Geese for Newbies

cluckcluckluke

Crowing
7 Years
Jul 10, 2012
8,341
308
336
The Foothills Of Chickendom
I have been thinking for sometime of getting some Geese and have now decided to start researching them. So first stop, BYC!!!


My thoughts and situation:
- Thinking 1-2 geese at the start.
- I have owned 2 ducks before.
- I have enough room to house and can build an extension pond.
- I want to adopt or rescue a needy goose, or hatch my very own and raise.

Questions:
- If I get a Gander will he mount and hurt my chickens? With ducks, drakes are advised to be kept from chickens.
- Are they any extra work than owning two ducks?
- Will they attack/ have a problem with my dog?
- What breed would be best for me? I want a breed that is not HUGE, for ornamental purpose and a bit of variety to my bird flock.

CluckCluckLuke
 

livininbrazil

Songster
7 Years
Dec 17, 2012
4,357
192
238
São Paulo State, Brazil.
I have been thinking for sometime of getting some Geese and have now decided to start researching them. So first stop, BYC!!!


My thoughts and situation:
- Thinking 1-2 geese at the start.
- I have owned 2 ducks before.
- I have enough room to house and can build an extension pond.
- I want to adopt or rescue a needy goose, or hatch my very own and raise.

Questions:
- If I get a Gander will he mount and hurt my chickens? With ducks, drakes are advised to be kept from chickens.
- Are they any extra work than owning two ducks?
- Will they attack/ have a problem with my dog?
- What breed would be best for me? I want a breed that is not HUGE, for ornamental purpose and a bit of variety to my bird flock.

CluckCluckLuke
Hi Luke. Geese are delightful, but they´re not everyone´s cup of tea. they can be bullies with other fowl, and you should always have more than one, they are flock birds and feel very lonely without another goose. Ducks as companions will do if it´s a female, but another goose is always preferable.
I find them less messy than ducks, and amusing in a very different way. And, of course, they´re bigger. Ganders are far less of a pain than drakes are, except you have to be on the watch when it´s breeding season as they get very protective. But 2 geese (female) are very easy to handle as a rule.
So, you could get some goslings to rear by hand. (Some breeds are sexable at hatch) Or give a home to two needy geese (females should be ok). Only problem with this is you don´t know why they are needy...the ganders could have behavioural problems due to imprinting issues, so better to be either 2 female 'needy' geese, or goslings.
They´re highly unlikey to hurt any dog. they may charge, even nip or bump the dog, but the geese are far more vulnerable to being attacked by a dog than a dog being attcked by a goose.
You could research pilgrims, (Are you in australia? look up Settler geese) which I have, they´re very mild, or sebastopols, or Buffs
An extremely important factor is that they can have access to grazing. This should make up around 90% of their diet.
You could also find a good book on geese, and read up on the sites of breeders there. they tell you a bit about the breeds too. have fun!
 

cluckcluckluke

Crowing
7 Years
Jul 10, 2012
8,341
308
336
The Foothills Of Chickendom
Quote:
YAY, thank you so much for all your help and answering my questions. Although, you have brought a few more up.lol.

So I am not planning on breeding them I just want to own some ( ornamental ) so I DON'T need a Gander? I can have just two females? I thought seeing as they are seasonal birds that a male was necessary so it doesn't mess their 'cycle' up or something?
Without a gander, when it comes times for the breeding season will the geese hens still go broody?
Are they seasonal layers? When is the 'season'???

My dog and neighboring dogs are true wimps lol and they haven't had any problems with past ducks and chickens so it should be ok.
Are female geese loud? Louder than a female Runner duck?

Yes I am in Australia. I do like Sebastopols very much ( obviously why ) but I think they are fairly hard to acquire in Australia. Are you in Australia?
Oh so if I have adequate grazing ground then they are going to eat a rather small amount of feed and therefore less cost?
When you say grazing, you mean grass? or will an array of shrubs, pumpkin plants, a bit of grass, dirt and leaf litter etc suffice?

Thank you very much again.
 

livininbrazil

Songster
7 Years
Dec 17, 2012
4,357
192
238
São Paulo State, Brazil.
YAY, thank you so much for all your help and answering my questions. Although, you have brought a few more up.lol.

So I am not planning on breeding them I just want to own some ( ornamental ) so I DON'T need a Gander? I can have just two females? I thought seeing as they are seasonal birds that a male was necessary so it doesn't mess their 'cycle' up or something?
Without a gander, when it comes times for the breeding season will the geese hens still go broody?
Are they seasonal layers? When is the 'season'???

My dog and neighboring dogs are true wimps lol and they haven't had any problems with past ducks and chickens so it should be ok.
Are female geese loud? Louder than a female Runner duck?

Yes I am in Australia. I do like Sebastopols very much ( obviously why ) but I think they are fairly hard to acquire in Australia. Are you in Australia?
Oh so if I have adequate grazing ground then they are going to eat a rather small amount of feed and therefore less cost?
When you say grazing, you mean grass? or will an array of shrubs, pumpkin plants, a bit of grass, dirt and leaf litter etc suffice?

Thank you very much again.
Geese don´t need a gander, but they´ll give you eggs and may still go broody. Just like chickens, some are more inclined than others. Their breeding season is in the winter, so mine start in June into August. (Brazil)
Grass is the most important food for them, and depending on the breed, some are better foragers than others, but they´ll happily have a go at most things, even your prized plants.
 

livininbrazil

Songster
7 Years
Dec 17, 2012
4,357
192
238
São Paulo State, Brazil.
Well we have a pretty established garden so hopefully they won't run to rampant.lol.

How loud are they though?
Also, will they need a lot of water like ducks or will a children's bath tub thing be enough?

Sorry about all the questions.lol.
Geese are very nibbly. they love to shear off twigs and leaves, even if they don´t want to eat them. I had to put a piece of wiremesh around a small tree today as they´d nibbled most of the bark off it overnight! Im hope it doesn´t die, it´s the second go at survival for this poor tree.
I don´t find mine terribly loud, but it depends on what your view or situation is. They can really shout sometimes, especially when it´sfeed time. Mine come running and flying, shouting. then while they´re eating it´s all quiet little noises where they´re all in accord with each other. They sound like they´re saying: Very nice, very nice....They also shout when unknown vehicles and people pass by, and then when known people and cars pass by....
And sometimes they´ll just make noise at 3.00 in the morning, just to tell you something.........like the cat´s there, there´s a mouse, there´s a frog....
Geese don´t actually NEED a large amount of water, but they are delightful to watch if they do have it. They just love to have a good bath. You know ducks have a crazy 5 minutes diving around in water? the geese do it too. It´s great. A lot of people use kiddies´paddling pools for them at least to have a bath.
You should be able to get a couple of Pilgrims or Settlers fairly easily? They´re a nice quiet nature. Females are mostly grey with white on. Males are mostly white witha little grey on.
 
Last edited:

cluckcluckluke

Crowing
7 Years
Jul 10, 2012
8,341
308
336
The Foothills Of Chickendom
Quote: Well we are only going to have perhaps a maximum of three so hopefully they won't be to destructive. I will just have to keep an eye on things.
Well we have a rooster that goes off at about 5:00am so as long as the geese don't join along with the chorus then they should be fine.
Our bird pens are down the bottom of the garden so if it is only a few little calls then that will be fine.

I am very pleased that they don't need an almighty amount of water. I found with the ducks ( even just 2 ) that they would messy up and needed a heap of water.
I managed to find this great little read ---> http://goosebreeders.petdirectory.com.au/Goose-Breeding-for-Novices.html and it says that yes geese don't need a heap of water and that they are more like grazing animals than any other poultry. Which is like having feathered goats around hahaha. It also says that if you acquire them at a young age they will bond to you and follow you around like a puppy. This makes me even more excited to get them
.

I do have a kiddies pool so I will have that available for them on real hot days and like 2-3 times a week but having to fill it up everyday is a bit much, and of course have plenty of fresh drinking water. Deep enough to submerge their head and necks, right?

I think I will go for the Pilgrims/ Settlers, unless some real nice Sebastopols come up, but I am also looking to help one out so that could mean any breed.lol.
 

cluckcluckluke

Crowing
7 Years
Jul 10, 2012
8,341
308
336
The Foothills Of Chickendom
Some information from other BYC members:
What do goslings eat?
Can they eat chicken starter crumble?


8GeeseALaying: Yes they can eat chick starter, make sure its non medicated. Wild game bird starter is good too. Also make sure to give them Niacin for the first 3 months and plenty of grazing time.
livininbrazil: Here I can´t get waterflock feeds, so I give them chick crumb. But they only have this for breakfast and then at night. I also mix it sometimes with cracked corn. Every few days I add Brewer´s Yeast to their feed or water. During the day they´re in a run on grass, and they have lettuce and other green stuff as extra treats. They like Melons, too, and dandelion leaves.
What is Niacin?

bibkel: Niacin is a B vitamin. Can you get chick growth?

tillyita: Niacin is vitimin B3 (its in vegemite). The only stuff I've been able to find is in the vitimin and minerals section at the chemist - we don't get the same types/varieties as the US. My stockfeed has brewers yeast - I use that instead (it is also high in niacin)
Why Brewers Yeast?

tillyita: My stockfeed has brewers yeast - I use that instead (it is also high in niacin).
Chick Growth:

bibkel: I use chick growth. Simple. I don't supplement it, and I have only raised two geese so far.
 

livininbrazil

Songster
7 Years
Dec 17, 2012
4,357
192
238
São Paulo State, Brazil.
Well we are only going to have perhaps a maximum of three so hopefully they won't be to destructive. I will just have to keep an eye on things.
Well we have a rooster that goes off at about 5:00am so as long as the geese don't join along with the chorus then they should be fine.
Our bird pens are down the bottom of the garden so if it is only a few little calls then that will be fine.

I am very pleased that they don't need an almighty amount of water. I found with the ducks ( even just 2 ) that they would messy up and needed a heap of water.
I managed to find this great little read ---> http://goosebreeders.petdirectory.com.au/Goose-Breeding-for-Novices.html and it says that yes geese don't need a heap of water and that they are more like grazing animals than any other poultry. Which is like having feathered goats around hahaha. It also says that if you acquire them at a young age they will bond to you and follow you around like a puppy. This makes me even more excited to get them
.

I do have a kiddies pool so I will have that available for them on real hot days and like 2-3 times a week but having to fill it up everyday is a bit much, and of course have plenty of fresh drinking water. Deep enough to submerge their head and necks, right?

I think I will go for the Pilgrims/ Settlers, unless some real nice Sebastopols come up, but I am also looking to help one out so that could mean any breed.lol.
Sounds good. re. the water. you could always give them a bath for splashing in a few timesw a week. It´s really worth the bother, as it´s so nice to see their total enjoyment of water..the more, the better, they love it. but it´s not absolutely necessary. What is important, and what works well, is put a bucket of water in there for them once they´re big enough. Yes, they need to be able to put their heads in it. You´ll still need to change the water every day, as geese spit back a lot of food, dirt, etc, when they drink, and also they like to pick out corn, for example, from the bottom of their water vessel. They also love to pick the greens out of the water. this is something I do with them if they go off food for whatever reason.. Nice that you´re willing to give a home to one, but if you do, get it a friend quickly, as it´ll need it. have fun!!
BTW, I started with 3 tiny ones, but as they grew, i thought one was a male, so as I didn´t want them in-breeding I went hunting for another male. Bought a trio. ended up with 28 (some of the youngsters I´ll sell) this year..they´re wonderful.
 

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