Geese and weight

Discussion in 'Geese' started by r4eboxer, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. r4eboxer

    r4eboxer Crooked Creek Poultry

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    My 4 geese free range, I am having a problem with them stealing all my other animals food. I am worried that they are going to get too fat to lay.

    If I put out food for the goat the geese run and gobble it up, when I put it out for the dogs they go and eat that too. I have tried standing right next to the goat and dogs while they eat but I don't always have time to do that in the mornings or evenings for that matter.

    Should I be worried about them laying.? I can tell they have gained weight since I got them. I don't know what else I can do to keep them from stealing food. I have tried the over the fence feeders for the goat but it gets knocked down and they end up getting it anyway. I have been just giving the goat hay and no grain to keep the geese from eating too much. The geese even found the corn we put out for the deer and tore a hole in the bag that was on the covered porch. I have moved the corn to the garage so that is not an issue anymore.

    I had no idea geese were so gluttonous. I made them forage and eat grass Monday and Tuesday all day but did give them some grain today due to snow. This morning after I had given them grain I was getting in my car to go to work and they were up at the dogs food bowl eating their food. I guess I am going to have to put the dogs in a fenced area to feed from now on. Their food is very expensive not to mention how fat my geese are getting. URG I don't have all that time to watch all my animals eat and shoo geese away all day long.

    Ok rant over.
     
  2. I've wished we could let our geese run around the property loose, but maybe having smart, curious birds wandering around can have it's drawbacks . . .

    I would try to get separate secure feeding areas for all the animals --- that will be the best route. I feed my chickens in their chicken house with a board that the geese can't hop over but the chickens can. Otherwise I went through chicken food so fast . . . it was amazing. Although, I think the ducks have a lot to do with it. The geese stop eating, the ducks NEVER seem to be full.

    When we had goats, we had them in a separate area -- is it possible to block off a section, or their house, and make a board to put over the entrance . . . so you can feed the goats and the geese can't get in? Our goats were pretty good at leaping over small barriers - I think they'd be able to manage a 2 ft board or so . . .We didn't have grain and goat food out free choice - when we had goats they had free choice hay and food twice a day - and they tended to eat that up so fast that there wouldn't have been any left for geese to get into.

    You could also look into portable fencing - either electric or non electric and make the geese a pen to go into at night -- then you can feed the geese in the pen and the other animals separately, and then let the geese out mid day. We live on a organic farm and I have to keep the ducks / chickens / geese contained, or we'd have no veggies. The electric fencing works well for us, with the added benefit that the geese have some protection from stray dogs and coyotes. If you don't have a predator issue, bird netting might work for you -- my geese do tend to chew on the fence for fun if the electric current is off for a few days and they don't get shocked. I don't know how the bird netting would hold up to that . . .

    I don't know about weight vs laying -- someone else might know more about that. It could be that your geese have just matured. My young goslings were pretty slim, even after they had all their feathers, but now they are much more solid. They still can fly short distances, so I figure they are at a good balance. The goose books say that geese may not lay their first year, or until they are 2. I'm hoping at least one of mine does, but only one pair will be 2 this summer, so it is a long shot.

    My geese really prefer grass . . . if they have fresh grass to eat they don't really care about the chicken food. On the other hand, they LOVE bread and snacks, so I could see them eating the dog food, and the goat food too if they could get into it. I'd worry a little about the extra minerals in the goat food - I know goats need more copper and what not,but I'm not sure how it would be for geese. We can't get waterfowl feed here, so the geese are stuck with layer pellets.

    What kind of geese do you have? I don't think our dog would take kindly to the geese eating his food so it is a good thing that we don't have to worry about that . . .
     
  3. r4eboxer

    r4eboxer Crooked Creek Poultry

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    Hi larkflying
    Thanks for the suggestions, We are planning on moving our goat this spring to another area. She is a pet so she has been really close to the house. For some reason our Geese have adopted her as their own and they spend most of their time around the goat, they just love her.
    So anyway the geese are really close to the house all the time. They have a huge pasture and pond on the other side of the property that they could have the run of but they don't use it much. They are always around the goat. Hopefully when I move the goat to the hillside this spring the geese will follow her out to the pasture. I will have the hillside completly fenced in so the geese should not be able to get to the feed.

    In moving the goat that should take the geese away from the dogs and the food. The dogs are Great Pyrenees so yes they let the geese eat from their food bowls before they get any. It irritates me to a point but then again I did want guardians and don't want them aggressive toward my geese even if they are stealing 2.50 a lb dog food off them.

    Of course this is all in theory and we will see how it all works out. My geese are 4 years old, I just got them in November so this is my first year with them. I really want some eggs SOON and I'm afraid they are going to have a poor laying season due to all that corn and grain. UGHH I'm just going to have to keep them on this diet and feed my dogs in the run before moving them out in the morning.

    My geese are Pilgrims, I have two sets. I have been looking at poultry netting so I can pasture my turkeys and ducks etc without having to chase them to put them up at night. It's not cheap. Gosh I though poor people farmed. NOT! fence, feed, vets and all the extras adds up QUICK.
     
  4. Oh, I'm jealous of the Great Pyrenees -- I'd love some of those. Maybe later when / if we have the perimeter fenced.

    I wonder if your geese think the goat is their protector. My geese don't like going out into the open at all without one of us around -- they know we watch out for them. If they weren't fenced they'd hang around the house getting into things and waiting for us to come out with snacks. So I'd bet they would do better when she is farther from the house.

    My dog is a Bernese Mountain dog crossed with Australian Shepherd. He ignores the geese - even when they are putting their all into hissing, ruffling and chasing . . . they are convinced that the dog is afraid of them, but they don't know that he is just bored and wandering off somewhere else when he walks away from them. Sigh.

    I love the Pilgrims -- especially knowing what are boys and what are girls. I love my American Buff geese . . . but I miss knowing which are boys and which are girls . . .

    I totally agree on the costs -- just fencing alone is spendy . . . we have about two or three projects waiting on fencing alone. . .
     
  5. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you are using the premier poultry netting, be careful with it around geese. I had mine turned off for a few days because I needed to clear weeds around it and one of my African geese stuck her head through the netting. She must have brought her head back in through another opening and got the netting wrapped around her neck. I found her like that, she was dead. Previously I had another goose (or maybe the same one?) do that with wire fencing that had 2" x 4" openings. Fortunately I was in time for that one...
     
  6. r4eboxer

    r4eboxer Crooked Creek Poultry

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    EEK, Ok scratch the poultry fencing. Now I am thinking about woven wire panels. I was going to set up some pens with them for the meat ducks and turkeys I will raise this spring. I guess I am going to have to fence off a few acres with those for the geese. I may not need it either if they follow the goat. I am a little tired of goose poop on my sidewalks [​IMG]




    My GP's are still puppies just over 4 months old, we have had some chasing problems and I have to watch them every second because they are too young to be trusted still. I'm not sure about the protector thing, I know the lady I got the geese from had goats and she was happy to hear I had a goat. She knew something I didn't I suppose?

    I wish my pups would ignore the geese all the time. They ignore them when they steal their food but sometimes when I have the dogs in the yard with me as I do chores they will chase the geese. They think they are their for entertainment, NOT! My lhasa's are afraid of my Geese teehee. The geese are almost three times their size.

    I do love my Pilgrims and I am hoping to get some goslings from them, I also have promised a friend some hatching eggs so I really need them to be able to mate and lay. This morning the geese followed me all over the yard wanting some grain. I did give them a little just to keep them away from the dog food long enough for my GP's to eat. OH I can't wait until I get my fencing done. We have 30 acres and it's very expensive to get even half of it fenced. That is my goal 15 acres and the pasture.
     
  7. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

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    You geese will still lay. Being over weight reduces fertility, but unless it's extreme doesn't effect laying productivity.

    You answered your own question on the rest. Fence the geese in or the food in. One or the other.
     
  8. The goose girl

    The goose girl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I couldn't help but laugh at your desciption of your gluttonous geese, I can just picture them eating everything!

    The overweight may not be not that big a problem for your geese, but the malnutrition from eating the wrong food may be. Dog food especially is very high in fat compared to poultry feed, and the protein content is very high, too.

    I'm sorry I can't offer anything new as to solutions to your problem. I had to move the cat food away from my goose, but sometimes he still manages to find it. I find out by hearing him make a really happy chirping sound, immediately followed by really fast gobbling sounds [​IMG].
     
  9. I use the Premier netting and as long as I keep it powered up it works fine -- the birds all avoid it. The geese can sometimes fly over it though, which is annoying - mostly because I thought they weren't able to fly, but oh well. If it a problem, I'll clip a wing, but they look so lopsided then that I don't unless I have to,

    I really like being able to move their pasture around. They eat grass so fast that in a fixed enclosure - at least the size I would be able to fence right away - it would be down to mud in the winter especially. The only time mine have gotten stuck is when we are trying to catch them and they run into it. I do have two sections hooked together which gives them a sizeable area -- I'd like to get more, but I want another charger too, and that is spendy - especially since I think they had to raise prices on the entire system.


    What I would prefer though is a fence with the narrow welded wire panels with wood supports . . . . with electric wire top and bottom to discourage predators. That will be a couple years coming though.

    Frosty - I'm so sorry about your goose -- that would make me so sad! Especially to have it happen twice . . . I had mine reach through last summer when I had left it off for a few days while I was waiting for a part for the charger -- I wonder if they were just smaller than the Africans and so didn't get stuck? I did have a goose nearly hang herself jumping for apples in the apple trees - she got her neck wedged in a crotch and my daughter barely found her in time. Sometimes they are too curious for their own good.
     

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