When I was in middle school a classmate brought in a goat for show -n- tell. The goat ate everything and anything in sight. Knowing this about goats I wasn’t surprised when I learned recently that goats are now eating Christmas trees. Hope Crolius, the owner of the Goat Girls farm in Amherst, Mass says her goats, “Have a beautifully designed 4 chambered digestive tract and eating tree needles is good for them.” Since more and more people are using goats to mow (eat) their lawns rather than mow it themselves this also comes as no surprise. So, Hope invites people to dispose of their trees at her farm. I imagine if goats eat trees then they can eat real wreaths also; since it’s essentially a round tree.

Our city collects trees and grinds them into mulch, but, who knows, using goats can be another option.

I wonder if a goat eats pine trees in abundance if it develops pine breath the way someone develops garlic breath. I also wonder about tinsel left on a tree. No matter how fastidious you are about removing tinsel, there’s always one strand that hides and clings to the tree. If you have a fake tree, next year when you remove it from the box you’ll see the tinsel. So my question is – if a goat eats the tinsel, will it get chewed up or will it get passed through? Something to think about.

Walking through my neighborhood today I saw both Christmas wreaths and decaying pumpkins decorating front porches, which brings me to my next question. If goats eat trees, can they eat pumpkins? That would be a good way to dispose of them. Our state zoo feeds pumpkins to the elephants – doesn’t matter the size or the freshness. I watched as zookeepers tossed pumpkins at the elephants that scooped them up with their trunk and ate the whole thing. They didn’t bother roasting the seeds. The crunching was loud enough for all spectators to hear. Now that’s a digestive tract to be proud of. My last question – if elephants eat pumpkins, are they capable of eating trees and if they eat tinsel does it get chewed up or passed through? That’s something I definitely don’t want to think about.

 

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