COSTA MESA (CBSLA) — Several goats and their miniature donkey guards have been put on weed clearance duty around the OC Fair & Event Center.
A herd of 18 Angora goats are getting their fill of weeds and improving the soil on the berm around the Pacific Amphitheatre, according to OC Fair & Events Center officials. Two miniature donkeys are also on the scene to guard the goats against predators in the area.
“The berm is a challenging area for our landscaping crew and the goats are the perfect solution, but we do have some coyotes around the property so the two miniature donkeys will help protect the herd,” Barbara Gregerson, the OC Fair & Event Center’s landscape supervisor, said in a statement. “Not only will the goats and donkeys eat the vegetation, they will fertilize and break up the soil, preparing it for planting.”
The annual cost of the goat landscaping program — which includes fencing, feeding and sheltering the animals – is almost the same as using traditional landscapers, Gregerson said. The ultimate goal of the program is to reduce erosion and improve the soil to make it a welcoming habitat for birds, butterflies and other pollinators.
The herd is on loan from Eureka Mohair Farm, which happens to be a longtime competitor in the annual OC Fair livestock competitions. The goats and miniature donkeys will be on the property through December and return in March to work until the OC Fair in July. The landscaping program will bring them back again in the fall of 2021, and continue the pattern for a couple of years.
There is no public viewing of the goats and donkeys at work on the berm at this time, but visitors to the Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall – which are reopening to the public Tuesday — may be able to catch a glimpse of them at work.