Geese old enough to safely freerange?

Discussion in 'Geese' started by RoyalHillsLLC, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. RoyalHillsLLC

    RoyalHillsLLC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 5, 2007
    NW Louisiana-Vivian
    I have now been safely freeranging my chickens without a loss to predation for several months. I am wondering how old my geese need to be before they can join the chickens and adult muscovy. last year I made the mistake of letting my Muscovy babies freerange before they were old enough to escape predators and lost several quickly when they were discovered as easy prey. My new Muscovy babies and goslings I am being more careful with, but boy those geese are growing fast and eating me out of house and home. I am ready to let them eat more grass, but so far have not let them freerange except when I can be there constantly. I am not afraid to leave my chickens for an hour here or there anymore.
    Anybody with experience with geese and how old before they can defend themselves? I have a pair of pilgrims, and three Africans, born at the end of May.
     
  2. Omniskies

    Omniskies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 7, 2008
    Missouri
    Hurrah for Pilgrims [​IMG]

    I free range mine during the day when they're about 6-8 weeks old. I have adults my goslings team up with and they all stay together in one large group, so the adults tend to make sure everyone else is ok.

    At three months old your goslings should be fully feathered out and adulty in appearance. They're fine on their own by then since they've almost reached their full adult weight.
     
  3. crys

    crys Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2008
    Alice
    I have found the same goes here. I have 4 Africans (hatched during May) and they stay in a huge pen with adopted MOM "Clyde", the real mom "Sunflower" and dad "Thorn" r next door in another pen because they r way 2 protective, we could not get near the pen for daily chores without taking a beating (us and the little ones!) [​IMG] So, we keep them in the pen for now for our combined safety until I can get a section of fence up between the ducks and geese inside the "play yard" Otherwise our dominate drake "Twinkie" will try 2 claim the new girls for himself!)
     
  4. RoyalHillsLLC

    RoyalHillsLLC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 5, 2007
    NW Louisiana-Vivian
    Do y'all have a fenced in area or just open range? I do not have a fence and was wondering if that influences your decisions. I have an occasional coyote or other predator pass through.
     
  5. raindrop

    raindrop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 10, 2008
    Western Oregon
    My Pilgrim pair have been free range during the day since they were 7-8 weeks old, at first only when I was home and then all day. We do have electric sheep fencing around the majority of the property and dogs so I don't see predators in the daytime. Haven't really seen many hawks either, so the chickens have been out a lot too.
    I did notice that it wasn't until they were about 11-12 weeks that they learned to "defend" themselves, now the goose especially nips the dogs if they get too close. The gander is much more laid back so far, but I expect that will change next breeding season!
     
  6. crys

    crys Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2008
    Alice
    The 1st yr. I stayed outside w/all the babes-geese, ducks and chicks-no fence then. I had 1 major tan line that 1st yr.
    Then a wandering dog came into the yard during the day and killed a hen and our gander and 2ducks ALL ADULTS! - that was it. Giant pens where built and this yr. we where able 2 install a "play yard" around the pens for daytime free range.
     

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