I said wrote:
Yes, I'm a lazy bastard
I really must remember not to just go with the quick, flip, statement and then leave it at that. I also like animals, I like them meandering about, and I don't mind a small bit of care.
guinea pig or gerbils, or voles maybe?
The problem with guinea pigs, mad old pal, is that they'll slip straight through the fence. It's 40mm holes. Or, to be sensible (but who wants to be that?), they'll be in a portable hutch with a wire bottom. I've done it before, but I would prefer animals that can roam the yard rather than be locked up.
Also, anything that eats grass probably eats other vegetation. Have rose bushes? Ferns?
Vegetable gardens already under covers. No roses. Really wouldn't care if they ate the goddamn weed fern.
You could do it yourself, you know. A rimfire .22 for adults or a sledgehammer for kids would work out well, and while the act of skinning, gutting, cleaning, and butchering is a bit rough and rather dirty, it could cut costs considerably.
This is Australia, mate. I don't own a rifle, and I don't personally know anyone who does (although I do know people who know people who do). I've got no problems pulling the trigger, but I don't like the thought of trying to knock something on the head with a hammer, somehow stuffing it up, and causing needless suffering.
As for the cleaning and butchering work, I've done chickens before, and while completely different it was still messy and time consuming. I'd give goats a go.
This is all hypothetical, of course.
If that much grass is too much, get rid of some of the damn grass. Plant some big [native, pretty, and low-maintenance] shrubs and/or [native, pretty, and low-maintenance] trees to keep the grass from growing. You've cut down on the problem, and if it's hot and you planted trees you've made yourself a little shade.
I've planted a black mulberry, plum, sour cherry (which may or may not be dead. It's the middle of summer and there's no leaves, but someone more experienced than me said that with the unseasonal cool we had, it's probably just confused, the poor dear), pomegranate, two apples (well, I planted three, but an idiot managed to run over them), and an orange. There's also a huge tree, but it's a pest species (currently can't remember its name) and I wouldn't mind cutting it down so I could put in a couple more fruit trees in its place. Oh, and a stand of rampant banana.
to replace the front grass with bushes and decorative plants, weed-matted and either stone or wood-chip mulch. It may end up wood-chip, as despite the stone being more appealing, I think I can get the wood-chip free from council.
And Darth? You have no idea
how unappealing the thought of fake grass is
I could get two more chooks, although most of the grass suppression they do is measured in ripping up, not eating. When I had a dozen, they stripped the yard, now I've got four it's overgrown. They make a lot of mess, but they do lay eggs, which is more than I can say for the kids.