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Petting zoo asks for old Christmas trees to feed goats

NEW ERA, Mich. (AP) — That old Christmas tree may look like garbage to you once the holidays are over, but it looks like something else to a goat: Dinner.

So the folks at the 700-acre Lewis Farms & Petting Zoo in the western Michigan community of New Era are asking area residents to let them turn the trees into feasts for their goats, BamBam, Becca and twins Bubba and Gump.

The farm owners say once the trees are stripped of ornaments, lights and tinsel, their needles are a healthy meal full of vitamins that help control worms in the goats. And more importantly, at least to the goats, they're delicious.

"The goats can devour a tree in a matter of minutes," Cindy Lewis, who owns Lewis Farms with her husband, Scott, told the Detroit Free Press . "They get very excited."

The zoo has about 30 goats and has been asking for and accepting tree donations for years.

"Goats are the very best at eating," zoo spokeswoman Jenny Ferels said. "They never get full."

The zoo also has a donkey, a pair of camels, lemurs, wallabies, peacocks and other animals. It will accept trees through the end of January.

"Rather than take your tree to the curbside or the dump, just spread that Christmas cheer just a little bit further and make some goats happy," Ferels said.

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Information from: Detroit Free Press, http://www.freep.com

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