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weeder geese

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I currently have a small flock of chickens with the intent they would help with weeds, bugs and fertilize in my garden.  But, I've just discovered these 'weeder geese' and I'm wondering if there really is such a thing.  Could I actually have geese roam the garden, eat the weeds and bugs and not bother my crops too much?  Could they range with chickens mostly?  Do I limit their time in the garden?  We currently have dogs who like the chickens too much...... ya, know for lunch.  So we're practicing mutual exclusion right now.  A hot chicken net is in our future plan, would geese do well to range with the chickens inside the net or do I need a separate area.   Would the geese guard the chickens, I don't have a rooster.  Do I need a pair and if so do I need a male/female pair or could I get female/female or male/male pair. I'm not really interested in fertile eggs.  Our garden is pretty big but less than 1/4 acre, how many geese could weed a garden that size?  Is there really a breed called 'weeder geese' or is it just a term for a mixed breed.  I know that is a bunch of questions, sorry about that, I just really don't know a thing about geese.

Thanks!
twead

post #2 of 7

These might be of interest to you. smile

http://extension.missouri.edu/publications/DisplayPub.aspx?P=G8922

http://www.metzerfarms.com/UsingWeederGeese.cfm

It depends on what you have growing in your garden, I guess, and they wouldn't eat any bugs.

Oh, I just found this thread.      http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=116596&p=1


Edited by fowltemptress - 3/4/10 at 12:34am
Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die.
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Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die.
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post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by fowltemptress 

These might be of interest to you. smile

http://extension.missouri.edu/publications/DisplayPub.aspx?P=G8922

http://www.metzerfarms.com/UsingWeederGeese.cfm

It depends on what you have growing in your garden, I guess, and they wouldn't eat any bugs.

Oh, I just found this thread.      http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=116596&p=1


Excellent links!

Quack addict and animal lover.

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Quack addict and animal lover.

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post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by twead 

I currently have a small flock of chickens with the intent they would help with weeds, bugs and fertilize in my garden.  But, I've just discovered these 'weeder geese' and I'm wondering if there really is such a thing.  Could I actually have geese roam the garden, eat the weeds and bugs and not bother my crops too much?  Could they range with chickens mostly?  Do I limit their time in the garden?  We currently have dogs who like the chickens too much...... ya, know for lunch.  So we're practicing mutual exclusion right now.  A hot chicken net is in our future plan, would geese do well to range with the chickens inside the net or do I need a separate area.   Would the geese guard the chickens, I don't have a rooster.  Do I need a pair and if so do I need a male/female pair or could I get female/female or male/male pair. I'm not really interested in fertile eggs.  Our garden is pretty big but less than 1/4 acre, how many geese could weed a garden that size?  Is there really a breed called 'weeder geese' or is it just a term for a mixed breed.  I know that is a bunch of questions, sorry about that, I just really don't know a thing about geese.

Thanks!
twead


The links will give you an answer to most of your questions about using geese for weeding, I want to address the breed issue. Weeder Geese (now named Cotton Patch are what is called a landrace breed. a group of birds that have been fairly isolated from the stock they were bred from and sometimes for a special purpose. When the special need has disappeared sometimes the flocks will be kept and bred within their own group despite the fact that that are no longer used for the original purpose. Most of the chicken breeds that are kept and shown these days were actually made obsolete by factory farms. cornish x rock crosses which were once considered the most effecient Meat chickens have been replaced by 3 generation hybrids ( in other words the chicken you find in supermarkets ) were produced by a planned cross (hybrids) from a male line with a female line but both the lines were produced by planned crosses from their parents. so there is at least 4 breeds involved, 2 to produce the hen line and 2 to produce the rooster line that were the parents of the bird you eat. since you ate them they don't get a chance to reproduce themselves. I don't know about egg laying chickens but I assume it is the same deal.
Those turkeys in the meat cases are a bit simpler. Those broad breasted turkeys are to big to mate so the mother birds are all 'Mated" by AI!! According to the APA all turkeys are one true breed and the differences were selected by custom in different areas of the country.

That gets us back to Cotton Patch geese, they were developed from isolated flocks around the South that all showed a set of traits that were not known together in orther breeds. The name came about because when their owners were asked about them they answered that they were left overs from when Pappy used to use them to keep the weeds out of the Cotton Patch.
I used to use a China x African cross for weeders. Chinas for being light weight with long necks and Africans due to their large size would would eat more weeds per day, than the Chinas. They worked fine though they did have a tendency to eat the flowers off the rose bushes.

~gd  Backyard ducks and geese.
Amprolium medicated feed is SAFE for waterfowl! Your money, your waterfowl, your Choice.
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~gd  Backyard ducks and geese.
Amprolium medicated feed is SAFE for waterfowl! Your money, your waterfowl, your Choice.
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post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

thanks for all the great info, y'all are the best. 

Anyone want to comment on whether geese can be kept with the chickens when they aren't weeding?

post #6 of 7

they can but correct me if im rong but you should seperate them on breeding season and feed them before your chickens ?

post #7 of 7

I have 28 chickens, couldn't keep them out of the garden, they ate EVERYTHING, except the weeds...

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