Northern Virginia business rents its sheep to mow lawns

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (DC News Now) — They rarely take breaks, never ask for a raise, and always show up on time.

They seem like the ideal workers, right?  A Northern Virginia business is booming thanks to their dedication.

Cory Suter calls himself “the chief shepherd.” His job? Encouraging his flock of sheep to get to work.

“We’re definitely the quietest lawn care service on the East Coast,” he said.

Suter launched his Fairfax County-based business, Lamb Mowers two years ago.

He believes he is one of only two sheep-based residential lawn care companies in the entire county. He said the other is in Georgia.

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Suter’s sheep eat weeds and mow lawns. They like to eat the tips of grass.

“Usually when they go to a yard, the first thing they’re going after is all the weeds in the yard because they love clover and dandelion onion, grass, Japanese stilt grass,” he said. “They like to have more herbaceous plants, tree seedlings and poison ivy. So there’s a lot of things that the sheep eat and eat well.”

Suter charges $195 for a 2-hour grazing appointment.

Dave Bone is renting the sheep to eat weeds in the front yard of his Fairfax home.

“It is unique. It is unusual and I admit the first time I heard it, I said, ‘really? Is this a working business you have?’ And he said, ‘yeah, why don’t you check it out?’” Bone commented as the sheep grazed in his yard.

The sheep are fenced in to prevent wandering. Suter said they offer an eco-friendly alternative for people who don’t want to use gas-powered lawnmowers, or chemicals, to kill weeds.

Plus, he said, the animals put organic nutrients back into the soil.

“Sheep pellets are 35 to 40% carbon and very nutrient rich. That’s a wonderful way to fertilize your yard and have a therapeutic experience with animals and your own space and the sheep love to eat the weeds out of the yard,” Suter said.

Suter said he’s already booked around 150 clients.

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