So, I just paid an enormous price for my Christmas goose from a local farmer. $76 (CAN) for a 12.8 lb bird. And on the way home, hubby says, "And why couldn't we talk to "(friend with acreage who also likes to roast a goose)" and see about raising our own meat birds. It's gotta be cheaper than what we paid today!"
We are new-last-summer chicken ranchers with a 6 bird backyard flock of layers (3 Delaware, 3 RIR's) and no experience at all with geese. In a nutshell, what do I need to know about geese to help me make a decision?
Can they be raised from chick to butchering in one season like meat chickens?
How does the workload compare to chickens?
Can they co-habit with chickens?
Any breed suggestions?
Would a flock of 8-12 be a reasonable size between two families?
Are they bought as day old chicks like chickens, or can they be purchased a bit bigger?
To raise big ones (10+ lbs) do we have to raise males?
If they overwinter, we live in cold Central Ontario - any major winter issues?
Thanks for any insights you wish to share. This would be a project to look at for next year, so I have a while to ponder...