Can Goats Eat Christmas Trees? [SHORT READ]

What to do with your Christmas tree after the holiday season is over can be a challenge. While some people will recycle their trees by dropping them off at recycling centers, others will simply toss them in the trash or burn them in a bonfire. If you want to avoid contributing more to landfills, then you may consider recycling your Christmas tree yourself.

One option is to feed it to goats. Goats are browsers and not grazers like cows, so they don’t eat hay and grass. You cannot feed a goat just any old thing though – if a goat eats something poisonous, it could die.

So can goats eat Christmas trees? The answer is…yes! And if you have some extra Christmas trees laying around, then turning them into goat food makes it fun and practical way to recycle.

Goat proofing a Christmas tree

Before you feed your Christmas tree to the goats, you will need to make sure it is free of anything that could be harmful. Goats are not like cows or sheep where they chew on grass or hay all day long. They are browsers and eat leaves, twigs, vines, shrubs, bushes and trees. However, if they ingest something toxic in large enough quantities – it can kill them.

Therefore before feeding a Christmas tree to the goats – inspect every inch of the tree for decorations that have metal loops or sharp edges. You don’t want any sort of ornament poking out near the goat’s neck which could choke them or cut their esophagus while chewing on it. Some people choose to remove all the tinsel before giving the tree to the goats, but that is up to you.

Once your tree has been properly prepped and deemed goat-proofed by nixing all potential hazards; then simply place it in with the rest of their food every day as a special treat. A word of warning though: make sure your goats do not have any access to electrical wires or they could become wrapped up in them and suffer injuries which could lead to an emergency run to the vet – or worse – death.

Can pregnant goats eat Christmas trees?

When a doe is pregnant, she needs a special diet to sustain her unborn baby. If you have does that are pregnant – ask your vet what they should be fed and if feeding them a Christmas tree would help with their nutrition. In short though: yes – some goats can eat Christmas trees while pregnant!

Better Alternatives to Christmas Trees For Goats

After you have finished admiring the goat’s reaction to their first Christmas tree, then take the tree down and throw it away or recycle it. You can attempt to use a Christmas tree as feed again next year if the goats didn’t eat too much of it during their first taste testing.

However, there are better alternatives out there which are both nutritious and practical at the same time – like pine cones for example! They are bigger than your average seed head which makes them very easy for adult goats to eat. Pregnant does especially benefit from feeding on pine cones because they provide the calcium needed for the doe-to-be and her unborn baby.

Another great choice is holly bushes – but be warned holly leaves are poisonous to goats and can kill them if ingested. You need to make sure that the leaves have been picked from the plant, as a thorn stuck in a goat’s throat could also be deadly. Holly berries are not toxic to goats though – only people!

The best way to know exactly what is good for your herd of goats and what is not, is by talking with your veterinarian. Goats are browsers so they need something comparable to eat or they can die. It may seem fun at first giving them a tree from the holidays, but it will quickly become old hat even if you choose one without decorations. If you want to give them something really exciting then look into pine cones or holly bushes which provide nutritious snacks that can keep their bellies full and their minds occupied.

Can lactating goats eat Christmas trees?

Similar to pregnant does, they also need a special diet that provides them with all the minerals and nutrients which they would normally get from fresh green grasses. If you have does who are lactating – ask your vet if feeding them a Christmas tree would help with their nutrition. In short: yes – some goats can eat Christmas trees while lactating!

A word of warning though: make sure your goats do not have any access to electrical wires or they could become wrapped up in cables and suffer injuries which could lead to an emergency run to the vet – or worse – death.

After you have finished admiring the goat’s reaction to their first Christmas tree, then take the tree down and throw it away or recycle it. You can attempt to use a Christmas tree as feed again next year if the goats didn’t eat too much of it during their first taste testing.

However, there are better alternatives out there which are both nutritious and practical at the same time – like pine cones for example! They are bigger than your average seed head which makes them very easy for adult goats to eat. Pregnant does especially benefit from feeding on pine cones because they provide the calcium needed for the doe-to-be and her unborn baby.

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