Donated Christmas trees used to feed goats at Onalaska farm
If you put up a real Christmas tree this year, you’re probably thinking about dragging it out to the curb soon if you haven’t already.
But what if instead you could help the environment and make some goats happy at the same time?
Not all presents come wrapped with a bow under the Christmas tree.
“Goats are nibblers. They want ends of trees, branches, serious ruffage.”
At Rainbow Ridge Farm just outside of Onalaska, it’s actually the leftovers that are the hit of the holiday.
“The goats absolutely love it.”
Farmer Donna Murphy and her partner Cindy have been feeding Christmas trees to their goats for years.
“Oh, probably 15 years ago now,” said Donna.
And while this may seem like a bad idea to some, “A pine needle is no real big deal, they just munch ’em right on down. And then they burp at you and smell like pine needles (laughs).”
It’s actually a win-win. Recycling the trees and keeping the goats healthy.
“Pine needles have Vitamin C in them. We have 4 pregnant goats at this moment, they really like the pine needles.”
The goats devour a single tree in 45 minutes to an hour.
“I mean they eat the needles, they eat the bark, they eat the ends of the limbs and then they scratch on it, or in the case of our boys, they push them around and head butt them.”
“We try to limit what we give them in a day because they can get too much.”
Christmas may be over, but this is one gift that keeps on giving.
Keep in mind, some trees are sprayed with a fire proofer and those can be toxic to the animals.
If you live in the area, they may even come pick it up for you.