Animals

770 goats hired to eat away weeds at Hans Christian Andersen Park

770 goats hired to eat away weeds as wild fire season kicks in

SOLVANG, Calif. - There are some new temporary residents at a popular park in Solvang: goats!

These goats at Hans Christian Andersen Park are getting special attention from visitors like Angelina: “They're so cute.”

But they probably won't give you any loving attention back, because they're too busy eating 16 acres of weeds.

As part of the city's annual fire mitigation and weed abatement program, Fred Lageman, director of Parks and Recreation said the goats are doing the community a big favor.

“We have a weed abatement every year. The goats actually remove the weeds instead of just knock them down, versus traditional weed wack. The fire mitigation is far superior,” Lageman said.

Another advantage is that they eat dead hanging branches several feet high.

“All the way up to as high as they go and that includes them putting their feet up. So that includes about eight feet, clearing up from the trail, kind of giving us a ceiling,” Lageman said.

The goats will eat everything from the weeds to poison ivy.

While Lageman said hiring a dozen weed whackers to do the job is more cost effective, the city prefers to use the goats.

“The goats do cost a little more but because they do such a better job and create no pollution whatsoever they're definitely worth the money,” Lageman said.

Not to mention how fun they are to watch.

Throughout the day dozens of visitors came by to take pictures of the goats.


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