fell in love with a toulouse! Now what?

Discussion in 'Geese' started by TeamChaos, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. TeamChaos

    TeamChaos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2009
    I'm new to chickens- I've had them since February of this year. I had no idea how funny and personable birds could be! The birds live in a '64 bee line camper and have a big run, although I free range them on the farm most of the day.

    Anyway, imagine my surprise when I fell in love with a toulouse goose at an animal swap this past weekend! I had never thought of adding geese, but these creatures were absolutely fascinating! Their size intimidated me, as someone who knows nothing about geese, so I didn't buy any- aside from not having housing set up (and that's a non-negotiable rule when an animal comes to live with us- we must be prepared), I had no idea if they'd attempt to eat my face or trample my chickens or worse.

    I've done some internet reading and I really think I want to add some geese next spring but I have some specialized questions I haven't found the answers to online yet:
    1. We have a good sized pond, we've also got a creek and some "shallows" that I could dig out to pool more water- what do geese prefer? Do they like access to the water 24/7 or could I have them in a goose pen and allow them to range to the water during the day?
    2. Toulouse sound pretty low key, will they be stressed by the chickens and dogs that will share the space? How about the neighbor cows that like to peek over the fence?
    3. What are some considerations you wish you had thought of before you added geese to your life?
     
  2. Hillbilly_Curt

    Hillbilly_Curt Out Of The Brooder

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    Geese love water. Give them as much access to it as possible. We had a pen that was built into the water to lock them up at night at our old place. They like deeper water to dive in, but also shallow water so they can feed off the tasty new shoots that emerge. They also like to dig around in the muck below to find tasty treats.

    Our geese are in an area with a horse, 2 goats and a dog. They get used to it as long as the dog doesn't chase them yours will do fine.

    I wish I hadn't wasted so much time building them a replica of our old barn. They prefer to sleep outdoors instead of inside.
     
  3. 72elizabeth

    72elizabeth Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Go to Holderead Farms on the internet and see the Giant Dewlap Toulouse. They are different from the Toulouse. They are magnificent, but expensive. I couldn't afford to buy 4, that's how he'll ship. If anyone is interest in a pair, I would go half. I live in Fl. very close to Ga
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Any geese you get will love access to all that water. Do not allow them on the pond until they are too large for a snapping turtle to attack. Train them to return to a predator proof enclosed pen each evening. Even though they are big, they are still vulnerable to predator attacks (coyotes, dogs, bobcats, fox, and Great Horned owls to name a few.) Get some geese and enjoy them.
     
  5. cgmccary

    cgmccary Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I acquired 4 grown Toulouse in July, and they were already 1-2 years old (1 male and 3 females) but kudos to the family that raised them-- they are very sweet & love people. They have been great. They stay close to the house and are fine with our dogs. I even see them sitting with the dogs, one is a puppy. The geese live out in the open. I use Nite Guard predator lites, and I have a mutt dog that won't let anything around that doesn't belong. The geese wouldn't stay in the barn I originally tried to set them up in & seem to "know" the dog is security (they stay close to the dogs in the pasture too). They picked their own place to stay at night which is the center of the rooster pens (closest to the house) which form an inner square. They put themselves in the center of then pens around them, but it is not enclosed so not predator proof. They stay up at night until we go to bed (usually between 9-10 p.m.) and stay up at the patio by the door until then. They enjoy human company and follow us about. They also will not go down to the pond (and didn't like it when I showed it to them; it is not real close to the house) but love two kiddie pools instead which I refill every morning for them.

    Although they are only the Production Toulouse, I like their look-- they look like the old wild grey geese of Europe to me and they act very noble. When I get home from work they come running beating their wings in unison and fly just off the ground to greet me. Wonderful animals. I sweep up their poop from the patio and put in straight in the garden (garlic there now). The only thing they try and tear up is the artificial turf on the patio. They also are good at finding old metal objects which they put in their pools every day (rusted pieces I don't know where they find them!). They have favorite spots where they sit but they do not like to wander to far from the house. I sort of feel like they want the security of being close to home and dogs (which is wise because there are coyotes, fox, coons, stray dogs, bobcats & owls all about).
     
  6. TeamChaos

    TeamChaos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2009
    cgmccary, thank you for sharing your experience with these marvelous birds, it only makes me more sure that I want to add some to our farm. I had been planning on adding runner ducks, but now I think I'd be inviting trouble by adding two new species of birds at once and, believe it or not, the geese are winning out.
     
  7. sydney13

    sydney13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2010
    Massachusetts
    Toulouse sound pretty low key, will they be stressed by the chickens and dogs that will share the space? How about the neighbor cows that like to peek over the fence?
    i have a toulouse goose and she is best friends with my chickens and duck. we have a english bulldog puppy who is small and delilah the goose is fine with him. they will sit in the grass together sharing a dog bone but if someone tries to pet him she gets angry. she doesn't like big dogs though and when she sees one she will hiss. i think your geese will get used to your dog and be fine. i would think a goose wouldn't pay much attention to a cow but a gander might start hissing
     
  8. floridaquilter

    floridaquilter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a dewlap toulouse and regular toulouse. They have quite wonderful personalities. My Dewlap is a noisy hisser whenever I go outside. I received a bite only once when I disturbed them with a flashlight in the middle of the night. You don't need any special housing for them. I built a small lean to building but they prefer to roam all over the yard. They seem to be very smart and know when it is time for a treat..they anxiously wait by the front door. The only negative thing I have to say about geese is feathers all over the yard and they poo alot. They will tear up your carpets on the porches.
    The list of good reasons for geese would be too long to list Wonderful yard companions. a true joy to watch....so much more fun than chickens! And the BIG BONUS is I haven't had to cut grass since I've had them!
     
  9. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    1. We have a good sized pond, we've also got a creek and some "shallows" that I could dig out to pool more water- what do geese prefer? Do they like access to the water 24/7 or could I have them in a goose pen and allow them to range to the water during the day?
    2. Toulouse sound pretty low key, will they be stressed by the chickens and dogs that will share the space? How about the neighbor cows that like to peek over the fence?
    3. What are some considerations you wish you had thought of before you added geese to your life?

    My geese love going to our pond, though they only visit it a few times a day, they don't 'stay' on it. If you had to pen them up they'd be fine with a kiddie pool.
    Geese wouldn't be stressed by the chickens at all, if anything they'd be the ones doing the stressing [​IMG]
    Dogs are a problem, probably the #1 reason why 'pet' geese die. If your dogs are 'good' around birds they'd probably be okay, though geese do get mean during breeding season and might bite the dogs. Unless you have a silly jack russell and a crazy African goose like I do, then they'll just chew on each other constantly [​IMG]

    One thing I wish I had considered before getting geese is that I should have started with them! I love my geese, they are such neat animals. Plus they always sell good, which is more than I can say for the chickens [​IMG] I love my chickens, but if I'd started with geese I probably wouldn't have gotten and chooks.

    Another thing I wish I'd have done in the beginning is to start with more geese. I hatched 2 last year, an american blue goose and an embden gander. The goose got killed this spring about 3 weeks after she started laying, leaving me with only the embden and another pair (think it's a pair of ganders) of embdens that I'd bought recently. I've now got 10 geese, but I still think I'm pretty boy-heavy. If I'd started with an order of goslings, sexed, then I'd have a decent flock by now, instead of trying to build up my flock little by little.​
     
  10. Big Dreamer

    Big Dreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Central, FL
    Quote:Well if you wanted to get ducks and geese, you CAN raise them together...they are very similar, yet in many ways different!! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2010

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