Geese vs Turkey

Discussion in 'Geese' started by Bush84, Feb 21, 2016.

  1. Bush84

    Bush84 Chillin' With My Peeps

    186
    7
    64
    Jan 4, 2015
    Kensington, mn
    I'm thinking about getting some bigger birds this year. Right now I just have chickens. I had decided to get turkeys but in my search for bourbon reds I couldn't find any locally, but happened to find buff American geese very close to me. So that got me reading and I'm not sure what I want to do. I understand there are lots of pros and cons for both but wanted to get opinions. Don't ask me why I posted it here. I just picked a forum.

    Here are some of my thoughts on the debate. I have 8 acres and I mow a lot of it. So I have a lot to feed some geese. I like the fact that I will have to buy in very little feed during the nicer months. I also like that the butchered product is still a decent size. It seems that they are also more durable to raise from what I understand. On the other hand turkeys are larger. I find them better looking. They don't have the same water needs. I also have young kids and I believe (maybe incorrectly) that turkeys will not bother the kids and be aggressive.

    Your thoughts?
     
  2. Carrosaur

    Carrosaur Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,782
    63
    146
    Mar 8, 2014
    Nashville, TN

    I've never had turkeys but I absolutely LOVE my geese. Buffs especially, they're one of the calmest and quietest. If you're looking for size check out some Dewlap Toulouse, they're very calm and very very big. Some can reach up to 30lbs!!! But the average is 23-26lbs. They're also very majestic!

    Here are some pictures from online, they come in gray and buff.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Tivona

    Tivona Chillin' With My Peeps

    601
    52
    161
    Jun 2, 2011
    Oregon
    If your thinking of geese instead of turkey I would suggest making sure you like the flavor and texture. Goose is different from turkey just as turkey is different from chicken. Some love it, others not as much. Goose is usually available in the freezer sections of grocery stores at least where I live.

    Geese are awesome at mowing the grass. 8 acres is big enough for a lot of geese but your right about the water needs. They can mess up water pretty fast but that water can go back to the grass which they eat so depending on how you do it its not necessarily a waste. I move several kiddie pools around and my front yard stays green and the side field stays fairly green. I use the water from their pens in summer to water blueberries and flowers. I use collected rain water as much as I can. I live in Oregon so I get plenty of rain lol. Basically I have little expense on their water but more work. Kind of depends on your set up but its doable.

    Uhh turkeys... I have never had them. Neighbors tried having them, and we have wild turkeys here so I am familiar with them to some extent. The neighbors turkeys turned mean and started attacking everyone. They were scared of dealing with them and I can't blame them. I ended up butchering and got half. I have heard (from several different people) that they can be as sweet as can be till they get older then turn mean. I think it would depend on the same things as with geese. Hormones, gender, how kindly they are treated, how well you can assert yourself when needed, etc. I see them as much the same in temperament at least with the ones I have dealt with. Geese are messier though and need more water.
     
  4. The goose girl

    The goose girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    786
    74
    171
    Jul 7, 2010
    Denmark
    I never had turkeys, but my grandmother did. Once, when my uncle was a boy and home alone, a turkey tom held him hostage in a shed for hours. Whenever he tried to get out, the tom attacked him. He was finally rescued when his parents arrived and chased the turkey away.
     
  5. TomGallopavo

    TomGallopavo Chillin' With My Peeps

    105
    6
    103
    Apr 12, 2011
    Hillbillyville, MO
    I have Emdens and Blue Slate turkeys (chickens and ducks). The turkeys are as nice as can be though the gobblers "try" to chase my Lab around...he is not really bothered by them. We pick them up all the time. One of the Emden Ganders however was mean to my kids favorite chicken though...we ate him (the Emden of course).
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016
  6. newgosling

    newgosling Out Of The Brooder

    27
    1
    34
    Mar 27, 2016
    graham washington
    I have had turkeys off and on for 4 years now I bought 3 toms to figure out which one I was going to hold back and sell the rest. They all ended up either in the freezer of the other people i sold to because they were down right mean. Now I have 1 Tom he is a Jersey buff he is from the bourbon red family of turkeys and he is sweet as can be and he is 1 1/2 years old and his 4 hens I love I am picking up 5 more turkey poult turkeys from a lady in town.
     
  7. littlekatzz

    littlekatzz Chillin' With My Peeps

    346
    17
    113
    Jan 23, 2012
    I have both turkeys and geese. I didn't socialize my geese a lot as babies and they aren't cuddly but they aren't aggressive either. Even my gander for the most part talks a bunch a crap but won't attack me. My turkeys on the other hand are amazingly social and have made me re evaluate just how intelligent turkeys are. I had a Narragansett hen who loved to sit in my lap and be loved on. And my last 4 years of having broad breasted turkeys I'm now convinced I have feathered dogs. They follow me around ask to be petted and have been super sweet to the point my mother who has moved in with me has now refused to eat turkey lol. But I've heard geese can be the same way if raised by hand and handled a lot as babies. However I will point out that as sweet as my turkeys are with me they can be bullies to smaller birds and have a tendency to eat any baby chicks my banties try to hatch out if not separated out. My geese I've always kept separate and I have a few that are sweet but not overly cuddly and they need their pool changed out daily. Given a choice I prefer geese just cause I like waterfowl, since I'm in the desert I have to supply all their food needs 100%. I have a pair of buff geese, a trio of embdems, 3 sebastapols, and a pair of sebby x. I have another order of goslings shipping out tomorrow that I plan to make true pets with lots of handling. So I really think that it comes down to personal preference as well as the personality of said birds. You are going to find sweet geese and turkeys and on the other end of the spectrum birds who could star in a horror flick :p as well as everything in between. That being said in both I've found girls to be in general sweeter and have more personality where as boys can be more likely to be aggressive. Oh and as my geese just reminded me they can be loud! If you are raising birds for your freezer I suggest birds that you will be happy to see go, because my embdems were supposed to be headed to freezer camp last year and instead have became breeder birds :p.
     
  8. Carrosaur

    Carrosaur Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,782
    63
    146
    Mar 8, 2014
    Nashville, TN

    That's exactly how geese act IF you spend tons of time handling them. If not they'll accept you and a petting sometimes. I spent hours with my goslings so they would continue to accept handling and loving!
     
  9. Bush84

    Bush84 Chillin' With My Peeps

    186
    7
    64
    Jan 4, 2015
    Kensington, mn
    I decided to get turkeys. I guess the biggest thing was the taste. I've never had goose and it was the unknown that made me nervous. Also the water thing was also a hassle. I was going to get bourbon reds but am starting to lean towards white Hollands. If I find a good deal on Craigslist I will get the bourbon red but otherwise I'd try my hand at hatching white Hollands.
     
  10. newgosling

    newgosling Out Of The Brooder

    27
    1
    34
    Mar 27, 2016
    graham washington
    Yeah I have the heritage breeds and love there taste I love geese as well I have had both geese and turkeys off and on for 4 years I would say I like the geese better as the turkeys are not that smart as babies as the geese are.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by