Chicago O’Hare Airport Hires Goats, Ditches Lawnmowers

Having a hard time finding a job? You wouldn’t be if you applied at Chicago O’Hare International Airport and if you happened to be a goat.

The international hub decided recently to ditch lawnmowers while replacing them with a herd of 25 four-legged grass eaters.

The airport is borrowing the goats from a local restaurant as part of its new vegetation-management program.

A partner for the restaurant tells the Chicago Tribune that the goats were originally bought on a whim to make room on the menu for goat burgers. Eventually, the restaurant owners realized that the goats were the “perfect lawn mowers,” especially in hard to reach and rocky areas of the airport.

Goats sure are hungry little creatures, and therefore they are expected to clear 250 square feet of grassy area every single day.

The goats will be specifically useful on hilly areas near creeks and streams. The goats will also clear roadways that are covered with thick brush.

Fences will be used to keep the goats off runways, and they will have a “keeper” on hand who will ensure they are staying on course and eating when they are suppose to be chowing down.

According to the city’s Aviation Commissioner:


“The embankments cause wear and tear on our machinery and are difficult for our team members to reach. It’s not like mowing your lawn. We’re utilizing natural resources more efficiently.”

The goats involved with the Chicago O’Hare International Airport project will not be turned into burgers anytime soon. After the spring and summer months are over, they will return to their farm, be kept safe, and then return in spring 2014.

We always knew there would be a day when lawnmowers would run on plants and water. This just wasn’t what we expected.

Do you think using goats to mow the grass at Chicago O’Hare is a smart decision?