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Farmer reveals perfect clean-up solution for dying Christmas trees: ‘They love to push their limits’

“Next thing you know, they’ll be pulling the sleigh.”

"Next thing you know, they'll be pulling the sleigh."

Photo Credit: Instagram

All I want for Christmas is … a tasty pine tree?

An Instagram video shared by FARMILY&friends (@farmilyfriends) begins with a group of Nigerian dwarf goats standing behind a sign that reads, “CHRISTMAS TREE CLEAN UP CREW. TOSS TREE OVER FENCE.”

Farmer Mike Poff (@poffmike) doesn’t need to be told twice — he hurls a pine tree into the goats’ enclosure, and they waste no time chowing down. 

The video has exploded on Instagram, accruing 1.1 million likes since its upload on Christmas Day. The video has also accrued over 6,500 comments, ranging from pleasantly amused to worried for the goats’ safety.

Thankfully, concerned commenters have nothing to fear. Pine needles and branches are not toxic to goats, and they enjoy nibbling on them, as long as all decorations, lights, and tinsel are removed ahead of time. Thankfully, the tree featured in the Instagram video is bare.

“Goats will eat anything: Glass, metal, living, dead, organic, inorganic,” one Instagram user commented. “They love to push their limits.”

Feeding a Christmas tree to goats is both delightfully entertaining and also a simple way to help reduce pollution. 

The Sierra Club estimates that Americans buy between 25 million and 30 million live Christmas trees each year. Tens of millions of these trees end up either incinerated or in landfills, where they take up space, releasing planet-overheating gases as they slowly biodegrade. 

Instead of discarding Christmas trees in landfills, feeding them to goats repurposes the trees as a food source, reducing the amount of waste generated during the holiday season.

As the goats digest the tree parts, they break them down into smaller particles. The organic matter is then converted into manure, which can be used as a natural fertilizer.

There are also many other ways to make sure a Christmas tree does not end up in a landfill. Look up local composting programs in your area to see if they will take your tree to be turned into nutrient-rich soil — even major cities are in on it.

If you’re thinking of following Mike’s example and feeding last December’s Christmas tree to your friendly neighborhood goats, be cautious. Some Christmas trees are treated with pesticides and flame retardants, which can be toxic to animals. Make sure your tree hasn’t been treated with harmful chemicals.

One commenter jokingly provided another reason to keep Christmas trees out of goats’ mouths: “Next thing you know, they’ll be pulling the sleigh. Then we’re going to have to rewrite the Rudolph song, and that seems like a lot of work.”

“We thought reindeer were the [Christmas] heroes,” another user commented. “Turns out it was goats all along.

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