Christmas tree as treat for goats

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by LuvmyGoaties, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. LuvmyGoaties

    LuvmyGoaties Member

    412
    Mar 8, 2010
    We had to trim a few branches off of our tree to fit it in the stand. I gave the branches to the goats and the love them, stripping the needles off and eating the ends of the branches. The tree is a Noble Fir. Would it be ok for us to give the whole tree to them once we take it down (probably this weekend. We don't use tinsel and I would be very careful to get all of the ornament hooks off...

    Have any of you given your tree to your goats?

    Jen
     
  2. milk and honey

    milk and honey Senior Member

    Oct 30, 2010
    Everett, WA
    That's what I plan to do!
     

  3. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I always have a Blue Spruce and each New Year I give it to my does...the bucks get it after a few days.
     
  4. SandStoneStable Farm

    SandStoneStable Farm New Member

    617
    Dec 7, 2010
    Maryland
    I have a blue spruce and have been plucking branches for them, they love it!
    My tree, however is starting to look like a plucked chicken :)
     
  5. cdtrum

    cdtrum New Member

    Aug 25, 2008
    Northern Indiana
    Yep.....my boys love it! What I do is give it to them for a few hours a day and then take it out until the next day, so they don't eat too much at once........you could also cut it into sections. My guys love stripping the bark.......it also gives them something to do from the boredem of winter. Elwood loves to stand and continually rub his head on a branch.........my boys smell pretty sprucie right now!
     
  6. KW Farms

    KW Farms Moderator Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Wapato, WA
    Yep, you can usually feed them as long as there aren't any chemicals that got sprayed on it.
     
  7. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Once the needles are gone, mine use the skeleton as a scratching post, it works great too! I tend to leave it til late spring as it helps to get the undercoat off of them as it warms up...so my tree skeleton ends up looking like it's decorated with Q Tips because of all the fluff that gets stuck to it.
    LOL...wait til you get a goat that belches close to you, wanna smell some pine? My doe barn smells like one of thos pine tree car air fresheners!
     
  8. ohiogoatgirl

    ohiogoatgirl New Member

    771
    Jan 31, 2010
    ohio
    i like to put up a sign in town and pick up people's trees. of course you gotta look through them and make sure they don't have any hooks or nothing in them. if you're milking then give it to your non-milkers seperately or you get pine-milk. but if you don't mind the taste then go ahead and give it to them too.
     
  9. ohiogoatgirl

    ohiogoatgirl New Member

    771
    Jan 31, 2010
    ohio
    oh! and next year you can pick up the branches and they are all "weathered" and look cool. they are great for making stuff!
     
  10. I have heard that you are not supposed to feed to preggers?? Is that true?
     
  11. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Tisie, I've fed my goats my Blue Spruce every year for the last 10 years...at least 3 of my does are preggy this time of year and I have never had an issue with them eating it.
     
  12. okie dokie!! I fed mine to mine last year with no issues too. But had heard that? I know pine needles are said to make cows abort, or so I've heard???
     
  13. Marcus

    Marcus New Member

    26
    Nov 19, 2010
    It's probably their favorite treat. When they get a little "loose" I give them spruce clippings and it seems to dry things up, Good and good for you too!
     
  14. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    It is perfectly fine to feed them.... as long as... all the utensils and ect... are removed.... :wink:
     
  15. MissMM

    MissMM New Member

    645
    Oct 22, 2007
    McGregor, MN
    As long as the tree is 100% natural it should be ok. Make sure it hasn't been sprayed with anything at all and doesn't have any ornament hooks or tinsel left on it. My goats absolutely adore the XMas tree as a tree when it's exhausted its time in the house. And it sure helps with the buck smell in their pen too.
     
  16. cyanne

    cyanne Senior Member

    This year my goats got a nice post-xmas treat. I stopped by Home Depot to ask what they were doing with their leftover xmas trees, and they said I could have as many as I wanted for free. I took 2 the first time and the goats devoured them. So I went back and they had like a hundred of them sitting behind the store, most still wrapped up from shipping. All of them were really nice and fresh, too.

    I brought home as many as I could fit in the back of my truck...like 6 or 8 HUGE douglas firs. I didn't want to upset their tummies, so I put the trees in tubs of water to keep them fresh and have just been giving them one tree every 4 days or so. I just threw the last one in today. They seemed to really enjoy them a lot...they ate not just the needles, but the twigs, stems, and they even stripped all of the bark off and ate that. I took the trees out after the bark was gone, but after reading the posts here I might throw a couple of them back into the pen for them to use as scratching posts. They already have a big mesquite tree carcass that I left lying in their pen after I cut it down because it is all twisty and has lots of good goat scratching and climbing spots on it.

    I did worry a bit about pesticides, but the trees had been thoroughly soaked through by rain from being out behind the store so I am hoping it was mostly washed off if there was any. I'm thinking about buying some baby evergreens to plant on my land so we can harvest them for the goats later, too so that I know the trees are free of chemicals.

    Also, someone warned me that their goats got diarrhea after eating xmas trees, and I was worried about that, but not a single one of my goats had any problems with it, possibly because I spaced the trees out and didn't feed them all at once.