The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar

Splash! Summer guide

HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

More than 100 goats will chomp vegetation near Alderwood mall

  • One of a herd of more than 100 goats hired by the city of Lynnwood to clear land around Alderwood mall muchnes on a blackberry vine behind the movie t...

    Mark Mulligan / The Herald

    One of a herd of more than 100 goats hired by the city of Lynnwood to clear land around Alderwood mall muchnes on a blackberry vine behind the movie theater Tuesday afternoon. The goats, who belong to Rent-A-Ruminant from Vashon Island, will be working on the property for about 10 days.

  • More than 100 goats hired by the city of Lynnwood to mlear land around Alderwood Mall eat brush behind the movie theater Tuesday afternoon.

    Mark Mulligan / The Herald

    More than 100 goats hired by the city of Lynnwood to mlear land around Alderwood Mall eat brush behind the movie theater Tuesday afternoon.

  • Tammy Dunakin, who owns Rent-A-Ruminant, wrangles a herd of more than 100 goats hired by the city of Lynnwood to clear land around Alderwood mall Tues...

    Mark Mulligan / The Herald

    Tammy Dunakin, who owns Rent-A-Ruminant, wrangles a herd of more than 100 goats hired by the city of Lynnwood to clear land around Alderwood mall Tuesday afternoon.

  • The goats will be working on the property for about 10 days.

    Mark Mulligan / The Herald

    The goats will be working on the property for about 10 days.

LYNNWOOD — They came. They saw. They ate.
An army of 110 goats is chomping through tangled vegetation that was overtaking the Alderwood mall detention pond. The goats will be on the job through July 2 or 3.
The Lynnwood Public Works Department deployed them behind the AMC Loews Alderwood Mall 16 theaters to clear blackberry bushes and other overgrown greenery populating the steep slope around the pond.
The goats are grazing under contract with Rent-A-Ruminant of Vashon Island. Tammy Dunakin, the head wrangler and owner, began the business 10 years ago with two goats.
Dunakin owns 135 now and names them all. They include Dewey, Guinness and Ringo. During a visit to their job site, it was clear each goat has a unique personality, moxie and spunk. Ernie has starred in a Taco Time commercial.
“They love what they do,” Dunakin said.
A majority of the goats are rescued or obtained from previous owners who could not take care of the animals. In Dunakin's herd, there are nine breeds.
When a goat retires, usually around the age of 10 to 12, it is not slaughtered. It retires to a loving home.
For the city of Lynnwood, the goats are a perfect solution to overgrown areas. The animals curb unwanted vegetation without herbicides.
“The city has been very sustainability-minded,” City Councilman Ian Cotton said.
And with goats, there is no debris left behind or even seeds. Their digestive system sterilizes seeds, so when the goats relieve themselves, the prospect of vegetation returning is slim.
Goats will eat most plants including blackberries, ivy, Scotch broom, nettle, thistle, tree saplings and many others.
Without machinery, the work is done quietly, although one can hear an occasional bleat or baa.
And goats can clear areas inaccessible to machines and humans.
“The pond slopes are really steep, and our guys can only go so far,” said Lynnwood Environmental and Surface Water Manager Jared Bond. “One of our guys actually fell in the pond.”
The city estimates it would cost 27 cents per square foot if the work was done by humans. The goats do the same work for a mere 13 cents per square foot.
After about 10 days, the goats have cleared 58,000 square feet.
After the shrubbery is cleared from the Alderwood mall detention pond, the city is considering using goats for other projects.
Brenna Holland: bholland@heraldnet.com.
Story tags » LynnwoodAnimals

Related

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

HeraldNet highlights

Looking for a friend?
Looking for a friend?: Animals up for adoption at the Everett shelter (new photos)
Quietly radical 'Boyhood'
Quietly radical 'Boyhood': Unique film explores awkward years with grace
Scarlett gets serious
Scarlett gets serious: Johansson finds her stride in 'Lucy'
'What's next?'
'What's next?': 7 questions for the offense as Seahawks hit training camp