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Are guard-geese a thing?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

So I have heard and read from Joel Salatin and some websites that guard geese will help protect chickens from aerial predators like hawks and owls. Since we lost a few chickens on pasture to hawks a few years back, we thought we'd try the goose thing. It took a couple of attempts to get the geese to adulthood, but our geese never took to guarding chickens. We raised them adjacent to a chicken yard for their first 4 months, then when we mixed them in with the chickens they simply terrorized the chickens. After a few weeks of trying, we got tired of seeing our chickens stressed out by the aggressive geese. Kept the geese in winter quarters all last year while the chickens were on pasture. This past winter when I brought the chickens back to the winter coop we tried mingling the chickens and geese. The geese actually killed three chickens in the span of about two days.

 

So before we try this experiment again, I thought I'd ask if guard geese are a real thing...or do I need to have the geese separated from the chickens (and will that deter the hawks)?

 

Appreciate any thoughts.

 

Who Is John Galt?

post #2 of 6
Nope. No such thing as "guard geese". There are watch geese that people like to have because they start screaming every time something comes into the yard whether it be a person, dog, car, leaf, the sun, etc. But geese need to be treated like every other kind of fowl. They are generally defenseless to anything with teeth and claws/talons, and will only protect their own family (which often does not work anyways). They also will most likely do more harm than good to chickens, mainly because of the size difference.

They MAY deter Hawks and small predators from coming into the yard... But a hungry enough animal will do anything to survive, and that includes killing geese. Even a house cat can kill a goose.
R.I.P. Pear, you'll always be in my heart. Fly over that rainbow bridge for me.
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R.I.P. Pear, you'll always be in my heart. Fly over that rainbow bridge for me.
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post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt View Post
 

So I have heard and read from Joel Salatin and some websites that guard geese will help protect chickens from aerial predators like hawks and owls. Since we lost a few chickens on pasture to hawks a few years back, we thought we'd try the goose thing. It took a couple of attempts to get the geese to adulthood, but our geese never took to guarding chickens. We raised them adjacent to a chicken yard for their first 4 months, then when we mixed them in with the chickens they simply terrorized the chickens. After a few weeks of trying, we got tired of seeing our chickens stressed out by the aggressive geese. Kept the geese in winter quarters all last year while the chickens were on pasture. This past winter when I brought the chickens back to the winter coop we tried mingling the chickens and geese. The geese actually killed three chickens in the span of about two days.

 

So before we try this experiment again, I thought I'd ask if guard geese are a real thing...or do I need to have the geese separated from the chickens (and will that deter the hawks)?

 

Appreciate any thoughts.

 

Who Is John Galt?

 

As Carrosaur said, geese are great at alerting you that something's up. Mine love to inform the whole area that a human has just stepped out of the house or that one of us is coming up the road. They can even tell the difference between our vehicles and the neighbors before they're even visible from our property! Guarding though? Nope!

 

I've lost 5 chickens to hawks this year and they were all killed in the same pasture as my geese and ducks. I didn't get the geese to guard and I have plenty of chickens to spare, so it was no big deal to me. Thankfully mine have never tried to kill any of the chickens.

 

My recommendation would be to invest in an LGD.

American Buff Geese - Welsh Harlequin Ducks - Alpacas

 

Waterfowl for Meat Production Thread

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American Buff Geese - Welsh Harlequin Ducks - Alpacas

 

Waterfowl for Meat Production Thread

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post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by bramblefir View Post


My recommendation would be to invest in an LGD.

Yep, this. I have a Great Pyrenees who is an awesome LGD. Find a reputable working dog breeder that already has the pups around poultry.
R.I.P. Pear, you'll always be in my heart. Fly over that rainbow bridge for me.
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R.I.P. Pear, you'll always be in my heart. Fly over that rainbow bridge for me.
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post #5 of 6

I hatched my pair of embdens specifically to be "yard guards" after having my flock repeated ravaged by coyotes, coons and eagles.  that was 2 years ago and since then I have only lost one bird to an eagle.  I've seen other predators on the outskirts of the property but no more problems, and coyote attacks used to literally be a daily occurrence.  They will actively pursue dogs and send them packin so they're def more than just watchers but as far as the other predators, it's probably just the insane amount of commotion that keeps them away--I'm sure if a coyote really got it in his mind to nab a bird it would happen. Maybe not without a fight, but, still. As far as getting along with the flock, they free range throughout the day with the chickens but are housed separately at night and while they will grab a hold of a hen once in a while and pull a few feathers out, they leave them alone for the most part. To be honest though they are super mess, shed feathers all over the yard and have been getting pretty human aggressive so it's kind of a pain, but I appreciate their willingness to alert me when something is amiss and that's worth it to me lol

post #6 of 6
Coyotes also will learn that excited honking is followed by a 12ga sabot.
Edited by Vosh Sahaal - 4/2/16 at 7:24pm
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