BRECKENRIDGE Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The City of Breckenridge has a vegetation problem: all 5.8 acres of Walker Branch Creek that run through town are overrun with towering weeds and greenery.
“As thick as this has been for years. Water can’t get through,” says Breckenridge Mayor Bob Sims.
That backup results in flooded lawns and roads for many Breckenridge residents.
After hearing many bids, the city went with Brownwood-based Rent-A-Ruminant. Co-owners Kyle and Terry Carr have been utilizing goat power to clear land in hard to reach places for the past few years.
“Tammy Dunakin has been doing this for I think about 16 or 17 years now, and it’s very popular on the west coast,” Kyle says. “She opened up the franchising opportunity about 5 years ago and we were actually the first franchise to sign on.”
With their personal herd sitting at 250 goats, the Carrs are doing business all over the Lone Star State. Kyle says machine clearing may cost a little less, but the danger involved is usually not worth the risk.
“We’ve worked with many cities that have had injuries and even fatalities with machinery trying to maintain areas like this. They see the goats as a much better solution, a very safe option,” said Kyle.
According to Kyle, the goats will graze night and day for 15 to 25 days one section of the creek at a time. This is the same process they follow all over the state. Access to a diverse range of plant life is good for the goats, and since they run in rotations, no goat is made to eat more than they can handle.
“They will eat all day and take their little breaks and chew their cud. But if I open up to a new area, it’s like they haven’t eaten in weeks” Kyle said.
Kyle says wherever they go, families follow to get a closer look at the grazing goats, some even setting up a picnic nearby to enjoy their company.
“We like the education factor, too. We get a lot of good questions from kids and adults as well about the different aspects of the goats, how it works, snd they absolutely love the alternative to using heavy machinery,” Kyle Says.
Each goat was lovingly named by Kyle’s wife. Some onlookers even pick out and remember their favorites, coming back periodically to check on the progress. No matter the name though, Mayor Sims says Rent-A-Ruminant has done a wonderful job so far.
“I never really had much of a doubt that they could do what the people said they would. And they are.” Sims says.