Adam Houston

Most people walking through Cowen Park on this beautiful sunny weekend didn’t expect to hear bleating, nor did they expect to see seven shaggy haired animals ranging the steep slopes of the ravine.

But that is exactly what happened, as neighbors and school children flocked to the park to see this unusual occurrence. The goats are owned by YamLamb Goat Rentals, a Burton, Washington, based company that rents its goats as an easy alternative for clearing weed and bramble infested land. The Seattle Parks Department contracted YamLamb to clear the non-native Himalayan blackberries that infest the park.


Goats are gaining popularity as an easy and exciting way to clear land. Pemco Insurance even has a Northwest Profile for “Goat Renter Guy,” which you can see here:

Contrary to popular belief, goats will not eat everything; some species of plants in the Northwest are poisonous to them. They will eat almost everything, from the thorniest blackberries to the hardiest weeds. Their four part stomachs thoroughly digest weed seeds to prevent another infestation. Goat browsing is advertised as an eco-friendly, simple, and fun way to clear brush; it certainly engages the community, as walkers, drivers, and bikers stopped to watch the animals do their work.

The goats arrived Friday and stayed until Sunday morning. We hope that they will return to the park soon, both to clear blackberries and to provide entertainment.

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