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Geese are dying

Discussion in 'Geese' started by MamacatPatch, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. MamacatPatch

    MamacatPatch Songster

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    We have [had] six Weeder Geese that are [were] about five years old who began dying for some reason. They were in our outer woods fenced area with tons of brush, weeds, plants, etc. with our three Boer goats. We also fed them every few days some grain, sweet feed and meatbird crumbles. They also have a pool area and water tank.

    Within the last month, two of them just died. Is it possible they starved? We brought the last two into the inner pen area in case there was something that was poisonous to them out there. [Two other geese died from predators.]

    We are perplexed. Any ideas?
     
  2. I would think that they got a poisonous plant. If you could go through that pasture and try to identify some of the plants/brush and then research if they could be potentially poison to birds or animals. I know identifying them can be hard but it would be worth it.
    Also have you used any weed or brush killer in that area? Even livestock safe weed killer is deadly to geese.
     
  3. MamacatPatch

    MamacatPatch Songster

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    I thought it was a possibility that they ate something poisonous but I just don't know. We never use any chemicals anywhere on the property. My husband found the last goose that died just sitting with his/her head tucked into his feathers like he was sleeping! And nothing appeared wrong with him at all.
     
  4. Do you think maybe one of the goats might have butted them or stepped on them? I know boers are good sized goats.
     
  5. Haunted55

    Haunted55 Songster

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    It could also be that their crop was bound up. Geese need short tender grass, not hard woody stems that can happen with weeds and brush. Too much of this will mess with their ability to digest properly. So yes, if this were the problem, they could have starved as their crop couldn't empty.

    I am no expert on geese by any means. I am working on my second year with them now and the learning curve with them or any waterfowl for that matter, is huge! It makes me cringe to see the words "weeder geese" because I think it gives the wrong impression to people. I am not knocking you, believe me. You are concerned enough to ask questions to find the right answers. Kudos!!!!

    Looking for poisonous plants is another great idea as it could be something along these lines. Usually though, with poison, they die with convulsions, so wouldn't be found with their head tucked under their wing as if sleeping. You have a dilema and I don't envy you at all.
     
  6. RURU

    RURU Songster

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    On your geese that are dying off you say they are 5 years old. This is young for a goose but they can die of heart attacks. They just die in their sleep. As far as weeder geese I believe you have to trim your weeds first to have the geese eat the weeds. I know my geese eat only grass. Grass and dandelions are their main feed but they need the water fowl food or game bird feed and fed to them daily or the birds can starve to death by just eating weeds and grass. They need to be fed daily with feed.
    I do not know what kind of geese you have but all geese are grass eaters. So you should put the goats in there first to eat the weeds down and then let the geese into the area.
    As said before in another post they can choke on the weeds tips.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. RURU

    RURU Songster

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    Oh another thing are you providing them clean fresh water daily and close access to it. Geese need lots of water to wash their food down. Plus need kiddy pools or some container type to bathe in. If the geese do not have water close to them while eating or can get back to it they have to drink to flush the food down....
     
  8. MamacatPatch

    MamacatPatch Songster

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    I suppose that is a possibility ... but the geese and goats have been hanging out together for years with no problems. Seems odd that two of the geese would die within weeks of each other and have no apparent injuries or illness. Dunno.
     
  9. MamacatPatch

    MamacatPatch Songster

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    That might be a possibility. Having chickens, ducks, geese, cockatiels and such I know a little about that but never experienced it that I'm aware of. Yeah, my 'gut' is telling me it was starvation or crop bound up. As to the term 'weeder geese' that is what they're called. :)

    It's been about four days and the other two that are left which we brought to the inside pen are doing fine. Keeping fingers crossed!
     
  10. MamacatPatch

    MamacatPatch Songster

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    We have a large kiddie pool in the outer pen for them and a large water tank which the goats also use to drink from. I kept adding fresh water to both every couple of days depending on if it rained or not. I thought perhaps the pool might have gotten to 'swampy' for them. We have a large homemade pond in the inner pen so the two that are left are enjoying that a lot.

    I double checked and the geese were only 3 years old.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013

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