CHICAGO (CBS) — Garfield Park Conservatory is the part-time home this spring and summer for six goats whose job it is to keep the place well mowed.

WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports it’s really cows and sheep that are the lawnmowers of the animal world.

“And goats actually are browsers. They’ll eat everything. They’ll eat the stem, the leaves, down to the ground. So you could probably consider them the weed whackers,” said Robin Cline, assistant director of programs for the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller Reports

The goats were originally in an area that included some trees — trees the goats seemed to really like.

“And now we have a fence where we can see them, and we don’t have to worry about them eating the conservatory’s collection,” Cline said.

There are two nanny goats, with two kids each. Two of the kids are 2 1/2 weeks old, and the other two are a week old.

The goats are in a fenced-in area at the conservatory,  300 North Central Park Ave., at various weeks during the summer — daytime hours only:

      • June 2 – 8
      • July 7 – 13
      • August 4 – 10
      • September 8 – 14
      • October 6 – 12

To be safe, call ahead to make sure the goats are there.

A West Side resident owns the goats and uses them for milk, according to Cline. The animals will be at other locations in Chicago throughout the summer — all part of an experiment the goats’ owner is doing to examine “how small farm animals benefit the urban landscape and life in the city.”

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