Cotton Patch or Pilgrims? What should I choose


13 Years
Nov 13, 2008
Salina, OK
We trying are focusing on rare heritage live stock on our small homestead. And I think geese will be the next thing we add, I'm trying to deside what breed I should go with, and where to get them from?
I am open to American Buffs, but I like the color combos of the sex linked breeds much better. I mite end up as a breeder of all three, for now I know I want to take things one breed at a time. What I'd really really like to get is the Cotton Patch. The only way I even knew about them was American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. And I want live birds, not eggs, I'm not up to trying to hatch my own yet.

I had geese befor, a mix of breeds picked up at the feed store. They came from Idea I'm sure. All were very nice birds are true to the breed. But those were just pets who ended up going to live with a lady who just wanted geese to watch on her pond.
Price is a big factor, but a high price for the birds I want would only slow me down, not stop me.

Also I'm thinking I would be better off to ordder sexed pairs, as I want breeding stock...any thoughts on that?

We have about 8 acers that we are going to fence off first {there is more}, it has a small pond and part of it is fenced already. I'd like to let them roam around that with the goats and horses, any one else let their geese free range? How about with pigs? We are going to get some in the next few years...guess thats all for now, thanks
If you want endangered breeds, then go with the Cotton Patch. I don't think there is anything rare about Pilgrims.

Yes, quality breeding stock costs money. If you are interesting in conserving a breed, buy the very best stock that you can afford to start with. Might as well save good ones as save junk. Sexed pairs are a very good way to start.

You might have trouble finding sexed pairs of Cotton Patch (as goslings)- there are many more people nowadays with them then there used to be, but still not tons, and not many who sell birds. If you are interested in them and want sexed pairs I would go with juveniles - although for either be prepared to shell out some $$, good ones are expensive. Pilgrims I don't know about, but if you do get them, just make sure you get them from a reputable dealer as I know there are some hatcheries that sell cross-bred ones which are no longer auto-sexing.

I can't compare them to the pilgrims, but the Cotton Patch I have are not at all aggressive (rarely in the breeding season). Though they are small, 11 lbs about at maturity.

Hope this helps
Not with Pigs! they will eat them if they catch them. Pigs will eat anything that they can knock down.
Pilgrims are the easy sex linked geese to get . Cotton Patch and Shetland really are rare and pricy but the trick is to find ones to buy....
The heritage pigs are more likely to eat poultry. It has nothing to do with being docile. It is about being a good forager.

I think that the Cotton Patch geese are also auto-sexing. You'll have to verify that. I don't raise Cotton Patch geese. I just like them because they come in Saddleback.
Yes, they come in two colors - Saddleback and Solid. Saddleback the female's are saddleback patterned brown and white, and the males are pure white, and solid the females are solid brown and the males are white with some grey on their rump. When goslings the female's down is darker, and the males have pure pink beaks.
Yeah thats what I was kind of worried about with the pigs...I've seen them out with goats befor, but I don't think I'd want them with the kids or anything else small. I'd think it would depend hog by hog, but I'd rather not risk it. They mite get to stay with my bucks. All we have right now are 3 dairy does, and trio of rabbits, and a patch of mostly untouched land. So there is a lot of planing going on now, and lots of room to change plans.

Not only are we trying to focus on rare, but breeds unique to North America. There are so meny, and that was one way to shorten the list.
I wouldn't have thought Pilgrims to be but they are listed here I like both for their auto-sexing, small size and sweet nature. I had a Pilgrim goose once, and liked her much better then the lager birds.
The only listing I found of Cottons for sell was $300 for 5 birds...that's a little over my head for now. We are building our house this year so that tends to go to the top of the list for some reason. I do want geese this year tho, I was even dreaming about them last night. So I think I'll start with Pilgrims or even Americans. I do still want Cotton Patch, and I'm sure they will be wort the wait.

We have a very nice dog {Catahoula} that already keeps the goats and chickens safe from coons and other small animals. He is even friends with a wild deer.

Thank you all for the info, and thank you scratch'n'peck for the link.

One more thing. Does anyone let geese into the garden from time to time to weed eat? I wouldn't mind if they took a sample of the things I plant, but if there is a crop they would tare into it wouldn't be worth it.
Not with Pigs! they will eat them if they catch them. Pigs will eat anything that they can knock down.
Pilgrims are the easy sex linked geese to get . Cotton Patch and Shetland really are rare and pricy but the trick is to find ones to buy....

My pigs can catch me and they dont eat me!

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