Goats recycle Christmas trees

The idea struck a goat grazer when he saw his daughter's goat devour weed in her garden

Reno: Goats are known to eat just about anything, but it didn’t dawn on Vince Thomas until recently that the menu could include Christmas trees. The idea struck Thomas when he watched his daughter’s goats eat the weed in her garden. “They’ll eat the pine needles and leave the skeleton of the tree,” said Thomas, a volunteer firefighter. He came up with a new use for his family-owned goat-herding business called Goat Grazers.

A herd of goats eat a discarded Christmas tree. Pic/AP
A herd of goats eat a discarded Christmas tree. Pic/AP

“It looks like Charlie Brown’s Christmas, which has naked branches,” said Thomas, who launched a new programme with the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District to use his 40 goats to help recycle Christmas trees. He got tired of watching people discard the trees in landfills or dump them on public property, where they became a fire danger.

Perfect employees
Thomas said his goats have been used in the past to help graze in areas with fire-prone weeds along Sierra’s eastern front. “We thought it was a great way to get rid of the weeds. And the goats are great employees, they love their job and they don’t complain,” said Thomas.

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