Give me the dirt on Geese

Discussion in 'Geese' started by BarredBuff, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. BarredBuff

    BarredBuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 6, 2009
    What do you feed them? What is there brooder supposed to be like? What is the temperature for the first week and how much do you decrease it by each week? When can they free range? And any other advice or comments would be appreciated.

    I have chickens right now. I am interested in getting a few geese to wander about the place..they would be here just to be here. I was thinking about Production Toulouse....any comments about them? And can you please tell me all you know about brooding these animals and anything about them as adults would be appreciated.
    Thank You
     
  2. adrian

    adrian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They should be kept at about 90F for the first week, and 5 degrees decreased every week, until the fifth week in which they usually don't need any extra heat. It depends on how hot their environment is; you may need a heat lamp for less or more time. You feed them a waterfowl diet, starter, grower and finisher (or maintenance), or even chicken feed. Although you should probably supplement with Niacin if they are eating chick food, as they require more Niacin than chickens do and can develop issues.

    Production toulouse are excellent birds. Friendly, hardy, rather docile. I would highly recommend either toulouse, american buffs, lavenders or blues, pilgrims, and of course sebastopols. Feel free to take your time and really choose whichever breed really appeals to you. They make great parents, and forage well. I'm not sure when they can really start to free-range specifically, so I will wait for others to chime in with their experiences. My little buggers are usually supervised for quite a long time, months after they hatch, so I wouldn't know when the earliest acceptable time is.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2010
  3. Kim65

    Kim65 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Geese are super easy keepers. Where you live, it's probably pretty warm, and they shouldn't need extra heat more than a week or so. At a week old, they should be able to maintain their temps as long as their environment is reasonably dry and draft free.

    Goslings will play in their water, literally. Splash, drink, carry mouthfuls of food into it and snarfle and poop in it. They are only exceeded in messiness by ducklings, but not by much. They poop in large amounts frequently, and it is loose and watery. Keeping young goslings in a dry environment is tricky and almost impossible. Next in impossibility is keeping their water reasonably clean [​IMG] .

    I used a two quart indoor cat waterer. It is deep enough to dunk their whole bill into (important, they need to keep nostrils clean), and it trickles fresh water in continually. Then you don't have to change/refill the water so often.

    They can get chilled when wet, as they don't have a mother goose to oil their down, and since they WILL get wet, keep them in a draft free brooder for the first two weeks.

    As far as free ranging them, they are more or less adult size at three months. They are vulnerable to dogs, coyotes, raccoons and very brave cats.

    I had a flock of production Toulouse when I lived in Idaho, and now have american lavenders. Toulouse are large geese, good mothers and the ganders aren't too aggressive. They set up a loud cacophony if an intruder comes in and are excellent at keeping away hawks and neighbor children.
     
  4. BarredBuff

    BarredBuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank You both so much!!
     
  5. sydney13

    sydney13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i fed my goose none medicated chick starter with 20% protein for the first 3 weeks and then switched to chick grower with 14% protein and as she gets older i will use flock raiser. i just raised my gosling with my chicks in the brooder with pine shavings and i also put in some dog chew toys for my goose to chew on. the temperature should start at 90 and decrease 10 degrees each week . they need to submerge their whole head in the water and my goose would often tip over her water bowl and try to climb in it so ill warn you the brooder can get very messy [​IMG] i use a dog waterer for my goose, but you only have to have it deep enough for them to dip their nostrils in if you let them go swimming each day so they can clean their eyes.
    i let my goose free range with my chickens at 2 weeks old only as im home but that because we only have a fenced in acer so im not sure what age it would be if their was a lot of more land.
    i have a production toulouse goose and she is very friendly but she was hand raised and imprinted on me so i think she would be friendly no matter what breed. ive read that production toulouse geese are very friendly and they can lay a fair amount of eggs and they aren't overly noisy. i wanted a toulouse because they apparently don't honk that much and my neighbors are close by but if you weren't worried about noise then maybe consider the africans because they are beautiful and ive read they are one of the friendliest breeds [​IMG]
     
  6. jojo@rolling acres farm

    [email protected] acres farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2009
    Nebraska
    Hello,

    I love geese and I bet if you get some - you will too. I currently keep Roman Tufted, Sebastopols and I now have one pair of Tufted Buffs. The flock that I currently keep are very quiet and kind. Geese make great parents for the most part - and during nesting they can be a protective of the area and their babies/mate.

    My geese get Flock Raiser in the evening but free range and graze all day. I shut them into two box stalls and close down the barn for safe keeping at night. When I let them out in the morning - they head right for the two baby pools I have set up nearby. Grazing, fun in the sun, excercise and two pools - goosey goose heaven. As long as the fox stays away...
     
  7. adrian

    adrian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just so you know, I don't really advocate africans because I've had trouble with them in the past... I've heard they can be great, but I've heard of issues with them, too. If you're a first-time goose owner, go for the safe breeds: pilgrims, american buffs, tufted romans... Some of those breeds. Sebastopols are always wonderful, but can be expensive, so those breeds are your best bets. Toulouse can also be great, but in my experience pilgrims and americans are almost guaranteed to be gentle and calm... Plus they are multi-purpose breeds.
     

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