Renting out goats -- a great green business idea

Looking for a job in the great outdoors? Love animals? Like money? Then you might take a look at a growing new business in the U.S. -- renting out animals to clear troublesome brush.

The goat herd of Rent-A-Ruminant LLC is over 100 strong and voracious, cleaning up parks, construction sites, school grounds and private business greenery in the Seattle area.

The company erects an electric fence around the land to be cleared of unwanted botany such as blackberry bushes, ivy, morning glories (my personal torment), nettles, thistles and the like. The goats can work steep slopes where machines can't, precluding the necessity of using herbicides. They also fertilize the ground as they work. And they're way cuter than a tractor or a brush hog.

The goats don't work for peanuts,though. Owner Tammy Dunakin told me via e-mail that their average job requires a herd of 60 or 120, which costs $750 a day, usually with a three-day minimum and a setup and transportation charge of $350 to $500. They also offer a 15-head herd for $250 a day.

Goats have also been used successfully in the southeast to fight the widespread plant pestilence, kudzu.

Yes, this could be a cool business opportunity, but you know who has an even better job than the goat-herder? The goats; they eat for a living!.
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