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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to make a big turn out area for my two recently bred doelings. I am wondering about the pine trees that border the fence line. One row are Allepo Pine, the others I'm guessing (on the neighbor side) Afghan Pine. I plan on milking next year and have read different opinions both negative and positive on goats eating pine needles. I understand ponderosa pines can cause abortions, what about the two I listed and also, do the pine nettles effect the taste of the milk? These trees would be outside of the turn out. but needles would be falling into the pen on occasion.
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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All pine trees have some level of toxins in them. But most are not enough to harm a goat. We feed left over Christmas trees from a Rite Aid every year after Christmas is over. They are a few months pregnant and never have an issue with births. Now the one thing that will happen is, they will eat the bark off the trees if they are able. So you may need to wrap the trees in chain link to keep them safe. Also, if they are eating bark and needles, the favor of your milk will be effected. You may need to lock them up at night, milk, then feed and or let them out in order to clean up the taste of at least the morning milk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both. The last thing I want to do is mess up the flavor of the milk. The trees are on the outside of the pen so I would venture to guess that after the initial turn out they'd pretty much have the needles cleaned up except for the few that fall in the wind and such. The needles they eat would be dry, wonder if that makes any difference?
 

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I live in the bush with lots of pine and spruce trees. The goats have always had access to them and prefer the pine trees over the spruce. I have never had a problem with abortions or bad tasting milk. In fact the milk is superb and they eat bark and needles every day.
 

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I pick up fallen pine branches and toss them into the goat yard. They LOVE them. Though they dont get an unlimited amount, I've never noticed any difference in the taste of the milk, even if they strip some of the bark, which they do once the needles are gone. Not sure what TYPE of pine they are (not ponderosa) - whatever typically grows in NW WA.
 
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