Google hires 200 ... goats

Landscapers with lawn mowers need not apply. Google's decided to employ 200 goats to keep the brush surrounding its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters in check, and the move further underscores the company's commitment to opting for green solutions whenever possible.

Computerworld's Seth Weintraub reports that in California, it's a legal requirement that landowners remove excess brush from their land to help reduce the likelihood of brush fires. In response, Google hired the goats from a company called California Grazing to handle the job. And the benefits over traditional lawn mowers are multifold. As Google's Dan Hoffman explains in the Google blog:

A herder brings about 200 goats and they spend roughly a week with us at Google, eating the grass and fertilizing at the same time. The goats are herded with the help of Jen, a border collie. It costs us about the same as mowing, and goats are a lot cuter to watch than lawn mowers.

While it won't do much for California's unemployment rate or its landscaping firms, it does underscore Google's commitment to green solutions. And it's a lot like Google's floating data center idea: green and cute.

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