Actually, a goose question :-)

Discussion in 'Geese' started by gooselover, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. gooselover

    gooselover New Egg

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    Hi everyone

    I have a 6-8 year old goose (a gander). It's kind of an unusual situation because I've kept him as a house-pet ever since I've had him (for about 6-7 years) and am very much in love with him. He is always there for me, "talks" to me, grooms me and quite a few times he's even slept me. So yes, I guess I'm an odd-ball but to each their own I guess.

    Anyway, the main reason I am posting this is because I have a few questions and would be very appreciative of any input I can get.

    1) Since I've had this goose, he has gone through many moults. I really haven't kept tabs on exactly when his moults begin, how long they last or where he first begins to lose feathers, etc but when he's done moulting, he always looks like a brand new bird. This time however, he seems to have gone through a never-ending moult. At first the flight feathers began falling out and then new feathers sprouted and grew. Then I'd see smaller feathers and puffs of down all over the place like a feathery snow-storm. Then, I noticed he was always grooming (but not plucking) his belly feathers and seemed to be particulary obcessed with doing this. About 3 months later, he is still doing this and is still losing feathers. I should add that he is not plucking or going bald (the feathers are moulting naturally)...it's just that for whatever reason, this time it seems to be taking forever. Has anyone else ever experienced this?. Is it normal?. If not, what could be going on here and is there anything I can do?.

    2) I used a foam sealant to plug several holes in the house last year. I would always hear crunching sounds when I'd leave him alone and go into another room. One day I found out what those crunching noises were. My goose was eating the foam sealant!. I could see him chewing and when I felt his throat, he had a lump in it. I could also see bits of it falling out of his beak. I have since removed all of the foam sealant but I have a feeling that he has been eating it for awhile now. He is eating, drinking and pooping normally and is full of energy but should I be worried?.

    3) Being an indoor bird, he gets some sun-light but not as much as an outdoor bird. I feed him a combination of lettuce, apple, banana, cucumber, bread and corn on the cob once every day in the afternoon and then lamb and goat pellets with water in the evening. I give him as much water as he wants and give him saltine crackers as treats. I also let him bathe in the tub. I gave him vitamin/mineral fortified grit at one time but have to admit that I have been lax about this lately. Is there anything I am missing in his diet?. Because he doesn't get all the sunshine an outdoor bird would should I give him a vitamine D supplement?. He weighs the same as he did when I first got him but his eye look somewhat "sunken in" and he looks skinny...could the diet, not as much sunshine, etc have anything to do with this and what can I do (or should I be doing?).

    I just want to say in advance that I can see where someone might think I'm a bit of an odd-ball. There are other people out there who have house geese, other unusual house pets and even a number of people who keep horses in their house so while I'm in the proverbial "minority", I'm actually not the only one and am hoping for a productive conversation here and very much welcome it :). Obviously I love and care about my bird or I wouldn't be here taking the time to ask for advice. Having said that, I welcome any constructive, helpful, advice and am very grateful for it!.

    Thanks so much, GooseLover
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    If there is anyway you could give him access to sunlight and grass for foraging that might help. 7 years indoors with no natural sunlight or natural forage may have caught up with his metabolism.
     
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    And I might add he needs grit to help break down his food. and why lamb-goat pellets? I don't think your strange at all I have an indorr duck, but he can come and go as he pleases, so he gets as much sunshine and play time out of doors as he wants which is alot right now since he is 9months old and has girl friends outside. But I am a little worried about your gooses diet, I also have a gander who lives outside with the rest of my ducks and i can't imagine him eating anything you listed but the Romaine lettuce and bread which he gets in very small amounts. well he can eat all the lettuce he wants. but he does get to forage and I think that is very important for geese. And from the way you say he looks in his eyes and skinny I'd say he is missing something very important in his diet. I would def. add vitamins Theres a product called Poultry Nutri Drench that is got amino acids, vitamins and is made for our feathered friends. I give it to my flock not full strength but just to give them a boost in their water a couple times a week. If you could let him have some out door time I think that would help him alot. Sunshine is so good for all of us. And maybe get him feed made for water fowl or maybe Purina Flock Raiser pellets it's for water fowl also.
     
  4. jynxster

    jynxster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thinking you are not strange at all, you love your little buddy, but as said before here,he needs to do natural goose things regarding his diet. He needs to graze on grass as much as he likes and I too not sure about your lamb pellets. Talk to a vet before he is too ill. Something here is missing I think. Also the home sealant is a real issue ver VERY TOXIC. call a vet. good luck, signed: fellow gooseaholic :)
     
  5. The goose girl

    The goose girl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Joining in on the diet issue.

    If you don't have a lawn, maybe you can get some fresh grass from someone who has one? My goose has mowed our lawn almost down to dirt, but I take my battery operated mower to other people's lawns and ask them if they can spare some grass.Most are happy with a free mowing, and the goose is exhilarated when I bring him back a bucket of freshly cut grass. Also, it keeps him occupied for hours, sorting through the bits he wants and the bits he doesn't want (like fallen leaves).

    Also, do remember the grit. Without it, he can't process any food properly. Maybe you can keep a bucket of sand/gravel mix and let him have free access to it? My goose loves sand; he'll dig through it for a long time to find that perfect grain he wanted.

    "Don't worry what people think. They don't do it very often." [​IMG]
     
  6. I cant help with the goose but your Not weird, in fact I envy you, im trying to get my mom to let me sleep with my rooster!!!!!!!!! I want agoose to imprint, hopefully this year ill get a nice goosey
     
  7. mominoz

    mominoz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Flockraiser by Purina or a waterfowl food (Mazuri makes one) would be better. The lamb,goat pellet may have too much salt or an imbalance in calcium, ,etc. Buy "Storeys guide to Geese" and they have how to mix your own feed and what mineral balances they need.If you are feeding him a light colored lettuce it it not very healthy for him, also if it is white bread that is pretty much junk food. Corn can make geese fat around their organs etc. They are grazers, you'd do better to feed him an alfalfa pellets if that is all they have. Maybe some good horse hay to nibble on. The best thing for him is good grass.... and they need some kind of grit/sand etc. to help digest food. The molting could be because like an indoor dog, they don't have "seasonal" change so their system is confused. But I also think it may be a nutritional issue...(the insulation is water over the bridge, not much you can do about it, it is either gone or in the tissues...) Be careful about grass or feedstuffs that have been sprayed with lots of chemicals....
     
  8. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I give my entire flock Nutrena "All Flock" which is 18 % protein and intended for, well, all flock members. I have chickens of all ages, ducks, and geese.

    Light lettuce like iceberg is fairly low in any nutrional value - the "good" lettuces are Romaine and other, darker leafed lettuce. I hang a green cabbage on a cord from a shepherd's hook in the yard a couple times a week for my flock and the geese love it. They try to keep the chickens from getting any....

    Salt is very bad for poultry. A couple of Saltines every day is about all you can risk with your gander; if there are other salts in his food, it could be too much.

    I don't think you're particularly odd, even though I don't have house chickens, ducks or geese. I do think your gander does need to forage, and he may very well need some nutritional supplements. The suggestion of obtaining cut grass from a neighbor is a great one (just make sure they don't use pesticides on it).

    What we all REALLY want is a photo of your beloved gander!
     

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