OXFORD — While you might not think much of your live Christmas tree this time of year, a local goat sure would.
With the holiday season behind us, live Christmas trees are in short demand. Stores in Oxford such as Kroger and Shademakers Garden Center have resorted to giving away live Christmas trees. Local residents might also find themselves in the same situation this January.
Heather Cremeans, a four-year resident of nearby Reily Twp., was one of many who took up Shademakers on a free fir tree. Cremeans and her husband are hobby farmer, who owns a variety of animals they keep as pets, such as pigs, ducks and horses, as well as of course, two goats named Ginger and Whiskey.
Cremeans said she found out the duos’ favorite snack the hard way after the two animals chewed up the Cremeans’ pine trees meant for landscaping.
“They cleared all of the lower branches, on their own, just kind of their own pruning for snacks, and they just love them,” Cremeans said. “But now, all the lower branches are off.”
Cremeans said that’s when she found out that pine trees, spruce trees, and fir trees, all commonly used Christmas trees, were not only a favorite of goats but also healthy for them.
“I’m reading about [Christmas trees] being a natural dewormer,” Cremeans said. “Christmas is always a good time to get them some treats.”
After heading over to Shademakers to pick up a tree this year, Cremeans said she felt happy to not only give a holiday treat to her goats, but also potentially save a tree from ending up in a landfill.
Although she did find out that her goats might be a bit of a pair of picky eaters.
“They’re currently working on it, but they prefer the long needle ones, this is a fir tree,” Cremeans said. “Goats are just like humans, they have their own preferences, and so these girls prefer the long really pokey needles.”
Steph Corhn, a 7-year land owner in nearby Milford Twp., also owns goats, Theo and Josie to be precise.
Corhn said her farm is always a fan-favorite this time of year, as her friends and family are more than willing to donate their trees to the farm.
“Pretty much any of our friends or family that have trees contact us and see if we want them,” Corhn said, “I’ll just have them drop them in the pasture and they’ll start eating from there.”
Corhn said the only issue with receiving donations is making sure the trees have all their decorations removed before the goats dig in.
“During Christmas time, we have to worry about, if it’s a huge tree, there’s hooks that people put on the trees, so we have to make sure that all those hooks are off,” Corhn said. “[the goats] are not smart enough to eat around them.”
Cohrn said she looks forward to the treats her goats are set to receive soon.
“I have a friend, and I have a neighbor that are supposed to drop some off,” Corhn said. “Usually it’s after New Year’s when people get in contact with us.”
If you aren’t able to find a local goat owner for your live Christmas tree this new year, the City of Oxford offers a Christmas tree recycling program. Placing your live Christmas tree curbside for disposal ensures the trees are chipped into mulch instead of ending up in a landfill.
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