Originally Posted by cutechick2010
Originally Posted by Lund Poultry
For the same reason you NEVER feed horses treats from your hand! They become very aggressive and think they can push you around! ALL feed,grain,treats,snacks etc. are all fed in there feeders, bowls etc. This holds true for all of the animals on our property.
I have a couple of horses I board for a person and all they do is push her around, but then again she is the TREAT lady. I never give them anything but the grain in there dish and hay. They never even bother me at all. Horses are smart and so are geese. They will figure out the people they can push around and believe me they WILL do it.
Well yes, horses will figure out who they can push around and who they can't, but I don't think feeding them treats out of your hand has anything to do with that. Just because you feed them treats doesn't mean you have to put up with bad behavior. A good friend of mine has a seven year old stud that I hand feed all the time, but he knows if he gets snotty with me he is in trouble, and he backs right down as soon as I raise my voice.
I think some of these subtle grades of behavior have much to do with the experience level of the human, rather than being purely the instinctive wiring of the animal.
I think the observation about "lead goose eats first" is correct, at least it matches my observations. and if you are hand feeding them, you're telling them something basic they recognize by instinct "I'll let you eat first, you're lead goose". however, if you're an experienced handler, you can sometimes get away with rule breaking because you have the ability to recognize and quickly correct any behavior you don't want, even when the clues are subtle and the circumstances might be complex for the goose to understand. the message the goose *may* learn, if consistently and precisely applied, is "I'm lead goose, but I'll let you eat first under these circumstances provided you're delicate about it."
the difficulty comes in, I think, when you have either a handler who is inexperienced or inconsistent or a goose who's not into subltle and complex messages.
we don't hand feed our draft horses because a tiny error on their part is a broken finger on an adult, or a missing finger on a child. in addition, it makes them more likely to try other mouthy behaviors like grabing your jacket, or nipping you if you're irritating them. unfortunately we had to house them at a boarding facility for a few months, and they were quite the draw to all the nice horsey folks there who *could*not* be convinced that being so "lovey" with my draft horses wasn't a perfectly nice idea.
so now we have to *re*train them.
keep in mind that these are horses who so *clearly* respect me that I can shut down their 2200 lb full-tilt sprint out an open gate with a single step, a raised arm, and an authoritative "HEY!" even if they could easily get around (or over!) me. and they *never* lipped on me prior to the boarding facility. but now I've got one that will grab my clothes and head-swing as if to nip. <sigh>
yep, all that has to be addressed. <sigh>
my more sophistocated thinkers have figured it out - hand treats, but no jacket-lipping and nipping. my not so subtle thinkers have missed that ever-so-fine detail.
your goose, and your experience, dictate the end results, I think.
my suggestion? if you're not an experienced goose handler, skip the hand feeding until you are. then, judge according to the goose.