Christmas trees a feast for goats

  • Goats owned by Michelle Chandler enjoying a former Christmas tree. Submitted Photo

Staff Writer
Thursday, December 28, 2017

AMHERST — Christmas trees that need to be removed from homes in the coming days could again be part of the diet for a herd of goats at an Amherst farm.

Michelle Chandler is creating a drop-off site for at her residence, 326 West Pomeroy Lane, for trees that are free of tinsel and ornaments that she will feed her goats.

Chandler said she was grateful for the many people who left trees after Christmas 2016, observing they became a lifesaver for her herd because of the summer 2016 extended dry spell that limited the availability of hay.

“With that summer’s drought, hay was in short supply,” Chandler said. “I wouldn’t have been able to keep my goats fed until the first cutting this spring without the trees to stretch the supply.”

The goats are able to eat all of the needles and most of the bark. Evergreens used as Christmas trees are a source of vitamin C and other nutrients that supplement the goats’ normal diet of grain and hay.

The supply of trees she received lasted long enough for her to feed the final tree to her goats on Memorial Day, just days before the first hay cut of the season.

“I had two bales of hay left when that first cutting became available,” Chandler said.

The trees should be placed in the larger half of her front yard, on the west side.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.