It's an all you can eat buffet for 130 goats at the GET Bus offices in central Bakersfield. The company contracted the animals to do nothing but eat.
"The goats are constantly eating, and once in a while they'll lay down," says Anita Onaindia, the goats' owner. "They'll drink some water that we have here provided, and the process repeats itself all day long."
Onaindia and her husband Javier of Javier Onaindia Goat Company brought the goats to the lot in the 1800 block of Golden State Highway Thursday. Onaindia says the goats will spend about a week clearing all the brush at the bus company's headquarters. The goats are a unique and eco-friendly alternative to getting rid of dead grass.
"Not only is it more green, but it's much less expensive for us to have the goats come in," says Gina Hayden of Golden Empire Transit District. "The other option would've been to put chemicals on the weeds and grass, cut them down haul them off, but by doing it this way, the goats take care of it, our weeds are gone the goats are fed and there's no chemicals involved."
It is a win-win situation for GET and the goats who eat everything all the way down to the dirt. GET hired the goats last year, and the Kern County Fire Department also used goats two years ago to clear some land. Firefighters say brush removal is a must for this fire season.
"It is a critical tool to prevent the fire from actually reaching the structure itself, radiant heat is something that we're not able to mitigate," says Michael Nicholas, an engineer with the Kern County Fire Department. "However, if you clear the brush away from the house far enough, you prevent the fire from actually creating a flame impingement on the house."
It took 400 goats more than two weeks to clear this same area last year. And as long as they stay hydrated, the goats could finish grazing this grass by the end of the week.