I usually use a 4 way scratch mix with plenty of grass and greens, scraps from veggies and as a treat boiled eggs, cherrios and frozen peas. Sometimes I also throw squirrel corn in the yard also as a treat. I don't feed as much during the summer months as we have a lot of grass and weeds available.
You're not supposed to give them chick feed because it's medicated- but good luck finding un-medicated stuff! I gave mine chick start for 2 weeks, now I give them layer crumbles & "fightin' scratch", and they free-range and mow my grass for me
BIG misconception here... you usually CAN feed medicated feed. Geese can have amprolluim/amprol, which is the most common coccidiostat in medicated feed now. I have plenty of goslings in my growout right now that started on medicated chick starter, although I have also used Purina Flockraiser and a gamebird maintenance. On the heavy breeds, the exhibition embdens and dewlap toulouse, I offer free choice feed and get them out on grass as often as possible. If they start acting like standing is a chore, I cut the feed with oats, or just cut back on the amount of feed. Filling them with scratch and other non-complete feeds can do more harm than good. They grow so quickly that I feel proper nutrition is essential.
A good general feed that is pretty easy to find nationwide is purina flockraiser.
I also copied what Dave Holderread sent me about food when my geese and duck order was made.
5. Supply the birds with fresh feed that has been formulated specifically for young poultry. In the order of preference, we recommend starting hatchlings on one of these feeds: duck starter or broiler starter (we highly recommend Purina's Flock Raiser ration when a duck/goose starter is unavailable). By themselves, chick starter is low in niacin, and turkey and gamebird starters are excessively high in protein (forcing young waterfowl to grow too fast). However, using a mix of 1 part chick starter and 1 part turkey of gamebird starter normally makes a good ration for baby waterfowl. Use only fresh feed and NEVER give laying rations to young waterfowl. In our experience, so-called "all purpose" or "triple duty" feeds normally are unsatisfactory if used as the sole ration for waterfowl during the first 8 weeks. We highly recommend the additional information on feeding and nutrition covered in Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks, The Book of Geese and Wing Disorders in Waterfowl.
6. Green feed (lettuce, spinach, tender young grass, etc.) chopped to 1/4-inch lengths and sprinkled in the water and on the feed helps get goslings as well as ducklings to eat quickly, and off to a fast start.
Yes,.. you can add niacin to the food or the water. I have done both,.. but I now just use a general low-dose vitamin with niacin. It works well.
Flock raiser will raise geese just fine,.. I do something a little different because I have my own way of doing things- probably far too much work/too complicated for someone raising geese for the backyard. I was choosing my advice based on what is generally available at any joe-schmoe feed store.
I add kelp meal and fish meal, I calculate out my total protein percentage to what I want it to be, and it depends on the breed. I am still learning, but I raised some delicious and healthy buffs last year on medicated chick starter, flock raiser, and lots of pasture.
I think everyone has to experiment a little and find out what works for there area. For me I don't live where there is pasture. So I have to addust things. I have hundereds of pounds of tuna that I feed to everyone. My husband is a long range fisherman. We always have more than we can eat so the birds all eat it.