Adopting semi-feral geese

Discussion in 'Geese' started by dustbath, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. dustbath

    dustbath Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2008
    Washington County, NY
    I'm hoping someone can give me some advice about taking care of geese.

    A neighbor died a few years ago and his family released his flock of geese onto a nearby pond. A group of us have been feeding them in the winters but over the years, most of them have been killed by predators (coyotes) and cars.

    There are now only 2 left and I'd like to bring them home but I have no experience with geese or water fowl (I have chickens). I'm thinking of keeping them in a house inside my neighbor's barn. The barn is fairly derelict and has a large open door, so I think they would need to be protected inside it. I was thinking of building a house out of 6 pallets wired together, using one as a door. I would let them out during the day and lock them up at night.

    I have a few questions:

    Would this housing method work?

    Given that the geese now live in the wild, will they return to the house at night? Do you keep them penned in for a few days to teach them to return home at night, like chickens? If so, how long?

    I understand that they need a lot of water. How much? How long can they go without water (if it freezes in winter, for example)?

    Do they have to have water to swim/splash in during the summer? If so, how big a pool would they need?

    Anything else I should keep in mind? It will be a bit of a treck to the barn and there's no electricity or running water there, so I'll be hauling everything myself.

    Many thanks!!
     
  2. nettie

    nettie Enslaved by Indoor Ducks

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    Nov 20, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    how close do you live to your nieghbor's pond? if they can get to it fairly easily, they will probably go back to it. I'm not sure as to whether keeping them inside will teach them to come back.

    Any idea what kinda of geese they are (if not, what do they look like)? how big are your pallets? (what would the square footage be?)

    The geese will learn to trust you if you feed them. they'll associate you with food, esp yummy foods like leafy greens or perhaps some fruit.

    Geese don't need a big pond, a kiddie pool usually does the trick. As long as it doesn't freeze, the geese will play in it all winter. (breaking ice, and dumping out ice and re watering, or get a heater)

    I don't have geese personal, so that's really all i can offer
     
  3. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member

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    They will learn to be barnyard geese again, given time and attention. Bless you for taking them in and keepig them safe.
     
  4. dustbath

    dustbath Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2008
    Washington County, NY
    THanks for the replies!

    I'm about 6 miles from the pond, so I don't think they'll return to it. There is a stream by the barn but it freezes in winter.

    It's not really feasible for me to supply them with a pool of water in the winter, as I would have to carry the water from my house to the barn. I could replenish their drinking water several times a day (assuming a bucket would be enough for two geese) but it would freeze pretty quickly. There's no running water or electricity within reach of the barn so I couldn't use a heater.

    I think they're toulouse geese. THe ones remaining are mainly white but the others had distinctive toulouse-type coloring.

    Thanks again!
     
  5. dustbath

    dustbath Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Washington County, NY
    I forgot to add that the pallets would be a standard size: probably 4 feet by 4 feet.
     
  6. danischi24

    danischi24 Loves naked pets

    Aug 17, 2008
    Australia
    Why not just keep them at your house? All they need is shelter from predators at night & they only need drinking water in winter. Feeding them everyday should make them tame but remember to clip their wings after you get them or they will just fly straight back to the pond again.
     
  7. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member

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    Domestic geese, including Toulouse can't fly. They try to get the wind under their wings and act like it but they won't get more than a few inches off the ground. [​IMG]
    A couple buckets of water is fine for drinking and semi bathing.
     
  8. dustbath

    dustbath Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2008
    Washington County, NY
    Maybe it's because they've been living wild for several years but these geese fly surprisingly well. I've seen them go several hundred yards (at low altitude). Then they peter out. I can't see them making it the 6 miles back to the pond, though.

    I would keep them closer to home than the neighbor's barn but I don't really have room and my family have strong feelings about geese and the yard.
     

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