For the past couple of years, my friend, Kristi, has gathered used Christmas trees for my goats after the holidays. All the decorations and anything that might hurt the goats has been removed.
The goats are very furry this time of year, and they love scratching their backs and heads on the branches. The trees also make a great wind-break. This year in Southern Utah we have had one snow at Christmas and only one snow in the past few weeks. We really need some moisture around here. However, we almost always have the wind blowing, so the trees help protect the animals.
My barn is really a 14′ X 20′ car port that has been closed in with corrugated metal panels.
I have a small feed and hay storage room as you walk inside the front door. I use 55 gallon trash cans to store the grain. I stack the hay on a pallet. There is another door and wall that separates the animal living area from the feed room. As I have 5 small goats, the barn gets a bit crowded on occasion with eight chickens in there also. The extra pine trees give the animals more room to spread out near the entrance of the barn. When it snows, the pine trees block the blowing snow. My goats are quite spoiled. They have wood planks laid down in the barn area so they don’t get their feet wet. The goats use the walk ways to get to the water trough and the hay manger. Such brats!
As the year progresses, the goats start to slough off the winter coat.
The goats start looking ratty and their skin gets all itchy. The needles on the pine trees are gone by summer and they goats rub and scratch on the branches to get the old fur off. It is quite entertaining to look out the window and see the goats going to town scratching on the old tree branches. It’s similar to how the deer rub their horns on trees to get the velvet off. My goats love to have their head scratched between their horns.
I have often gone out to feed the animals and found hundreds of small birds roosting in the old Christmas tree branches. I feed my goats and chickens grain and the little birds come by to have a feast on left overs. I have had finches, sparrows, cardinals, and many other beautifully colored birds. On occasion, there will be a hawk or ravens out there. My dogs usually keep the bigger birds away. The neighbors have ducks and in the summer, they all come to my place to eat grain and hang out. Have a good week, Cheers, AJ