Broody goose dilemma - is it a good idea to let her hatch chicks? If so: to move or build new shelte


7 Years
May 17, 2015
Isle of Skye
Here is my situation:

I have had a trio of geese (they are two pairs now, I had to get a second gander when mating season started, as the first gander decided he only wanted one girlfriend and kept chasing the other goose away.) as well as 7 chickens since last fall living in my vegetable garden in a 9x8ft hoop coop. The plan was to move them out to rotational grazing this weekend so I can start planting my garden.

The second pair had been sleeping in the big barn, since the first gander wouldn't let them into the coop, so I would escort them over at bed time.

Now the second goose has started setting on Friday inside the hoop coop. She is actually sitting on chicken eggs, since she had mostly laid her eggs in the morning in the big barn and I had been taking them for eating, not expecting her to actually want to sit. The first goose went broody in April and she sort of started setting, but got up for long periods of time and gave it up after a few days.

None of my hens is showing a sign of going broody, so I figured I might try and let the goose hatch some chicks.

My first question: Is that a good idea? Will the goose and gander try to raise the chicks as goslings (as in trying to get them to swim and such?) or will the hens adopt the chicks once they are hatched?

If it does sound like a feasible plan, how do I reclaim my vegetable garden for planting?

I could try to move the goose to the big barn, but it isn't well ventilated and while I figured it was ok for just night time, I wouldn't want her to be in there nonstop for the next 3 weeks. It might also break her from being broody.

I don't have time to build a second big coop, but I figured I could possibly build a small shelter for her and her mate, move the big coop out of the garden while she is out eating and replace it with the small shelter. Will that freak her out?

This way I would have the chickens and second pair of geese away and poor Lily could have peace and quiet in the garden - apart from me fussing around planting. Her mate is mostly guarding her, so I think he would be easy to keep away from my fresh beds.
I had to lock them in today, because the other pair was trying to chase her from the nest while her mate was having a bath, so the chickens and second pair are free ranging right now (rural property with acreage). They have all been mostly supervised free ranging (as in I only let them out when I'm home and keep checking on them frequently when I'm not outside) since the snow melted, so they are fine for now, but I still need to find a shelter solution for them. For the last couple of nights the chickens were in the hoop coop with Miss Broody, which apparently worked fine and the other pair went into the barn, because they wouldn't leave her alone, so I can do that again for the next couple of days as I'm going to be home.

I am going to be out most of Tuesday however, so I'll need to figure out an enclosed daytime solution by then. I have plenty of wood as well as metal piping from a collapsed car shelter that I used to build the hoop coop with.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,


ETA: I should also mention the hoop coop isn't really rat proof, as it is sitting on straw bales that have gone quite ratty over the winter, as the inhabitants have been chewing and fiddling with them.
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