Ten miles south of Reno, 40 goats are having a post-Christmas feast, eating trees. A company called Goat Grazers is working with the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District to collect trees dropped off at fire stations in Verdi, Spanish Springs, Washoe Valley and Cold Springs.
The goal is to keep trees from being illegally dumped in the desert. Goat Grazers owner, Vince Thomas says the goats eat only the needles, which tastes like candy to them.
“Goats work a lot, they’re great employees, they enjoy coming to work, all they will do is eat and eat and eat and once they are done eating they still think they are hungry," says Thomas.
Stripped of their needles, the trees will be used for firewood. Thomas says he's losing money on the program because it costs more in gasoline to collect the trees than he is saving in feed, but he says its worth it to prevent dumping.
He expects to feed the goats hundreds of trees by the end of the program Jan. 9.