1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Geese and wild strawberries

Discussion in 'Geese' started by bwmichaud, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. bwmichaud

    bwmichaud Chillin' With My Peeps

    155
    3
    91
    Jul 19, 2010
    I've been raising ducks, chickens and turkeys for some time now. The annual ad was in the paper back in April for chick day at the not so local farm store. I was ordering my turkeys from them anyway so I figured it was about time to try my hand at geese. I ordered 2 Toulouse and 2 Embden. I got the call that they were in so I went to pick them up. The Toulouse had arrived along with the turkeys but the Embden wouldn't be in until a week later. This was quite unfortunate since the store is an hour away and gas is expensive. I got home with the geese and they started following me everywhere right from the start. The little buggers would go everywhere I went, little legs running furiously to keep up. A week went by and I picked up the 2 Embden geese and put them with the Toulouse. Now I had 4 geese following me everywhere. I don't usually give my birds real names. I just sort of use descriptions as names. I have a rooster who is fiesty so I call him fiesty. Male turkeys are called Tom, male ducks are called drake, female ducks are called duck. As you can see, I'm real creative. Anyway, since I now have a posse that follows me everywhere, I figured that they should have names. The Toulouse became Ricky and Lucy and the Emben are now Fred and Ethel. So I've been taking them for walks up to a clearing in the woods where there a lot of wild strawberries. These berries are HUGE (about the size of a pea). I love to go up there and have a snack now that they're ripe and the geese are always looking for a good walk. I get up there and pick some to give to the geese and everyone but Fred spits them out and starts shaking their head. NOT INTERESTED. So I keep feeding Fred while the Riccardos and Ethel nibble on my jeans, just like they always do. This got me wondering...I'm not so sure that the geese like me, I think that they just follow me because I'm wearing pants and they love to nibble pants?
     
  2. The goose girl

    The goose girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    786
    74
    171
    Jul 7, 2010
    Denmark
    No no, they love you for your personality... [​IMG]

    Goslings imprint on anything that vaguely - sometimes really vaguely - resembles a grown goose. All geese have a real strong "follow" instinct, they will follow almost anything bigger than them that moves. I guess it's from in the wild, when the flock suddenly takes off, they don't really have time to debate whether it's a good idea or not. They just follow. Mine will follow cars, lawn movers, group af strange people or bicycles. Then after a few seconds, he'll realize he doesn't know the thing he's following and come running back to me.

    No matter what you're wearing, your goslings will nibble it. They really enjoy nibbling - also toes, hairy legs, freckles - you name it, they'll nibble it.
     
  3. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,867
    13
    171
    Jul 26, 2009
    It is funny that some of the things I think they should love they just spit out. So far for me, they have hated strawberries, peas, and sweet corn. Maybe when they're a little older. My chickens would probably KILL each other for sweet corn.
     
  4. goosedragon

    goosedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    Quote:Geese can be picky about NEW food most of the time they won;t even try it. I suspect that you hand feed your geese and when it is not what they expected they spit it out without forming an opinion. FRED is the kind of goose that every flock needs ( i call them mikey birds after the very old Post cerial Ads) 'let mikey try it he'll eat anything" mikey tastes it and it is good!
    I remember when I first gave sweet corn to my geese they looked it over with fear. Mikey pecked it one, tasted it an and grabbed the ear to present to the goose he was courting she approved and the fight was on for the rest of the ears! I have had a few mikeys over the years he has always been a gander and low in the pecking (or mateing) order. I wonder if they exist in nature or just in domestic flocks...~gd
     
  5. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,867
    13
    171
    Jul 26, 2009
    Yes, I tried giving them peas, strawberries, and sweet corn a couple of weeks ago out of my hand, and they tasted but spit everything out. I'll try again now that they're a little older.

    OTOH, I've found some things they really like, all greens of various kinds -- Chinese cabbage, mustard, arugala, carrot foliage, beet greens, and even grape leaves. Those are pretty good treats for now, everyone goes nuts when they see it coming.
     
  6. 3dogs

    3dogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    110
    0
    99
    Aug 12, 2009
    southern CA
    My geese are quite willing to experience new foods and will eat a large variety. I should plant a garden for them as I spend about $20/week in the produce aisle for them. They like Romaine and green leaf lettuces, spinach, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumber, apples, strawberries,watermelon, cantaloupe,ripe bananas, peas, fresh corn on the cob, nectarines/peaches, and grapes. They run hot and cold on collards, and mustard and turnip greens.
     
  7. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,867
    13
    171
    Jul 26, 2009
    Quote:I wonder, is it an age thing? Mine are about 6 to 4 weeks old now. Just wondering if they will be more accepting of new foods as they grow? So far, all they really will eat is their standard diet of duck/goose grower pellets (18% protein), plus greens/foliage/grass, and the random fly or mosquito they snap from the air if it buzzes too close.

    I'd love to have them eat all kinds of other stuff, because I have a really big garden and have tons of extra or imperfect produce and scraps from it. I feed it to the other birds all of the time. Healthy and cuts down on the feed bills a little bit.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  8. The goose girl

    The goose girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    786
    74
    171
    Jul 7, 2010
    Denmark
    Quote:Mine is one year old now and still really picky. He'll eat grass, clover, dandelion, and a plant called Sonchus (his favorite). Also, he'll eat my Siberian Bugloss around the pond. He does not accept any other greens and doesn't eat fruit at all. I'm all right with it, it means I don't have to fence in my strawberries or my vegetable garden, yay!
     
  9. bwmichaud

    bwmichaud Chillin' With My Peeps

    155
    3
    91
    Jul 19, 2010
    I'm lucky enough to have about a million dandelions for them to eat. So far, dandelions seem to be their favorite thing to eat. I've been surprised how self sufficient they are. Right from day one they've been eating mostly the stuff that grows in the yard and hay field. I give them feed but they really don't eat a lot of it. It just sort of surprised me because I figured that since they are big birds, they would eat a lot of feed.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by