You might remember how L.A. recruited goats to clear plants from land for commercial development. Now Maryland has got the goat idea—for lawn mowing, that is. Mowing lawns isn’t just tedious and fuel-intensive: It also poses a threat to bog turtles, a threatened species that makes its home in the grassy areas along a highway project in the state, according to officials.
That’s why they’re starting a two-year, $10,000 experimental project to use goats to trim their grass, instead of noisy, gas-guzzling lawnmowers.
Goats are cheaper and lighter than cattle, which could also stomp the bog turtles to death. And, of course, there’s a side benefit: The goats do the job of a blade-wielding machine without gobbling up precious fossil fuels.
The olor looks like an apron but works like a condom— for goats. Kenyan herdsmen are bringing back this traditional method of livestock contraception— a rectangular piece of cowhide or plastic tied around the belly of the male animal—to control breeding. The olor prevents the animals from mating and doesn’t require constant vigilance on the part of the herdsmen. They would otherwise have to keep the bucks and does in separate herds, which requires twice the number of supervisors to watch over them all.
In recent years, droughts in the region have thinned out pastures. If the goats were allowed to breed unfettered, the females would not be able to adequately care for their young. So this year, local villagers volunteered to follow a “family planning” initiative (which seems like an idea worth spreading, considering the prevalence of animal STDs.)