Goats recycle Christmas trees

Once stripped of their decorations, Christmas trees can be a useful addition to the goats' ration.

The regional press reports on numerous initiatives by farmers or local authorities who recycle Christmas trees thanks to goats' appetite. Favoured by the thorns of the coniferous trees, the goats were quick to leave only the trunk and branches to the king of the forests. In the trough or straw area, Nordmanns or spruces are welcome, but you must avoid the cedars, which can be toxic. Farmers also insist that the firs collected should be natural and free of any flocking or dry ice.

A breeder from Creuse notes that these firs are a delicacy for the goats, a complement to the ration. The resin can flavour the milk, but last year she felt no real difference in the cheese-making process.

Some people believe that conifers have a de-worming role in addition to providing vitamins and trace elements. The skeleton of the fir tree can then be used to feed the fireplace or bread oven, or it can be crushed and used as bedding.

In Bergerac, Indre, Seine-Saint-Denis, Sables-d'Olonne, Corsica, Savoie or Haute-Savoie, Creuse, Marmande, Sarthe, Haute-Saône, Oise, Loire or Saint-Malo, calls for donations are increasing and these operations are a real success. So much so that many breeders are obliged to refuse them. The 1.3 million French goats cannot eat the 6.1 million fir trees sold each year...

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