Goats on the Loose

Goats on the Loose

June 27, 2019

Goats eat just about anything: meat, veggies, even cardboard and clothing. But they’re happy with plain old grass, too. That’s why the company Goats R Us is so smart: they use goats to mow people’s lawns. Why push a lawn mower when a goat is happy to chew down that grass for you? Goats R Us owns hundreds of goats, and places like airports and big companies hire those goats to keep their grass nice and short. This video shows 800 goats munching at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The goats take 5-6 weeks to eat through the lab’s 202 acres of fields and hills. Forget the cardboard!

Wee ones: If you’re in charge of 6 goats, what numbers do you say to count them? Put 6 things on the counter and count them up.

Little kids: If the goats start their job in June and finish the next month, in what month do they finish?  Bonus: If it takes them exactly 2 months to eat through all of Berkeley Lab, how many times can they clear the lawn in 1 year? (Hint if needed: A year has 12 months.)

Big kids: If the goats take 5 weeks to eat through the lab’s whole space, how many days is that?  Bonus: How many hooves do those 800 trotting goats have?

The sky’s the limit: If the perimeter (the distance around the edge) of a rectangular field is 40 feet, and the sides are all round numbers of feet, what’s the biggest area of grass it could hold for the goats to eat?




Wee ones: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Little kids: In July.  Bonus: 6 times in a year.

Big kids: 35 days.  Bonus: 3,200 hooves.

The sky’s the limit: 100 square feet, or 10 feet per side (10+10+10+10). For any amount of edge, the most area it can contain will be the perfect square that uses that amount of fence. So we divide the perimeter by 4 to get the 4 equal sides of a square.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the Author

Laura Overdeck

Laura Overdeck

Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.

More posts from this author