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Goats hired as gardeners at the Deere-Wiman house in Moline

Four goats are on loan from a Davenport farm until mid-September to eat the undergrowth on a steep hillside on the property.

MOLINE, Ill. — The Deere-Wiman House in Moline has an interesting group of gardeners helping them out with the yardwork.

Four goats are on a loan from Rockingham Farm in Davenport for the next three weeks.

The goats have been brought in to eat away at the thick undergrowth on the steep hillside on the north side of the property.

"The Deere-Wiman House has a lot of very steep hillsides that are covered in poison ivy and a lot of underbrush. And one of the ways that we manage our underbrush is by hiring nanny goats to come onto property and help eat down some of that foliage. They do a great job. They're quiet. They are easy co-workers to work with and and they do their job very, very well,"  said Jan Stoffer, director of operations and administration at the Deere-Wiman House.

The area is hard for humans to reach but easy for the goats. They can even prop themselves up on the sides of trees, reaching more than five feet up.

The property used this clean-up method last fall and it worked so well, they brought the goats back for another season.

"The one thing we like about bringing goats onto this property is that the underbrush that they're eating are things like poison ivy, saplings and other undesirable plants. They aren't interested in grass. They prefer this hardier, woodier foliage. And that serves us very well because that's the type of underbrush that we have," Stoffer said.

The property, located at 817 11th Avenue in Moline, is open from sunrise to sundown if you would like to come see the goats work. The staff has nicknamed the four goats Flower, Oreo, Queenie and Shy. They plan to be on site until around September 17.

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