Geese and little ones

Oneacre Homestead

8 Years
May 25, 2011
Hi everyone,
I am brand new to BYC. I have been raising chickens and ducks for a few years and this year I have two pairs of American Buff geese on order. I am very excited and have designed them a great pen with a little pool and a drain. They will have a little pasture, too, for the daytime. Anyway, I am also the mother of a 16 month old. A few things people have said have scared me about having geese and children. I would never leave them alone together, obviously, but I wanted to know what you geese owner thought. Is this a recipe for disaster? How aggressive are they? I just figured that if I raised them ourselves and we handled them a lot, that it would be okay. Thoughts? Thanks so much!
I think any geese can be aggressive I have two baby Chinese geese which funnily is I want mine aggressive to everyone but me so I've been bonding with them I guess if you don't want them aggressive you have to raise them around allot of people. so I heard not sure if it's true.
I would not have geese around a small child where the two could access each other. If you have the geese penned, so the child can not reach them, then that will be fine.

My geese are not aggressive, but they will bluff and I think that would frighten a child. Also, goose bites really hurt and can draw blood.

Handling them a lot is not a good idea. It doesn't make them tame, it makes them think they can treat you like a goose. That means they will try to bully you and try to be higher status in the flock than you are.

My geese know that I expect very nice manners. Because that is the law, and I enforce the law, they behave rather well.

They are very smart, and so they are easy to train, but they are basically cowards, which makes them bullies. If you aren't afraid of them, they have no where to go with it. But if someone is afraid of them, they will take advantage of it.
By the way, Buff Americans are very nice geese and pretty mellow as far as temperament goes, so you've made a good choice as far as breed goes.

I've got Americans and they will follow me around, chuckling. They love to be talked to.

But with anyone else, and even with me occasionally, they will try a bluff to see what happens. I just tell them to knock it off, and they look embarrassed. But I don't think a small child would handle a goose bluff very well.

Also, then I first got them, they would try to grab food, and that is a very good way to get bitten. They are not careful how they grab. I've trained them to stand back and wait until their treats are placed into their feeder.
You are so Right. I have an American Lavender and buffs as well as Sebastopol geese and the temperment are very equal. Pretty darn layed back and I love it. I have had my buffs for 8 years and they are wonderful to be around. Love em.
Welcome to the BYC forum. I have four geese who were hand raised, but they didn't become totally dependent on having constant human contact. They are a year old now and haven't shown aggression so far. So geese won't necessarily become aggressive, but one can't say they will never show aggression. The potential for aggression doesn't typically develop until the pairs start to nest at a year old (which mine seemed to do without any aggressive behavior). The pen with pasture sounds like a great set up for your geese, so that you can keep your curious toddler and nibbling geese separate from each other. Geese like to nibble on everything and it is true they aren't always gentle when taking treats from hands
As a rule but not always the ganders are usually the more aggressive if they are going to be. I have six adult females and all can be around small children if supervised at all times. Out of all my geese I have two ganders that absolutely could not be around children at any time and two that could at times but not without close supervision. They have all been hand raised but once the ganders reach maturity after a year old they turn into the protectors of the flock. I have the more mellow breeds of geese but no matter, a gander is a gander, and if very dominant they become aggressive to protect their flock.
I have 3 - 1 year old white Embdens (1 gander, 2 geese) They are really chickens, but I honestly believe they would do more than bluff with someone they could intimidate. They have been good natured with me, but very agressive with any other animal they can reach. I keep them penned and would never trust them with small children. A gander (or goose too) can become agressive when nesting areas are entered.

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