geese questions


10 Years
May 19, 2009
I have some questions about geese.

Are they good guard animals? Having a dog isn't an option
Will they be friendly with people they know, and nasty to people they don't?

Have a personal situation where I could use a guard animal.

Do they do well in cold/snowy areas?

Am planning on getting some runner & welsh harlequin ducks next year. Have quite a bit of land for them to roam on, with a good portion fenced in for the alpacas.
I consider them to be more of a ALARM animal than a guard animal. Any I have had, including the most docile, have raised a alarm when anyone they didn't know came on their area. On the other hand even my most agressive ganders did not actually attack strangers, just threatened them.
I was not trying to produce attack animals since there were children in my area. I was never able to sic my geese on anyone.

They are cool weather birds and if provided some shelter from the wind and some straw or hay to get their feet out of the wet/snow do quite well. They do need liquid water once or twice a day though I have seen them eat snow. The webbed feet do function as snowshoes on packed or crusted snow.
I know nothing about alpacas but geese share pasture with sheep, goats, horses and cattle with few problems. I hope this has answered your questions. Maybe someone else can throw more light on the Guard issue
hee hee hee um.. read my signature.

the thing is.. they might not guard YOU. i have a big chunk out of my arm to prove it. but they are good alarm sounders. i'd find a laying trio but make sure you can stand up to a gander. it may require a physical altercation!

if you feel you are in danger consider an alarm system with a panic button.
What ohiofarmgirl You had a shepards crook and a gander still took a bit of your arm? Now that is aggressive! I had a treaty with my boss gander. Out freeranging I was the boss and except for a little "goose" when I wasn't watching there would be peace. (I would sometimes sneak up on him and poke him in the tail with a cane that I kept just for that purpose)
When I went in HIS pen he was the king and I had better show the proper respect by speaking in quiet tones, carry my cane of office, and of course you never turn your back to a king!
BTW 'cane' is not something I need for walking, but a 5' length of cane which is a bamboo type of plant that grows in the South (as in 'cane fishing poles' I used as a herding aid with ducks and geese.
Mine alert really well going off whenever something new enters their territory. In the breeding season the males will even come really close and threaten which spooks most people and they don't want to get out of their cars which helps. They'll do this as easily to me as to anyone else, they don't care. I have specifically worked with my geese so they WON'T attack visitors though I have heard of geese who will at the drop of a hat. Do you really want something that will attack all your visitors, even the ones that you don't want attacked- that could be a liability? A dog is much easier to train in that way. Another type of fowl you might want to consider is guinea fowl. They too go off at the slightest provocation but neighbors hate them because they are so loud. They too just raise a racket and don't attack. They can give you warning but you'd better have a plan after that to deal with the problem.

If your problem is human, the geese sometimes will come close enough to be grabbed, it would be easy to snap their necks at such a time and a person there intent on doing you harm probably won't think twice about doing in a goose to get to you. Again, give me my dogs any day. Geese are more an annoyance and not really a real threat.
yep that son-of-a-so-n-so and i had to have an 'understandin' one day - actually on a couple of days. we had to work out who was the boss goose where and when. we finally agreed.


he got me by the arm when i was puttin' him in one nite - he was guardin' his settin' ladies and alls i was tryin to do was put a pail of water in and close the door! normally my big ol red neck husband deals with the "t's and g's" (turkeys and geese - seein' as how that tom is a son of a gun too) but i was just tryin to be helpful.

re: my signature yep it was an actual event.
however no ganders were harmed in this event - the shepherd on the other hand got her tailfeathers kicked! in all honestly i had to set one of my brontosaurused sized german shepherds on him just so i could get away (of course i called the dog off. darn thats one good dog).

that gander and i have a love/hate relationshiop - if that guy could get in the house he'd probably shiv us in our sleep. but in the end i love that big old galoot!
Over all, geese are prey, not predators!! They are subject to being taken by anything that feeds on poultry. They will send out an alarm and then, if smart, run for their lives.

Of all of the geese I have, and some are large embdems, NONE of the ganders have done anything more than hiss at me, and then move away when I give them a solid look. They sure do like to crowd around and "talk and talk" though.

If you are needing a GUARD animal, look for something else that can stand up to whatever is the predator you are worried about.
I think an animal that sounds an alarm would work nicely. They'd be free ranging in our pastures during the day, so not completely loose. We have 6 strand high tensile electric in most places and a small area of 1X2" no climb.

Would they attack baby alpacas, or any new alpacas we get?

I've seen a fox & a family of bald eagles in our area, though others have seen coyotes & stray dogs.

Is it only the males that are aggressive, or are the females too? Can they breed with ducks?
Believe it or not, when I was in college we started a program in Montana wherein we raised Llamas for guard animals for herds of sheep. This was a government funded program through the UofMT school of forestry wildlife division. You haven't lived until you've seen a llama beat the snot out of a coyote. If you have alpacas, I'd consider throwing a llama in there for protection and guarding.
While I think having a llama or 2 would be a good idea for us, my dad & business partner is afraid of anything larger than the alpacas. Which is kind of silly, since our adult alpacas range from 150-200lbs, and his favorite is a 185lbs male who's still growing.

In addition to letting us know if a predator is around, we'd also like an animal that would alert us to any unwelcome people.

When we expand our herd, and build our agisting (boarding) facility we're going to need some kind of guard animal, since they'll be out of sight of the house. Currently, we can view 99% of our pastures from the house.

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