Briana Murphy arrived with a llama and 39 goats last week to consume ivy and blackberry inside a fenced area behind a Portland Public Schools administration building.
The district is experimenting with using goats to trim back areas that are overgrown with invasive weeds. The goats are munching through a half-acre at the district’s central office.
Murphy’s business is called “Goat Power.”
“Goats work about twelve hours a day,” Murphy says. “They work during the day and then they also work at night. They will kind of work until they’re full, then they’ll stop and take a nap, chew their cud for a little bit, and then get up and get started again.”
Murphy says her goats will be at the district office, eating - or working, as she puts it - round-the-clock up to seven days.
Portland Public says goats cost half of what it take to clear weeds with grounds-keeping crews. Portland is considering having goats control weeds at school sites, too. But officials say campuses need fences or security measures to keep the goats where they belong.