Chicago’s O’Hare International airport began employing goats for trimming vegetation on the airport’s land in Summer 2013.
The Chicago Department of Aviation recently awarded a two-year contract for “Vegetation Management Grazing Services” to a city based contractor. The department plans to employ 25 goats or sheep along with a shepherd/contractor for the grazing.
Nearly 120 acres of land at four sites inside O’Hare’s premises has been identified for grazing, which will commence in about a month “once sufficient foliage for the goats is available.” All the grazing sites are either located away from the airfield or are separated from it by security fencing.
The department expects the goats to be a low-cost, nature-friendly and more effective alternative to toxic herbicides and pollution-causing trimming/mowing equipment.