Google Goes Yahoo Way Hires Goats (May 9, 2009) — Now Google has decided to take a ‘low-carbon approach’ to grass-cutting, opting to use animals rather than petrtol mowers to keep the turf around Google’s HQ in check.

goat_grassYahoo actually beat Google to this idea to hire goats to cut grass. In 2007, Yahoo had also started to use a herd of goats at its Sunnyvale headquarters to trim the grass.

Dan Hoffman, director of real estate and workplace services at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, has employed a company called California Grazing to provide a novel solution to grass maintenance.

The company has provided Google with a herd of 200 goats – and a well-trained border collie named Jen – to tame the weeds and scrublands around the “Googleplex” offices.

“Instead of using noisy mowers that run on gasoline and pollute the air, we’ve rented some goats,” wrote Hoffman on the Google blog. “A herder brings about 200 goats, and they spend roughly a week with us at Google, eating the grass and fertilising at the same time.”

The Googleplex at Mountain View is surrounded by scrubland that requires occasional mowing to clear weeds and brush to reduce the risk of fire, wrote Hoffman.

“It costs us about the same as mowing, and goats are a lot cuter to watch than lawnmowers,” he joked.

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