Getting rid of your Christmas tree? This goat farmer can put it to good use
Add Christmas trees to the long list of unusual snacks goats enjoy.
The prickly plant typically adorned with lights and ornaments in December can actually have health perks for goats — and one Dauphin County farmer is asking for those who still need to get rid of their Christmas trees to drop them off at her farm.
“It's a win-win," said Kim Batz, co-owner of Batz Farm. “They take it as a treat, and it helps get rid of the trees and recycle them."
Pine needles are high in vitamin C and are jam-packed with antioxidants. Additionally, Christmas trees are proven to serve as a natural dewormer for livestock.
People can drop off a tree any time to the East Hanover Township farm, located at 45 Bullfrog Road. Batz and her husband, Mike, set up a wagon at the bottom of the driveway that anybody can throw their tree into.
Batz Farm, which produces beef and pork products, also dabbles in goat entertainment: Baby goat cuddling sessions and goat yoga, for example, draw large crowds.
So, with 60 hungry goats who've taken a liking to the taste of pine needles and sappy tree bark — how could Batz turn the opportunity away?
She took to Facebook last year for the first annual tree drive — and received about 80 to 100 trees last year. So far this year, she's received about 30 trees, with more on the way. Some people drop off Christmas trees as late of February, she said.
"They eat the needles and bark and leave the trunk," Batz said. "We ground the trunk into mulch, so the whole tree gets used."
Batz Farm got its start in 2019 as a source of fundraising for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Eventually, it grew into a full-fledged business.
Goats, specifically, helped Batz Farm take off in popularity.
“It's actually grown on its own, especially through 2020," Batz said. "We had these cute adorable animals that people could safely be outside and hold."
Though goat snuggling didn't initially take off, once photos on social media popped up — the Batz goats booked up immediately.
Goat activities are booked seasonally, and particularly when babies are born. Individuals who want to stay up to date on Batz Farm's upcoming events can visit https://www.facebook.com/BatzFarm/.
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