Oklahoma City (AP) – From the banks of a hilly canal, Monte and Sam watch the goats eat plants, butt heads and sit around on the job.
The goats were on the other side of section of the northwest Oklahoma City canal near NW 63 and N Council Road from the two donkeys, but they were not without notice.
A herd of a dozen goats serve as the mowing crew for steep inclines where mowers and machines are too dangerous to use.
On a narrow trail along the top of the hill, the donkeys trotted, clear to the other side to herd the goats, and get them back to work. The donkeys went by the goats and headed for their feed containers.
Donkeys supervise the goats, herding them back to work when they get distracted, and the donkeys can scare off coyotes or other threats to the goats, The Oklahoman reported.
Several goats approached the fence, looking for feed. A sign asks people not to feed the goats or distract them. It was too late. Some strayed from their hillside duties. Others butted heads. One was sitting down on the job.
Sam and Monte trotted the trail toward the goats. Goats reacted by getting back to the hillside posts.
The munching mow crew was assigned canal duty two years ago, said Jennifer McClintock, city spokeswoman for the utilities department.
“We put these goats in along the Hefner canal and it worked. It was so successful we decided to manage our own herd,” McClintock said.
There are 61 goats in the city’s workforce. They feed on invasive plants such as kudzu, poison ivy, and poison oak.
The donkeys have made great companions for the herd, and “they protect the goats,” McClintock said.