive explosion. Bear in mind that there are a certain number of unknowns here: size of herd, cubic feet of methane produced by goat, per day, wind speed, position of said goats in relation to any doorways into their data centers, etc.
Actually, I think this a recipe for an environmental disaster, as well as unintentional arson and insurance fraud. Think about it for a moment: A calm and quiet morning at Google HQ disturbed by a massive explosion caused by a couple of employees walking into or out of the complex. DHS will ultimately conclude that the cause was due to a spark from a fan igniting a high concentration of methane gas produced by the goats. If that image isn't graphic enough, imagine the look of horror on a passer by's face as they see a goat spontaneously explode while in the middle of expelling more gas. I reckon that it would look roughly similar to a kernel of pop corn as it explodes.
Then revenue slows... What did Google know about flaming goats and when did they know it? this will ultimately involve insurance companies, lawyers, hoards of angry investors, etc, all of whom will have the same question: Didn't Google executives know that farts are flammable?
Oh the humanity, think of the children and what about Paris? What are the chances that she could be taken out by a supersonic goat carcass?
That California has some of the weirdest laws on the books. On the one hand you have all the "burnables" that grow and then die on hillsides there making for great fires. On the other hand, you have the enviro-wacko laws that say you're not allowed to uproot or trim all that brush because some endangered "wotsis" lives there; so you have to leave the brush for the next big fire to burn you out.
Solution: GOATS to eat every blinkin' thing around. "it's natural" so the enviro-tards can't go on whinging about hurting the wotsis that live there and "it's natural" so you don't get burned out the next fire season. WIN-WIN (and the tasty goat stew).
Off topic, but a friend of mine told me the most brilliant prank, played at a school for muck up.
They released 4 sheep into the school, and spray painted each sheep with a number.
1, 2, 3, 5
The School spent 2 days looking for number 4, before the students owned up to how many there actually were.
Mines the one made of damp wool.....
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