Can you all help me?

Discussion in 'Geese' started by DUCKGIRL89, Oct 25, 2011.


    DUCKGIRL89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2011
    not this coming, spring but hopefully next, I want to be getting my hands on some gosslings from holderreads farm. I know I want some 1 pair of shetlands, and two pairs of blue american geese. But I want one more pair, but cant pick from ice lavenders americans, or pomeranian saddlepack geese. or should I just get a pair of each and be done? I was wondering if anyone here has pics of theres breeds from holderreads. I also have a few geese questions [​IMG]

    How much do geese eat in one day?
    What do they eat? Can they eat layer pellets?
    should I get top SQ or no?
    Do they get along with ducks? Can they be housed with them?
    Should I start out with 4 becuz eight might be a little much?
    What breeds should I get?! I totally want blue americans, but I cant pick another one?! Help!
    Thanks! I will be looking for pics! I want to read and learn as much as I can before I go and order them [​IMG]
  2. It is great that you are researching so early! That will be so helpful for you : ) There's lots of great information on here about all your questions . . . here's some basics, but you can do a search on each question that will turn up lots of information! Everyone has a slightly different way of doing things too - I enjoy finding out about different approaches.

    First of all, I ordered 8 American Buff Goslings from Metzers. I then found an adult pair of grey geese (probably Toulouse) locally. I fed the goslings free choice non medicated (important!) chick crumble as much as they could eat. I also was lucky enough to live on an organic farm with lots of grass so I'd give the babies a chunk of sod (scraped from our ever present concrete cracks) every day or so. They LOVED that, and it was funny to see them wrench at the grass with their little baby feet braced : ) I never measured food, but any basic goose book probably has exact measurements. I didn't have the adult pair until the buffs were mostly feathered out.

    Now as adults they love layer pellets once a day but will turn those down for better food - such as grass, apples, snacks from you, dandilions, watermelon . . . I don't measure their food - I can tell when they are done when there is food still left on the ground. Mainly my grown geese are rotated onto new areas of grass every week or so and they eat on that with great enthusiasm.

    My Buffs were raised with ducklings, and they will flock with the ducklings. The pair of adult Toulouse came when the ducklings were mostly grown, and they don't care one way or another about the ducks. As adults, both ducks and geese have little spats,) but they seem to coexist fine as long as they have enough space. Usually the ducks will travel around in a little flock and the geese will be with each other too, so space would definately help if you were going to have them together. The drakes have even chased a couple of the geese, but that is happening less as the geese mature.

    I would go with 4 instead of 8 to start with -- with 8 it is harder to give them all attention, they require larger grassy areas to feed on, and they make a mess more quickly. I love my geese, but I know I will want to keep some goslings next year, and since I already have 9 geese, it is going to be hard to keep very many before I have to buy more fencing . . . plus, i have yet to encounter breeding geese, and if all of them pair up that will make for a lot of nests / shelters / special goose areas next year . . . not to mention dealing with whatever behavior changes there are . . .

    I think top Show Quality only matters if you think you might want to show them , or if you have a local market for top quality birds that will also pay top quality prices. The coloring will be better/more regular on the Show Quality birds too. If you can spend the money though, and you want show quality, I don't think there is anything wrong with getting them for no reason but that they are what you want. I think breed choice is really a personal thing - everyone has a favorite breed or bird, and you should go with what interests you. I chose Buff American because they were one of the reportedly friendliest birds, I considered Pilgrim Geese for the same reason. Now I think I would get the Pilgrim because you can tell so quickly whether you have males or females - one of my goslings didn't make it and now I have an odd number . . . I'm pretty sure it was a female that died, but I guess I'll find out next spring. I don't have the time to get into showing, and I don't think there is much local interest in fancy geese so the Buff seemed like a nice compromise .

    Good luck on your goose research!

    DUCKGIRL89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2011
    Quote:Thank you for such wonderful advice! Im still quite young yet, and need a REAL job before I get them. So I need to wait a year or two. But I want to do this better then when I started with the ducks and jumped right into it before I even knew much. I reserched pictures of all these breeds and im now heart set on getting two pairs of Ice lavender goslings. I dont want to get to many and not be able to feed them, so I think I will start with 4 and if I want more I will keep some babies. Me and my friend in NC want to order some goslings from dave holderread, but she needs to wait a year or two. And I need to get a job, so I can make money to pay for them. The only difference in SQ, and the pet quality is like a $40 difference. So I think I will go with pet quality. I am now in LOVE with lavenders, and want my pairs RIGHT NOW! But I just got into ducks and stuff, so I need to prove to myself I can do ducks before I do any geese at all! Lol. I cant get the whole waterfowl thing out of my head! [​IMG] im super excited! But, gotta do the ducks before any geese..... Thanks again!
  4. Rosecomb-Ryan

    Rosecomb-Ryan East Indie Crazed

    Apr 12, 2008
    Sacramento CA
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
  5. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    I cant help with most of your questions..
    But as for how much they eat... my 3 seb geese eat a whole 9x13 casserole dish, of feed every night. (crumbles, purina flock raiser)
    There is usually a little bit left in the bottom... so thats how i know thay are getting enough feed daily...
    Plus, a few times a week i toss out scraps and greens for them and my pigs and chickens.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
  6. ShellySA

    ShellySA Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 18, 2011
    Hi Duckgirl
    I can see why you're so excited about your ducks - they're beautiful. We have geese and accidently ended up with a duck years ago, who completely stole my heart. He was a wild yellowbill duck orphaned at only a few days old, so we raised him. I have NEVER seen anything only 3 inches tall that could jump so high - he was like a locust. I swear he had springs in his feet. We called him Peeps (aka "Peepster, the Duck of Destiny") and he was a real sweetie - used to love running through the house next to me 'cos he knew it really was forbidden!........used to look up at me with this wicked smile on his face like "we're doing something SO naughty now, aren't we?" I missed him terribly when I decided to give him to someone with a small-holding and other ducks so that he could fly (we used to clip his wings) - but it was the right thing to do. He has a girlfriend of the same species now (a wild duck), flies away for days at a time, and is gradually becoming wilder. See my homepage for a picture of Peeps. Good luck with your geese - you are so lucky that you have access to so many breeds and can choose - I would love Lavenders or Pilgrims - we had to settle for real "backyard mongrels" that appeared to be mainly Embden, but probably with plenty else thrown in! We love them just the same. But they are a handful - start with just a few and keep some babies!

    DUCKGIRL89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2011
    Yes, I will have two seperate pens for them during breeding season. I wish I could just get a trio, but I also want two completly seperate vreeding lines. So I will go with two pairs.

    Wow they eat alot [​IMG]

    I will look at your page ShellySA I sure hes a beauty!

    Thanks again every one! You all helped me soooo much!
  8. Rosebud 18

    Rosebud 18 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    middle Tn
    I ordered a pair of pilgrims from Metzers in april bu tmy little female died about 2 weeks later and I was left with a gander. Metzers didn't have anymore pilgrims so I couldn't replace her. I looked everywhere that I knew to look and couldn't find a female pilgrim anywhere. I could have ordered an extra female when I placed my order but it was my first geese and I didn't want to get to many to start off. I would give anything if I had got the extra female if I had to do it over (with what I know now) I would have. I finally ordered a trio of toulouse and they are the sweetest and friendliest birds. They love to talk. They will run along beside me and chatter away. They don't like to be touched though. I'll be feeding them alfalfa hay too along with greens and table scraps.
    As far as food mine love to graze in the pasture. They don't like pellets or crumbles but will have to learn to like it when the grass is all gone. they can't eat anymore than my ducks they are really pigs.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
  9. 3dogs

    3dogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 12, 2009
    southern CA
    Since you are familiar with Holderread's website, you might want to go back to it and order his "Book of Geese". It will tell you a lot of what you need to know as you start out with geese. I have four of his toulouse and am very happy with them. I am hopeful of seeing some goslings from them next spring.
  10. rainy day ducks

    rainy day ducks Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 28, 2011
    Southeast Alaska
    The book of Geese is very helpful. There is also a British geese book by Ashton that is another good one to have. I really love my American Blue. I had a show quality pair but lost the female a few months ago. I will get more geese. Right now my goose is real lonely and thinks he is a duck. He sleeps and spends most of his time with the ducks. Most view him as the leader. The color is real nice on the show quality. I am not sure you know this but if you breed 2 Blues, you will get a mixture of Blue and Lavender Ice. If you breed Lavender Ice and Blue, you will get a mixture of both. If you breed 2 Lavender Ice, you will only get Lavender Ice. I would go with just 2 Blues or 1 Blue and 1 Lavender Ice.

    I don't know much about pom. saddlebacks but I do know that Shetlands are best kept in at least a trio. They are smaller geese and I have toyed around with getting them a few times but don't really have the space for that many additional geese. I would start off with four at first, especially since that is the minimum at Holderreads. You will fall in love with these birds. They are each unique and will likely bond to you better in smaller numbers. After your first year, you may have changed your mind about breeds or be satisfied with the amount you currently have.

    American Blues are wonderful geese! They are intelligent, friendly, calm, and mostly quiet. If you have specific questions that are not answered on this forum, you can always send an email to Holderreads. They are usually very busy but will get back to you.

    Good luck!

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