Family run gardening business where people can hire goats as lawn mowers
If your grass is in need of a trim, one family in South Wales have just the thing for the job – and it’s not a lawn mower.
Dawn Hart and her partner Richard White, from Carmarthenshire, South Wales, keep more than 200 goats – who are available to hire for grass-cutting services.
The couple, both 44, started their unique business idea three years’ ago and stress the goats’ strong stomachs allow them to consume more than eight pounds of grass, weeds and knotweed a day.
Dawn said: ‘We have over 200 goats with us including lots of little ones.
‘Most have names and I’ve got individual collars with all their name on and our telephone numbers.
‘They are basically lawn mowers, however, their main purpose is to work in large groups and do conservation grazing for the council and national trust at the end of summer.
‘The goats eat through all the weeds and bramble to clear pathways – they’re great for getting into the smaller spaces where you can’t send in tractors, heavy machinery or need to protect the wildlife.
‘They certainly are browsers before grazers- when they go into a field, they head straight for the trees and the bits on the side before tackling the middle.’
Dawn stresses her goats are very well-behaved, and even have special collars to help them with their work.
She explains: ‘The GPS collars works on a frequency system which gives the goat a little shock if they go outside the boundary but they get an audio warning ahead of the shock.
‘They have learnt that the music is a warning so they turn around before the shock.
‘We put electric fencing up around the area to make sure they don’t go wandering too far.’
For smaller gardening jobs, only a trio of goats will be required – but for larger plots, as many as 30 will be sent to eat through the foliage.
Gardeners looking to keep their landscapes in order can hire a goat for seven days for £10 – plus mileage on top.
And the couple’s three children 14-year-old Matthew, 12-year-old Marley, and eight-year-old Paige love the goats just as much as Dawn and Richard.
Dawn adds: ‘They spend a lot of time helping us on the farm and sometimes people hire the goats just because they are good companions and people love to have them in their gardens.
‘I believe we’re the only business in Wales that provides this type of service and we would love to branch out into the UK.’
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