duck vs geese vs swan

Discussion in 'Geese' started by crua9, May 19, 2017.

  1. crua9

    crua9 New Egg

    May 19, 2017
    I'm looking at getting 150+ acres of land with a few acre pond. I'm looking at getting a few different bird types to run around on that land and be more than less a security alarm. But I'm also looking at getting some pet ducks, geese, and/or swans.

    The birds I'm looking at getting so far for security reasons is
    • Peacocks (I'm checking the exotic laws in NC for this one, and if there is any restriction on them)
    • Guineas (this and the peacocks are more for security)
    I'm looking at all the birds to live outside or in their own homes. I'm not looking at having them live or come inside the house. I'm looking at maybe having a barn to be built for them so they all have a safe place to go to, and a place to hang out during the winter months.

    I know the security birds will live outside with no real problem. However, I'm not sure if ducks, geese, and swans will fly away at a moments notice. Or if they will pretty much stay on the property, and use their homes when they want.
    I know I have to feed and water them. The pond is fresh water, it is a natural pond, and there is fish living in it. There is even a small water way that runs on the back of the property. So worst comes to worst, they have that.

    Also can these birds in question act as security alarms? Will they all get along? Will the birds in question mess up my garden (due to the size of the land and because I can. I think I'm going to grow as much as I can on an acre or 2 of the land. The rest I'm renting out to grape farms or to other types of farms.)

    It will most likely be a few years before I get them. Right now I'm just doing some research on them before I go down that path. I've had house birds when I was little. But I never had enough land to have outside animals like that. Oh and it's possible I might get 2 or 3 chickens. But I'm not sure since I heard geese lay a ton of eggs.
    Lastly, my biggest attraction to geese is I heard they are like dogs.
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchi Wan Kenobi Premium Member

    Mar 27, 2012
    My Coop
    Geese can sound off when they see something they don't like, yes. Mine alert at the sight of a predator or when they see a stranger. If that's the type of thing you're expecting, then they might work for you. They will need a coop to live in, yes. They need to be closed up securely each night to keep them safe from predators, which is true of all the birds on your list. They also need a place to get out of inclement weather.

    They will not fly off if you choose a domestic breed. Domestic breeds have been bred over many years so that they cannot fly.

    Geese are not really prolific egg layers if you want eggs all year round. They lay seasonally. They lay in a nest until they feel they have enough, and then they go broody and hatch them. If you want year round egg producers, ducks or chickens are a better bet in that department.

    They're definitely not like dogs. Can they form bonds with you and enjoy your company? Yes. Will they show you unswerving loyalty and welcome you picking them up and petting them? Probably not, no. I have a very sweet female that imprinted on me as a gosling. She likes me, comes over to see me in the yard, will take bread from my hand, and allows me to pet her chest while she's chewing on my hair (a habit she picked up as a baby). She will let me reach under her while she's on a nest to check her eggs without making a fuss. Does she like me to pick her up? Absolutely not. Does she prefer other geese to me? Yep, and I'm not offended. She's a goose, and if she'd rather hang with her goose friends than follow me all around the yard while I'm out there, that's fine.

    As for guineas, I own them too. And they sure can be loud. But they're not really going to act as a security alarm because they like to start screaming for no reason at all, as far as I can tell. They'll start shouting their heads off and I'll peak outside to see...nothing.

    I don't think peafowl are really what you would call alarm birds either. The males are exceedingly loud, but that's during breeding season when they're calling for mates. I don't think they do that when spotting danger.

    Swans I have no experience with, except I can tell you that they can and will fly if not pinioned and can be extremely territorial. If you put them on a pond they may not allow anything else on there, even other ducks and geese that you keep.
    jtn42248 and The goose girl like this.
  3. crua9

    crua9 New Egg

    May 19, 2017
    This is what I mean. Since the land is so big, I want to use animals like bird to get my attention when people walk on the property. The only thing I'm worried with is I'm going to rent part of the land for cash crop, a ton of it the local wine makers are going to grow grapes on it, and so on. I'm worried that they will act up when they are on the land.
    Do they go after them? I heard of the guineas chasing off animals, so I figure they might do the same to people.

    What I mean is I heard is they will play with toys, some will run up to you if they haven't seen you in a while, and they will keep an eye out.

    You mention that some don't fly. The pond is about a quarter mile or less from where I'm thinking their house will be. Is that too far for them to walk? I kinda like the idea of it following me out to the pond while I go fishing or go on a row boat.

    This isn't a major problem. The biggest thing I want them for is I read they go after snakes and other things. I know they might not go after everything during their walk. But a little help with that might be worth while I think. Even more so since I will have martin bird houses, and I've dealt with several snakes getting caught in the net around the bird pole last year.

    Thanks for the heads up. I use to live in FL, and there was some wild in the city I was at. I thought some of the calling might have been because of some situation. But IDK.
    I'm 50/50 on them. I might end up getting them, and selling them off as new ones come about since they go for a high price. But again, I'm 50/50 on this.

    Thanks for the heads up. If that is the case, then swans are off the table. One of my hopes is by having geese and ducks out at the pond. This will attract wild ducks and geese to the pond once in a while.

    How are geese and ducks in the garden? One of the things I'm trying to figure out is if I would need to fence off the area or not. Also, how are peacocks in the garden?
    From my understanding, guineas mostly go after the bugs. However, they can cause problems with fruit plants like tomatoes. Is this true in your experience?
  4. Tenrec

    Tenrec Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2017
    Pyxis pretty much said it all.

    Geese will only lay eggs about 3-4 months out of the year, so if you're looking for a steady supply of eggs, you will have to rely on ducks or chickens. That being said, there is NOTHING tastier than a goose egg. They're very impressive. They make terrible meringues, but are unbeatable in baked goods. Duck eggs are incredible too.

    As Pyxis said, geese can be very sweet, and they have a lot of personality, but they're not going to let you pick them up and cuddle them. They may allow you to pet them if you raise them from hatching and handle them often. They WILL get aggressive during breeding season, no matter how sweet they are. They don't want you anywhere near their nests. This might actually be a good thing if you're planning on them alarming you to other humans -- I would not mess with a territorial flock of breeding geese and ganders. They remember people's faces, and get upset at strangers until they determine that person is "okay."

    If you're going grapes and want to keep pests away, ducks are excellent at snatching up slugs. Geese are more herbivorous -- They love grass...Not exactly a substitute for a lawn mower, but they slow the growth quite a bit and make mowing/weed-eating less frequent if you have to do that. They might eat some of your crops, though, if they are especially tasty to geese.

    Guineas, I've been told, have this weird hivemind thing going on. If you mess with one guinea, you've messed with all the guineas. They're not very big fans of other animals, though, and keep to their own flock. They also have a tendency to wander, and are much less selective in what they scream about.

    A flock of fully-grown geese are going to be much more intimidating to an airborne predator than anybody on this list, save the swan. One of my girls, when they were feathered but still not at full size, once got attacked by a juvie redtail who didn't quite know any better than to mess with a flock of geese. Boy, they whooped his butt. Never had a hawk problem with those guys again. They've also chased off a single dog before...But a pack of dogs once got into my pasture and messed them up pretty bad (they all lived, but the vet bill was tremendous). Nothing on that list is going to stand up to a pack of dogs. Nothing on that list is going to stand up to coyotes, or a very determined coon.

    These are STILL all poultry, thus prey animals, thus NEEDING protection from predators. Providing a pond will help them with an escape route, but it's not enough. No domestic duck or goose can fly well enough to consider that a method of predator evasion. Ducks are smaller and thus more easily picked off by foxes and other mesopredators, unfortunately.

    Do let us know who you decide on!

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