Laguna Honda Hospital gets goats to clear hillside

South African Boer goats have begun grazing on the hillside behind Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center, according to the hospital.

This is the third year that the goats have been brought in to help clear undergrowth on the hospital site, just west of Twin Peaks, according to the hospital. This year 600 goats will graze and clear 22 acres to clear brush heavy undergrowth.

The goats “like the leaves,'' said Brian Dodds, owner of Sycamore Farms of Monterey County, which provides goats to clear wildlife. However, the goats are picky eaters and “leave the sticks behind.''

By having the goats clear the brush and vines from the hillside the city has less risk of wildfire, which is particularly important in such a dry year.

“Goats are a great way to rehabilitate the natural landscape,'' Dodd said.

According to the hospital, the goat's arrival is timed to coincide with the end of bird nesting season so that fledglings learn to fly before the heavy undergrowth is cleared.

The goats arrived at the hospital on Sept. 12.

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