No kidding: Oregon fires $20,000 goats who had one job – and failed

© Steve Dipaola
A herd of goats have been relieved of their duties in Oregon for failing to live up to the city’s grazing expectations.

Seventy-five goats were hired from a goat rental company by the city of Salem as a greener and more cost effective way to maintain nine acre Minto-Brown Island Park, which had become overgrown with invasive plants, the Statesman Journal reports.

However the goats didn’t deliver the expected results: a public works report recently presented to Salem City Council said that the animals ate the offending leaves, but left the brambles which had to be cleared away by a hired, human crew.

The six-week project also cost five times more than traditional methods of plant removal at a whopping $20,719 – but on the plus side, they were “universally welcomed by park users as a pleasant pastoral addition to the scenery”.


How could you possibly spend $20,719 on goats, you ask? Well, here’s how that figure breaks down:

- $11,375 flat rate for goat rental.
- $4,203 for a portable bathroom for the on-site contractor, plus “potable water”.
- $2,560 for “goat monitoring”.
- $2,041 for the crew who had to clear the leftover bramble.
- $540 to remove weeds in order to build a fence to keep the goats from escaping.

The goats did make another contribution to the park, leaving a “heavily fertilized area” in their wake, according to Salem public works manager Mark Becktel, who added: “If you know what I mean."