Geese as weeder/lawn mower in orchard ?

Discussion in 'Geese' started by GermanChick, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. GermanChick

    GermanChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2010
    NW Missouri
    We will start a little orchard on our 10 acre property in spring. I don't want to mow in-between trees and had the idea of fencing it in and putting some geese in there to do keep grass/weeds down. If I mulch around the trees, will the geese keep the grass down? It will probably be 1 fenced acre. Since we have little kids and other pets and I still have do do chores in the orchard I want to get fairly friendly geese and no aggressive watch geese. After reading about them I thought about American Buff???? Right now the idea is to butcher them in late Fall so I don't have to deal with frozen ponds and water in the winter. Any input on that???? Still very new to that idea and haven't done a lot of research

    We do have chickens so I figured that it can't be that different, right????

    Thanks a lot
  2. flockman

    flockman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 6, 2010
    Northern Indiana
    Well I have American Buffs and love them. Only during breeding season do I really have to watch my gander. I think your plan with fencing in an orchard would work. My only concern would be that geese will chew on young trees.

    A big difference with geese from chickens is they are easy to form a close bond.

    There are a lot of other things that you will need for the geese. A water source that is deep enough for them to dunk their whole head, shelter from predator, especially at night. That names just a few.

    Good luck!
  3. GermanChick

    GermanChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2010
    NW Missouri
    Geese will chew on young trees?????? Oh, oh……..
    If I put one of those plastic sleeves around the trunk to protect them that would probably work, …. hopefully.
    We will build them a shelter for the night to protect them from predators and I will put in a pool for them. Just really
    don't want to mow and thought that geese might be the solution.

    After looking at them and reading about them a little bit more I think the butchering will be hard. They look like they have
    lots of personality. I don't have problems to process my chickens, will see how I will attach to the ducks!
  4. SillyCityGirl

    SillyCityGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2011
    When I plant my trees I take poultry netting and wrap it at least 6 inches down on the roots and at least 18" above ground just to keep the rabbits off of the trees and the gophers from attacking the root ball. My geese can and will pull off leaves and lower branches of saplings too, so I have to extend the chicken wire to where they can't get to them. Chicken wire allows more airflow around the trunk for a healthier tree. As far as the wire below for gopher control, by the time the tree gets large enough where the wire might be a problem, the wire is weak enough for the roots to push through with no problems.

    I think geese or chickens would be a better organic weed control in an orchard situation than ducks. To me ducks are more of an organic snail, slug and other little bug control without tearing up the veggie garden. Another thing to consider is how much of their high nitrogen waste they will be feeding to the fruit trees. Just a few geese and well draining soil shouldn't be an issue.

    As far as personality, my 8 seem to know their names. The one I have a special bond with comes when called, helped me "educate" a rooster when his brain fell out, left a 3" scar on an ex bf's shin and lets children pet him. They are way more intelligent than my chickens ever thought of being. I have had to put a chain and padlock on my front gate cause the latch would get flipped and my geese would go wandering. I also had some plants in a large wire dog crate, to keep the geese from them, one morning I went out and found the crate door open. My geese have similar rights as my furbabies. My chickens do not.

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