NEW ERA, Mich. — A farm and zoo in West Michigan is asking folks to donate their recycled Christmas trees to their goats for a post-holiday treat.
Lewis Adventure Farm and Zoo up in New Era has made a tradition out of treating their herd of over 40 goats to the trees, ever since they brought home their very first goat over 15 years ago.
"Animals get the winter blues kind of too, so they like anything new and unusual. It's exciting for them,” said Jenny Ferels, brand ambassador at Lewis.
And as it turns out, goats love to eat Christmas trees.
“Pine needles have a lot of Vitamin C in them, so they're getting some vitamins there, and it's a natural de-wormer for goats too,” Ferels told FOX 17 Wednesday afternoon.
“The pokey pine needles, some animals, they can't handle it, but a goat has a really hard mouth, so they're able to easily eat the pine needles. They like the taste of the pine needles.”
While FOX 17 was visiting the property Wednesday, the goats were enjoying 2 different types of trees.
“Give em' some variety. Long needle and short needles. Let's see which one they prefer," Ferels said as she tossed the first tree into their pen.
The goats overwhelmingly seemed to prefer the tree with firm, pokey needles.
But Ferels was quick to remind, "even if they have a preference, they have never been known to turn down any tree.”
And once the goats are done eating the trees, they become a sort of enrichment tool.
“Then you’ll see them really start to play with the tree… rubbing their head on the tree, head-butting the tree,” Ferels said.
Before you bring your tree down to Lewis Adventure Farm and Zoo, they ask that you all types of decorations. While goats adore munching on trees, their stomachs aren't as fond of glass ornaments or Christmas garland.
Once the tree is clear of everything and ready for the goats, you can come drop it off in the farms front driveway. You will likely see a small pile of other donated trees in the dump spot.