‘Dried leaves are like potato chips for them’: Goats feast on Christmas trees at Fields Farm

Last year, Fields Farm received 100 trees. Owner Brent Fields believes they may hit that mark once again.
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Posted at 6:58 PM, Jan 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-07 09:11:09-05

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. — The eight goats at Fields Farm on Buth Drive NE love bread. When owner Brent Fields walked up to the gate on Friday morning with a bag of sliced bread and pulled one out, they immediately swarmed him.

However, lately, they’ve been munching on Christmas trees too, he said.

“They’ll eat anything but they like the trees,” Fields said. “Dried leaves are like potato chips for them. I don’t know anything they won’t eat.”

Fields recently opened his farm to become a dropoff site for anyone who wants to get rid of their Christmas tree. He said they get a tree about every two days. Currently, there’s a pile of a couple dozen lying on the ground near the farm’s enclosure.

Deb Jones added to the pile on Friday afternoon.

“It was on Facebook. So we thought it was a good idea,” said Jones, who drove in from Grand Rapids. “It feels good rather than throwing it to the trash or recycle.”

Fields added that it’s also healthy for the goats because it’s a natural dewormer. He said they tend to take a few bites, walk away, and then return to take a few more bites before walking away again.

Last year, they got 100 trees. He’s thinking they may reach that mark again.

“The more the merrier. We’re not looking to go pick them up,” Fields said. “People have reached out and said, ‘Hey, you can come grab my tree if you want.’ But that’s not what we’re doing. But, it’s certainly is a place where we can help recycle, you know, earth.”

And if there’s any that the goats didn’t eat, then he’ll chop them up later in the year, he said.

“Just a free service for the community that I live in,” Fields said. “Love to help. So, no charge. Easy to drop in, drop out. People are coming in and out all the time. And we’re going to keep doing it. We’ll do it again next year.”

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