What about goats? (Score: 1) by email@example.com on 2015-04-19 17:29 (#7CDW) Twenty years ago, I spent 6+ hours a week mowing a large lawn until I got sick of it and installed fences and goats instead. I like the idea of this Roomba lawn-mowing device, but we don't always need a technological solution. Re: What about goats? (Score: 1) by firstname.lastname@example.org on 2015-04-20 03:11 (#7D2D) A few questions:* How big is a lawn that takes 6+ hours to mow?* How many goats does that support?* What kind of weather do you have that you can support goats on your property?* Where do you live that that's allowed?* What do you do about the plants you don't want the goats to eat (veggie bed, flowers, etc)?* How much does it cost/goat (vet, whatever else goats need)?I really would like to know!I live in California, and I'm sure:* My property is too small to support goats.* There isn't enough water to keep enough grass for the goats to eat consistently.* It'd be illegal where I live.* They'd eat our young trees, veggies, flowers.* etc etcRobot mowers seem like a more likely solution. Nonetheless, I'd like to know how well the natural solution is working for you. Re: What about goats? (Score: 1) by email@example.com on 2015-04-20 12:38 (#7DXH) Considering your questions, I realize I had taken on the care of a property that I believed was best run as a hobby farm, rather then a domestic home; however, I initially just followed the practices of the previous owners who had mowed most of it for domestic use for the previous several decades; once installed, the goats were amazing at keeping the lawns looking great. Around here, I think one goat could easily tend 0.5-1 acre without too much trouble. The property was in an agricultural district, agriculturally zoned, with lots of both rain and sun, however; so as you say, absolutely not the circumstances presented to many Californians. I lived in Pasadena, California while doing my post-doc and spent the first six months of my time there marvelling how weird it was to feel like you were in a desert, yet seeing lush green in most places -- people appeared to spend a lot more time, money, water making vegetation grow there, then trying to keep grass cut. * How big is a lawn that takes 6+ hours to mow? ~3-4 acres, used a ride-on mower for the "first pass" which would take ca. 4 hours, the extra hours came from using push mowers and whipper snippers to clean up the parts closest to the road, etc; the lawn would need to be mowed once per week on average lest the grass get too long to mow the next time round* How many goats does that support? After 1 year of the above and basically spending the majority of my free time mowing, I installed 2-4 goats on 2+ acres to keep the grass like a meadow.* What kind of weather do you have that you can support goats on your property? lots of rain and warm sun; the grass grows fast most weeks of the summer (3-5 months)* Where do you live that that's allowed? eastern Canada, rural* What do you do about the plants you don't want the goats to eat (veggie bed, flowers, etc)? fenced them off or let things play out as the did; in most cases, the lawns/fields had pre-existing apple, plum, peach, cherry trees, etc. with leaves too high for the goats to kill and the drops which added to their food supply and their "cleaning" role.* How much does it cost/goat (vet, whatever else goats need)? I can't remember the details; I would pay on the order of $20-$100 per goat at the start of summer; I bought male goats that I would butcher and eat in the fall; startup expenses were fencing and a shelter for the goats, but I don't recall much other expenses otherwise (salt blocks for the goats?) Re: What about goats? (Score: 1) by firstname.lastname@example.org on 2015-04-22 18:32 (#7KSS) Thanks a lot for your detailed answers!