Goats in the City | Urban Living

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Goats in the City

Posted By on May 30, 2018, 11:00 AM

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So, I'm driving down 300 West to pick up some RubySnap cookies, when I look over and see what I think is a herd of goats in a vacant lot on 700 South. I pick up my fix and ask the employee "What's with the goats?" She said they weren't making any cookies with goat cheese at the moment. "No," I said, "the real live goats on the corner." I then jumped into my odd collection of goat jokes: What did Bill Murray say when he met Satan? I ain't afraid of no goats! What do you call a goat dressed like a clown? A silly billy. What do you call an unemployed goat? Billy Idle.

I love goats and I wish I could sneak some into our backyard. Alas, we're not zoned for those kinds of kids. You must have agricultural zoning to put livestock in your backyard, but you most likely live in a residentially zoned area. We can have chickens in residential areas in Salt Lake County but goats in the city are baaaaaaad. However, the goats I saw are completely legal, coming from 4 Leaf Ranch in Francis, east of Park City. Urbanites can rent their "hillbillies" to dispose of weeds around homes and businesses. Draper City hired them in 2016 to reduce the wildfire risk in the hills around SunCrest and Corner Canyon where thick overgrowth and vegetation threatened to combust into a nasty fire.

Goat grazers are very cost effective and eco-friendly in maintaining man-made and natural landscaping. They can wiggle into smaller areas than heavy machinery and they don't ask for time off or sick leave. And they produce massive fertilizer pellets, which help the plants grow. Come to think of it, that's good job security.

You can find Salt Lake City animal laws at sterlingcodifiers.com or slco.org and also look up which animals need permits and the rules for keeping said animals inside and out of your abode. For example, you cannot keep an animal tied up on the street for more than five hours a day. The goats must be penned in an electric fence enclosure when they come feed. You also can't herd goats (or other animals) down city streets. If you think anyone is abusing an animal, call 385-486-7387. The goats I saw were fat and seemed very happy.

And if you're looking for a job, 4 Leaf is hiring herders. They pay room, board and groceries and a base salary on top of that. You feed, water and care for the animals, and travel with them while they eat their way through Utah yards.

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