Sheep replace lawn mowers in Paris


Four sheep were brought in to munch the grass around the grass around the Paris Archives building. ”Animal lawn mowers are ecological and cost half the price of a machine,” said Marcel Collet, Paris farm director. “And they’re so cute.” (Charles Platiau/Reuters)
April 15, 2013

Tourists may soon see baaing sheep at the Eiffel Tower. Paris City Hall this month installed a small flock of sheep to mow the lawn at the city’s gardens, replacing gas-guzzling lawn mowers.

Four woolly ewes — shipped in from an island off the Brittany coast — munch day and night on the grass surrounding the Paris Archives building.

The project follows a successful stint last year by two goats that were hired privately to mow the lawn at the Tuileries, the 17th-century gardens in central Paris.

Alain Divo, whose goats worked at the Tuileries, said sheep poop shouldn’t be a problem. It crumbles away in days to an odorless powder that fertilizes the grass.

A similar experiment in a park near Paris found that the sheep droppings were a benefit. Swallows returned to the area to feed off insects attracted to the poop.

“It might sound funny, but animal lawn mowers are ecological, as no gasoline is required, and cost half the price of a machine,” said Marcel Collet, Paris farm director. “And they’re so cute.”

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