Photo courtesy of Abraham French.

Abraham French is the guy with the goats.

Neighbors often see him walking around with his four goats on leashes. Usually, cars stop to talk with him or take some photos with the animals. Kids like to visit to let the goats eat acorns out of their hands.

French, who has lived in East Dallas since 2002, started out with chickens in his Mount Auburn yard. He wanted to get rid of the weeds and poison ivy. Chickens would have eaten them, but goats would do the job faster.

French and his family started out with two Nigerian dwarf goats in 2020 — a male, Moonshine, and a female, Ginny. Later, at the request of his wife and mother-in-law, they got a mother and two baby goats. They returned the mother when the kids, Tootsie and Poppy, were weaned off.

If you sit down next to Poppy, she will come sit on your lap. When she was smaller, it wasn’t a problem. But “it’s not cute anymore,” French says.

There’s an empty property next to French’s. He was able to use it for a while and took care of it by mowing the lawn. He can’t use it anymore, so the goats roam around his own yard.

Photo courtesy of Abraham French.

Goats have several benefits for French and his neighbors. They can consume weeds, poison ivy, poison oak and many other plants neighbors don’t want, and their droppings won’t hurt the soil they land on. Plus, as they walk, goats aerate the soil.

Neighbors often bring French’s goats leaves and tree trimmings to eat. Last year, they brought about 150 pumpkins to his front yard. Apparently overripe pumpkins that are starting to get soft are more appetizing for goats than are the harder ones.

Neighbors sometimes see coyotes, but French says he hasn’t had a problem with them.