Geese for protecting pastured ducks

Discussion in 'Geese' started by hossfeathers, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. hossfeathers

    hossfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm looking into running a mixed herd of ducks (muscovies and appleyards are the current plan) on fenced pasture in semi-urban NC. There may be some dog issues (coyotes much less likely) but my main concern is hawks. Holderread (in the Storey Raising Ducks book) recommended keeping some geese with the ducks to help discourage hawks.

    Has anyone had any experience with mixed duck and goose flocks, and the success in keeping the hawks off? Any suggestions for breeds? I'd rather a moderate sized bird like the pilgrim, which has the advantage of being heritage as well, and as I'll have neighbors, I'd rather not a really loud bird. (And yes, I'd like a pony and a plastic rocket while I'm at it.)
     
  2. littlenell1

    littlenell1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Am in UK so not sure if our experience applies. We have two older goslings with a group of runner ducklings and they do a really good job of protecting them. We do have buzzards here, and they have shown interest in the ducklings. So far all safe. We have more problems with fox attacks and again, to date all safe. Am hoping to run a few ducks in with our adult geese who have the paddock, but until then not got direct experience to help you more.
     
  3. hossfeathers

    hossfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When you say "buzzards" - you mean hawks, right, not vultures?

    Thanks for the insight, anyway - muchly appreciated.
     
  4. littlenell1

    littlenell1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yes, buzzards are birds of prey that tend to be in rural areas, and will go for small mammals, birds etc. We also have red kites in our area, and sparrow hawks...
     
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    This is exactly why I have purchased a pair of Toulouse goslings ( and may be buying two more) for my flock of chickens and ducks. I am moving from a relatively low predation area to a much higher one; I like geese and this is a good reason to add them to my flock. (Just a tad bit more reasonable than a pony and a toy rocket, perhaps...)
     
  6. mominoz

    mominoz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have both. It is much better if they are raised together. I tried to get mine the same time, 2 years ago, but the geese came late. They did always live next to my ducks. This spring for some reason one of the females took to bullying my runners a bit. Then her mate did a bit too. I yell at them and they will quit, but it started after I broke up the broody goose, and I think it was a from of territoriality. They also got a bit protective of their particular pen. I have not had any aerial attacks, so it may be working , they do free range together(I live next to a National Forest)and a hawk lives in one of my pastures, and vultures, owl, etc are around. I do hav e some new goslings now , but they are being raised with the ducks..... as Holdrread suggested.
    It may just depend on the particular geese too. I am going to sell the bully pair I think ...
     
  7. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    duplicate -- deleted.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2011
  8. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just speculating here, but I would think the larger and more aggressive the breed, the better deterrent it would be to birds of prey. So, while Pilgrims might be a nice breed, at the 12-14 pounds they mature at, they might not be as effective against a large hawk, and perhaps might even be a meal themselves. Maybe a 20 lb Embden or a mean African or Chinese might be better?
     
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Quote:I have 1 Emden gander with my 8 ducks, we see hawks flying around but haven't had one try to take anyone.
     
  10. Our 6 female ducks are way louder than our 9 geese put together --- I'd think if the neighbors were okay with the ducks, they'd be okay with the geese [​IMG]
     

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