Chicago Gets Goats to Graze at O'Hare

The city awarded a contract to trim airport grass using goats

The city of Chicago is getting their goats.

City officials last year put out a bid for at least 25 goats or sheep and a shepherd to trim the grass at O'Hare International Airport. It's part of a pilot program designed to naturally control vegetation and decrease landscaping costs.

On Wednesday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office announced the Chicago Department of Aviation plans to award a contract to Chicago-based Central Commissary Holdings, LLC, to allow dozens of goats to graze on airport grounds.

Beginning later this spring the animals will be turned loose on land separated from the airfield by security fencing.

Central Commissary Holdings cares for a small grazing herd outside Chicago, the city said, and submitted the most competitive bid. The contract, worth $100,000, expires at the end of 2014.

“This pilot program will help the [Chicago Department of Aviation] achieve many economic, operational, environmental and social benefits, achieving our goal of balancing people, planet and profit," CDA Commissioner Rosemarie S. Andolino said.

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