Living Lawnmowers

The lawn that I used to mow

Since being on the road we have noticed heaps of work offered that involves maintaining and mowing lawns. Possibly because people don’t have enough time, or don’t really enjoy mowing the lawn.

So it’s not too strange that resorting to the help of a living lawn mower or two is becoming quite popular. It’s also considered to be ecologically friendly.

Two horses grazing showing the possibility of uses horses or other animals as lawnmowers.  Windmill, tank and trees in the background.

So what’s a living lawn mower? Almost anything that eats grass could be considered, however the most regular choices are animals such as goats, sheep, donkeys, horses, cows, llamas, alpacas, geese and even guinea pigs – depending on the size of your acreage.

Before you dash out to buy your new living lawn mower though there’s a few things to think about.


What kind of animal you employ will depend on a number of things:

How big is the area to be mowed? Will one animal be enough for the area or do you need two, or a herd?

This article gives a handy calculator on how many of various kinds of animal you might need Reduce Animal Unemployment: Hire A Goat

How much does the animal cost to buy?

Does the animal eat only grass or will it need supplementary feed? Will it be likely to eat your lawn down to bare earth or snack on plants or trees you don’t want it to eat?

What kind of healthcare and maintenance is involved – worming, shearing, foot trimming?

How will you provide water and shelter for your living lawnmower?

Are there any threats such as feral or native animals that like to eat your brand of lawn mower?

What kind of fencing will be needed (e.g. for goats it needs to be pretty good as they are great at escaping)

What kind of poo does the animal produce and how will it affect your lawn (e.g. cow poo tends to be sloppy, horse poo chunky etc)

What impact will the animal’s hooves/feet/weight have on your grass?


A quieter form of lawn mowing

Aside from savings on labour and fuel, depending on which animal/s you decide on, there may be some extra bonuses. For example, free fertiliser, meat, milk, wool, eggs and often just the sheer entertainment value of their presence and antics.

So there you go, consider retiring the mechanical mower and adding a decorative, living lawn mower or two to your landscape.

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