Saturday, May 25

Farmers are Renting Sheep, Goats, Falcons and More for Agricultural Value

If you want to, for as little as one dollar a day, you can rent a sheep. Finally!

That’s not all you can rent, though. Chicken, bees, goats, and even falcons are all on the market.

The real estate value of U.S. farm land contributes approximately $2 trillion, but that number could increase once people start renting falcons by the dozens. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Falcon Force supplies farms and orchards across the country with trained falcons.

“We’re live security guards,” said Vahe’ Alaverdian, master falconer and owner of Falcon Force.

Alaverdian owns 39 raptors and does work in Arizona, California, Oregon, and a few other states. Each falcon is supervised and kept at a specific weight so they refrain from eating pests around the farm property. The price to rent a falcon for your farm starts at $65 an hour per falcon.

Another popular animal for rent are goats. At Rent-a-Ruminant, you can request 15 goats for just $275. Goats eat weeds that could cause damage to farms so they act essentially like effective four-legged weedkillers. The weeds that goats can eat, with no damage to the goats themselves, can be poison oak, poison ivy, thistle, and kudzu. These weeds can ruin a farm if left unattended.

“If you were to pay humans to do what the goats do for us, you’d pay about for times more per acre,” said Russ Ayers, landscaper manager for the Issaquah Highlands Community Association.

The goats not only rid the land of the invasive weeds, but they also fertilize the land as they roam and can access difficult-to-reach areas.

The reason to rent a sheep, says Fred Cline, owner of Cline Family Cellars, is because they don’t complain as much as humans.

Cline recently rented roughly 2,000 sheep for summer landscaping on his property. When the grapes become too bitter to consume, the sheep will eat leaves off the vine, which allows more air to reach to fruit and prevent molding. The sheep trim grass and can fertilize an entire piece of land in 24 to 48 hours.

You can rent sheep from Rocky Mountain Wooly Weeders.

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