Geese won't eat!

Discussion in 'Geese' started by nonsuch, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. nonsuch

    nonsuch Songster

    Mar 22, 2011
    Poy Sippi, WI
    We just acquired two Sebastopol Geese (a pair) on Sunday. They are just over 1 year of age (originally from Holderreads). They are very stressed, but we've tried to keep them quiet and not go in their pen, except to give them food and water. When I open the door to give them a fresh bucket of water, the Gander hisses at me. He truly is very afraid. I noticed today that none of their food appears to be eaten? I gave them several slices of bread and some angle worms (bait). In the morning I'll try some leftover vegetables and more bread. The feed in their pen is a high protein crumble for game or waterfowl. Any suggestion? I'm getting very worried.
  2. Lamar Estate

    Lamar Estate Songster

    Mar 3, 2011
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    I'm not an expert, but here's my 2 cents.

    Geese are mostly vegetarians, so I'm not surprised they didn't touch the worms. Bread isn't very good for them, so they probably are not used to even seeing bread. I don't think geese should have a high protein diet (such as finishing or conditioning waterfowl feed) unless they are being fattened for slaughter. I can't even find duck food that isn't a lower protein level, so I use chicken layer feed. (I'm in the St. Paul, Minnesota area.)

    I would try some fresh green, such as salad greens. I would also just be pretty quiet and move slowly around them for awhile, but spend a lot of time near them.

    Poor babies, they must be terrified. Geese can be extremely scared of anything new, such as even a shovel being left on the ground. Where did you get them? Were they used to people? My Sebastopol (he lives inside with us) is extremely sweet to us, but takes some time to get used to new people.
  3. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

    Sep 7, 2009
    Florida - Space Coast
    Ganders will hiss to protect their mate, a nest and just ward off what they thinks a threat. No more bread, it isn't a good diet choice for them, no more worms either. Do they have grass? Geese are graizers and need grass to walk along and eat through out the day. If it has not greened up where you live, get alphalpha cubes and soak them in water to break them up and make them soft. Makes a great source of greens. Dark leafy greens will be a preferred food source. Visit CottageRose's web site as she has great tips on feeding and care. She also lives where there is winter so would have good winter care info.

    We feed the following: Mazuri waterfowl feed, purina layer pellets, oats, black oil sunflower seeds all mixed together. Our geese don't go through nearly as much feed as the ducks because they eat grass all day too.
  4. nonsuch

    nonsuch Songster

    Mar 22, 2011
    Poy Sippi, WI
    Thanks so much for the advice! I knew I could count on good advice from experienced "goose" people. I'm going to the feed mill today to buy the Mazuri Waterfowl ( I saw a bag there last week), alfalfa pellets, oats, sunflower seeds and then the grocery store for romaine lettuce.

    I realize that the Gander is protecting his mate ( and I was told she just started to lay eggs). We want to do things right and learn as much as possible about keeping Geese. We already have rare breed Chickens, and the worms/bread will go to them.

    I'll check out "Cottage Roses" website. Thanks again!
  5. nonsuch

    nonsuch Songster

    Mar 22, 2011
    Poy Sippi, WI

    This is an interesting story. We are planning on putting in a small pond, and have ordered several breeds of Ducks from Holderread Waterfowl Conservancy. We also decided to get several Geese ( Pomeranian and Sebastopol). We saw an ad on Craig's list and investigated further. Some lovely people had gotten this pair from a Swap Meet, and decided to place them.
    I almost decided against getting them, since we are on waiting lists for two reputable Sebastopol Breeders for Goslings. However, when we saw the photo of this pair we were very impressed. As it turns out, they came from Holderreads as Goslings, and the man who purchased them had a heart attack. He survived, but decided to place some of his Waterfowl. They were sold at a Swap. We feel very fortunate to get them. We've been reading the Standard and comparing them to photos of Sebastopols on respected Breeders websites and feel they are of good quality. Everything is frozen and snow covered here, but I'll take some photos to post.

    I am constantly talking to them in a calm low voice and not doing anything to threaten them. What a gorgeous breed of Geese!
  6. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    This is serious advice: do not baby them or talk to them in a soothing voice. Stand tall, keep your shoulders back, use your normal every day voice. Be very matter of fact. Do not walk around them; walk in a straight line and if they are in the way, they will have to move.

    Your geese will settle faster if they have a confident flock leader (that's you). If you think everything is normal and just fine, the geese will take confidence from you.

    If you try to coddle them, they will decide that you aren't the flock leader. With no flock leader, one of them must take the position of leader in a strange place and they will be even more uncertain and unsettled.

    They generally won't eat animal protein, although mine like dry cat food.

    Geese tend to be fat and can go a couple of days without eating, so don't get all worried about it.

    Mine like Romaine lettuce and collard greens. But those are treats. Feed them a balanced poultry pellet while they wait for the grass to come in. If they will eat the alfalfa, that's good, but mine won't eat it.

    Geese don't eat much. A full grown goose eats no more than a medium sized duck. So don't expect large amounts of food to disappear from their food dish.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Have you contacted the seller to determine what they were being fed at their previous home? The temperment will hopefully even out once they are comfortable in their new home.
  8. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Crowing

    Apr 19, 2009
    Oregon Blues has given you superb advice here. I would very much encourage you to follow it.
  9. nonsuch

    nonsuch Songster

    Mar 22, 2011
    Poy Sippi, WI
    Thanks, I agree that they need a flock leader. I've had lots of experience working with animals and this is excellent advice. I also asked the people we bought them from and they were being fed chicken feed and scratch. I bought oats, sunflower seeds, alfalfa pellets and mixed the oats and sunflower in with their Duck/Geese crumbles. Tomorrow, I'll moisten the alfalfa and give that to them, along with some romaine lettuce.

    I appreciate all the advice!
  10. pete55

    pete55 Songster

    Feb 19, 2011
    Suffolk, UK
    Hi. If you follow Oregon Blues' sound advice they will soon settle. I find once new birds are left alone they soon start nibbling grass which is what they've probably been used to. It took a while for ours to accept pelleted food. Best of luck with your new birds [​IMG]

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