CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Move over, lawn mower. There's a new sheriff in town and while he may not run like a John Deere, he can "bah" with the best of them.
Goat rentals are an actual business in the Charlotte area, with people renting the animals from Wish we had acres farm in west Charlotte.
"It's a wonderful way to manage the landscape," says Dr. David C. Hamilton, who owns the farm with his wife, Laura Denyes.
The couple moved to Charlotte just over three years ago with less than the 31 goats they own currently, although eight babies will soon go to new homes.
"The goats have kind of been a soapbox for us in terms of getting into the community," says Hamilton.
Approached by one of their friends about loaning a goat, an idea became a bit of a side business and a conversations starter on social media. Hamilton says renting a goat is a great way to find out if you'd like one as a pet but there are also other benefits.
"People have rented the goats to clean up the yard or an empty lot where they don't want to deal with poison ivy or the kudzu."
The renting process begins with Hamilton and Denyes first doing a site check (which costs $200). After they inspect your yard and ensure that it is toxic-free, then the couple sets up the proper enclosure.
Two or three goats is the standard for a 6,000-square-foot lot. It could take one to six weeks for the goats to clear out the vegetation, depending on the amount of overgrowth.
It's a unique business but it's not Hamilton and Denyes' main source of income. They also milk the goats and make goat cheese but last year, a new trend was born on the farm.
Namaste on the farm. It's yoga with Goats roaming free. Lunging into the downward dog means an invitation for a baby goat to crawl on your back.
While you sit into a child's pose, the goat might fall asleep on your matt. It's innovative, it's exciting, and it distracts you from knowing that you're actually working out.
"You see people's eyes light up when they get to hold one," says Hamilton.
What started last year with just 20 people has more than quintupled in size. 120 people showed up to the last "Goat Yoga" which is held every Sunday at 5 p.m. at Wish we had acres farm.
You can check out the link to the farm here.
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