Get Your Goat!


Got goats? If not, there’s a family-owned and operated grazing service in Orinda, California that will deliver to you a South American shepherd, Border Collie and trained herd to graze your ranch or yard. Used primarily for fuel mitigation, star thistle eradication and reducing pesky hillside brush, the livestock comes in a variety of breeds to munch sites as expansive as 30,000 acre ranches.

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The Goats R Us business was bred by Terri (above) and Egon Oyarzun, who operate the ranch with the help of their animal-loving 13-year-old son, Zephyr.

Egon was born and raised in rural Southern Chile, where he got his training by helping his father break oxen to pull carts.

The family recruits shepherds from South America who live with the animals on the grazing property in a self-contained travel trailer and pens. The hired hands often work on horseback to reduce the use of motor vehicles on the range.

Portable electric fencing helps contain Billy and his friends – agricultural workers who, unlike much of the American workforce, don’t suffer from age discrimination and are given super retirement benefits.

The old goats are never sold and are invited to picnic and roam the hills of the company’s own ranch. The seniors are vaccinated and wormed three times a year. Hey, where do I sign up?

There’s also a training program for the new recruits. Every winter when a pre-selected group of nannies gives birth, the babies are raised with the herd where they learn to work with the doggies. Angora goats are the primary stock because of their thick mohair and hardiness which fair well in the chilly northern California winters.


Perhaps the smartest in the pack are the keen-eyed Border Collies, raised and trained by the Goats R US team to respond to calls, whistles and hand signals. The company says each shepherd and his dog team develop their own unique communication style and create a bond that helps them do get that job done, whether “moving goats through a wide grassland or the busy, narrow streets of San Francisco.”

Luanne Bradley

Luanne Sanders Bradley is the West coast Editor at EcoSalon and currently resides in San Francisco, California.