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Not only do sheep make great food, but they are also of great help when it comes to mowing the lawn. Yes, exactly, the yard. Why use technical aids when the animal lawnmowers can do the job at least as well? At least that’s what those responsible on Vienna’s Danube Island seem to have thought. They used sheep to tend the lawn. The animal helpers seem to do their job well because the city uses them regularly.

The Animal Lawnmowers Are Back in Action
The Animal Lawnmowers Are Back in Action

70 Animal Employees For Vienna

The 70 Krainer stone sheep have already completed their second season in 2020. As “freelancers” for the City of Vienna, they do their work all spring and summer on Vienna’s Danube Island. The friendly animals have grazed the leisure paradise in the middle of the city since May. Their territory covers an area of ​​14 ha, which corresponds to the size of 20 football fields. After their mission worked so well last year, those responsible were relying on their animal helpers again this year. Sheep grazing also has other advantages. In Vienna, politics consider a measure within the framework of the EU climate project, because it promotes biodiversity.

Working For Environmental Protection

In mid-November, the animal mowing of the lawn is over for this year. Then, the sheep move back to their winter quarters in Lower Austria. But a comeback in the spring of next year is already assured. Their use should reduce the use of machines. After all, the environmentally friendly lawnmowers do not emit any exhaust gases, and they are also much quieter than a real lawnmower. The sheep themselves enjoyed their work. That is no wonder, because after all, on the Danube Island, they feed on the plants that they like best. These are wild herbs such as sage and yarrow, as well as clover. These grow abundantly on the wild meadow areas. A shepherd from their owner visits them once a day to see how they are doing.

From Meadow To Meadow

Their area of ​​operation is in the north of the Danube Island. It’s quiet there, so the site has proven to be ideal for the animal helpers. They graze on a fenced pasture for around a week. Then the fence is moved, and the animals move on. This year the animals found particularly excellent conditions. The humid summer favoured the growth of the plants and made for a lush and green meadow. That has ensured that the animals can stay outside until mid-November this year because they can still find plenty of food.

Sheep grazing also has numerous benefits for the wildlife that lives there. Sheep always leave some plants standing when grazing. The meadows have shorter and longer plants, which helps the endangered and strictly protected insect species. It preserves the habitat for butterflies and grasshoppers. A study has shown that when sheep care about the lawn, there is an increase in these animal species.