Oklahoma City uses goats as alternative to grass mowers - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Oklahoma City uses goats as alternative to grass mowers

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Oklahoma City is giving 'goat power' a six-month trial run in its effort to clear grassy overgrowth. (Source: KWTV/CBS) Oklahoma City is giving 'goat power' a six-month trial run in its effort to clear grassy overgrowth. (Source: KWTV/CBS)

OKLAHOMA CITY (KWTV/CBS) - Oklahoma's capital is replacing expensive and environmentally unfriendly mowing equipment by using a goat herd to clear grassy overgrowth.

Stillwater and Langston have used goats for the same purpose, and now Oklahoma City is picking up on the trend to get rid of grass along the Hefner Canal.

Langston University has loaned the goats to the city on a six-month trial. After then, officials will see if they want to "hire" them on a full-time basis.

The city plans to use the 19 goats to clear weeds, vines, and other problem plants. The goat program will help to eliminate fuel use and emissions, prevent damage to slopes, reduce brush by 50 to 90 percent in the first year and reduce injuries to employees.

"We've had several on-the-job injuries from people slipping and falling," said Monte Hannon, superintendent of water quality for Oklahoma City. "The brush is so thick on the slopes that it's very difficult for our employees to get down in there and work safely. Our goats are rather small, but they're up to the challenge, they think, so we'll see how they do."

The pack always sticks together, and they don't like water so they won't go into the lake. A city crew is out to check on them daily, and there is also a guard dog to protect them.

"The goats just do what comes natural," said Hannon. "The goats have small hooves, they're very apt to climbing up and down the slopes and they don't charge overtime for working 24/7."

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