LAUREL — Now that Christmas is over, many are wondering what to do with their live Christmas trees. But they don't have to look far.
Lynn and Randy Baird live in Laurel and have quite a few farm animals as pets. They said Lynn's two goats, Indie and Harley, love to snack and scratch on Christmas trees.
Indie and Harley really enjoy these trees, so Randy took to social media on Monday requesting Christmas tree donations.
According to Backyard Goats, goats can eat Christmas trees, but owners should be mindful of chemicals like flame retardants and color enhancers. Luckily for Indie and Harley, many live Christmas trees in Montana are cut down from the Custer-Gallatin National Forest, free of chemicals.
“They’re full of antioxidants. They have Vitamin A, Vitamin C, the bark’s actually a natural de-wormer," Randy said on Tuesday. "It’s tons of minerals and a lot of good stuff, it’s like candy for them."
His wife, Lynn, said she gave her goats a tree last year and they loved it, so she wanted to do it again this year.
"They just loved it. They ate it down so fast. They’re looking for more,” Lynn said on Tuesday. “We only got the one tree (last year), so that’s why (Randy's) like, let’s see if we can get a few more."
Randy said he has had a few Laurel residents reach out following his post to a private Facebook group, and was also told Ace Hardware has about 20 left for his wife's goats.
"It relieves their boredom because they like to scratch on them. And they’re foragers. They like to eat above ground, not off the ground so that’s why they like our trees," Lynn said. "It's fun for them."
ZooMontana also likes to give its animals this special Christmas treat. The zoo asks for Christmas tree donations annually and there is a donation bin set up in its parking lot.
These trees are a common treat this time of the year and provide positive enrichment and nutrients to the animals.
When asked why he decided to post to Facebook requesting trees, Randy laughed.
“It’s because my wife spoils her animals,” Randy said. “Her animals are so well taken care of, it’s not even funny."
If you would like to contact the Baird's to donate your tree, please email Randy at firstname.lastname@example.org
“They go straight for them,” Randy said.
“They really do! It relieves their boredom and whatnot,” Lynn added.