back to article Google hires goat army for lawn maintenance

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 …


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  1. Andrew Tyler

    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.

  2. Aaron Gilliland
    Paris Hilton


    I thought goats tended to destroy grass rather than trimming it.

    Any goat experts care to enlighten me?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Good thing they're not in NZ or Wales!

    As there they would have sheep, and we know that both locales are seriously prone to animal lurve ;-) so Gargle'd not have the results they quite wanted :):):)

    I love it!

  4. Bowrolio

    Pay to eat?

    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?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Bikini movers

    Depends on whos driving the lawn movers.

    Swedish bikini team would be a lot cuter. Might hurt productivity tho.

    Hilton, for she might make up for a backup mover.

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google Rent-A-Goat

    Need a goat? We'll give you a quote.

  8. davcefai

    They pay?

    Interesting turn of events. Google are paying the herder to feed his goats :-)

  9. WinHatter
    Thumb Up

    Cuter ???

    Looks like Google's nerds are goat shaggers too.

    But that's a good move, rather than having an idiot going round and round on their sit-on mower.

  10. Lionel Baden


    i could waste so much time looking out the window there

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Err, there was me thinking that one of the few things a goat would NOT eat was need sheep for that

    Yes I am that sad

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hiring livestock to keep grass down

    Eh, guys, you've got it wrong here. The way it works is that the farmer pays you for grazing, not the other way around. Silly Google.

    Icon of Paris because this sort of business sense would make baby Paris cry.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tax benefits

    If they were very young goats("kids"), then Google could possibly claim them as dependants. Maybe it might be in their best interest to purchase a couple hundred thousand more, to offset the cost of power for all their data centers.

  14. Glen

    in before...


    i aint afraid of no goats.



  15. Tom Paine
    Thumb Up


    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 . (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.

  16. pctechxp

    Checks date

    Bit early for April 1st 2010 isn't it?

  17. Martin Usher

    Its not really grass....

    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.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Not a new idea, but sheep work better

    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 :-)

  19. Simon Waddington


    Aren't the gaseous outputs of ruminants vaunted to be the worst greenhouse gas of all? Bad Google, go to your bed!

  20. Supreme Guru of Everything
    Thumb Down

    The methane emissions will cause global warming!

    Obama should fine them for causing global warming unless google pipes the methane into the central heating system. Eric Schmidt would have to ram a pipe up each goat or else his salary will be capped by Obama!

  21. kain preacher


    Its common in the area to use goats for this job. In this area you have hills that need to be cleared. Goats work better then a john deer . Goats will east the roots and seeds .

  22. Charles Manning

    Far easier & long term solution

    Weed killer + green paint. Apply once.

  23. Steve Roper

    Google Mining

    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?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Hear, hear - they're totally destructive and don't just clip off the top few inches, they gnaw the entire root-system so that it never grows back. I saw the results of this in Namibia and Angola - complete devastation, leaving just sandy soil behind.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    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?

  26. Anonymous Coward

    You have to remember

    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).

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Goats have one major advantage

    They are willing to eat Himalayan blackberry vines, which are a nasty, very invasive plant on the west coast of the US and almost impossible to kill.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Old news

    This has been done by many other companies and home-owners in Washington State. Only thing is that its the Chocolate Factory doing it.

    They are probably just scared of Swine Flu, and don't want to have anyone else near them....

  29. Andrew Fraser

    Prank with goats and sheep

    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.....

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I have heard credible accounts of persons keeping goats on apartment balconies in the suburbs of Washington, DC. Agricultural use permission in this case is a cooperative neighbor who'll hault the goat over when the building superintendent comes knocking on your door.

  31. Gabriel Vistica
    Thumb Up


    That works even better when you do it with greased pigs!

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cheap labor

    These goats is taking our jobs away.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    It's a good thing Cade Metz didn't write this article...

    ...else he'd have been complaining that the Chocolate Factory is trying to monopolize goats, lawns, and grass, and whining that they're REALLY only doing it because they want to make more money.

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