Goose with chickens?

Discussion in 'Geese' started by farmin4fun, Jun 20, 2016.

  1. farmin4fun

    farmin4fun Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello all,

    I have chickens and I've been told that putting a single goose with the chickens helps with predation since the goose will imprint on the chickens and help protect against smaller predators. I wanted to know if that was indeed true, and if so what breed of goose would be best for that? I also have a toddler who loves to go into the chicken coop so I also need to make sure that this breed won't be too aggressive with him.

    I have had ducks before and they make a horrible mess with the water so I also don't want to deal with that again. Are geese as bad as ducks when it comes to spilling the water all over and mucking it up? Lugging water out to the coop is kind of a pain so I don't want to have to clean out water every day. I don't think the goose would be worth it if I have to do that every day.

    Thanks in advance for your help with my questions.
     
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchaholic Extrordinaire Premium Member

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    Geese are good watch dogs in that they will alert to danger, but they do not fight off predators, so if that's what you're wanting geese for they won't do that for you. Also, you would need at least two geese because they are flock animals and need to have a friend of their own species. It would be cruel to put a single goose in with chickens - they are much happier with friends. They do also make a mess with water because they are waterfowl, just like ducks, so you would have to haul water out to your poultry area and change their swimming pool, etc. It sounds like they might not be a fit for what you want.

    If you want something that will look out for predators for you and will not make a mess with water, you might consider guinea fowl. Just as with geese they do not fight predators off but they are excellent at spotting them and will alert loudly enough that both you and your flock will be aware of the danger. But again just like with geese you will need at least two because again, they need a friend of their own species.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2016
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  3. farmin4fun

    farmin4fun Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for your reply! I asked about guineas in the guinea section. Someone there said they didn't recommend them for "watchdogs" and also said they didn't integrate that well with chickens. I think I may just get a guard dog and stick with the chickens. Thanks for your input though. I appreciate it!
     
  4. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchaholic Extrordinaire Premium Member

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    Well, I own guineas and they are excellent watch dogs and integrate very well with my chickens, so I'll have to disagree with whoever said that :)

    But yes, a dog sounds like a perfect solution for you, and unlike guineas and geese, they certainly will attack a predator.
     
  5. farmin4fun

    farmin4fun Out Of The Brooder

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    I was wondering about the other person's post. Seemed a bit negative to me, but I'm new to guineas and don't want to create a poor environment for them.

    Do you think I could get 3 or 4 guineas and they would still be ok with 15 chickens. The other person also said that I should get at least 10 guineas. I really don't want that many. My coop is 8ftx12ft with a large 100x150 ft run. Do you foresee any issues there?

    Also do you think they would be a source constant, loud noise? I don't mind the occasional loud call. My Rooster crows a lot and it doesn't bother me , but I had a tom turkey once that literally never stopped gobbling and drove me a bit crazy. I didn't want to recreate that issue.

    Thanks for getting back to me!!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2016
  6. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchaholic Extrordinaire Premium Member

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    I started with three guineas and went down to two, and with even just that few they did fine. People told me also that I'd need at least five but that didn't seem to be the case. This year I will have more as I have hatched eggs but even with the smaller numbers of guineas there were no problems for the two years I've had them. I'd say three or four would be fine (just try to make sure you have a good male to female ratio, at least pairs). Mine live in my 8x12 coop with the chickens.

    They do like to free range and that's what they're best at, getting out and eating bugs, so if you could let them do that they'd appreciate it.

    Mine aren't constantly noisy, but the females do call more than the males (it sounds like "buckwheat" and it's the only definitive way to tell the sexes apart) and mine would get to calling like that a few times a day but no worse than a rooster crowing in my opinion. If they see danger however they alert very loudly.

    I'd suggest starting with keets since they need to be imprinted on a coop for six weeks before they'll reliably return each night if you let them out to range. It's a bonus if you can get a broody hen to hatch eggs for you and raise them since they then imprint on chickens and are even friendlier towards them. Now is the time to get eggs or keets to slide under a broody if you want to try that (they're seasonal breeders). You can order small numbers of keets from Ideal Poultry, they don't have a minimum like other hatcheries do, or you could get eggs from Strombergs or from a breeder (you can find a bunch of them on eBay).

    I read the response you got from the other person and I guess I have to say we have had very different experiences with guineas, perhaps because I have so few.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2016
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  7. farmin4fun

    farmin4fun Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks again for sharing your insight and knowledge with me! When you say good ratio, are they like chickens? 1 rooster to 15 hens or is it better with pairs of 1 to 1 ratio? Also do you think it would be a good idea to get keets and raise them together with chicks?
     
  8. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchaholic Extrordinaire Premium Member

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    Guineas actually pair off :) So pairs is fine. I'm raising some with chicks right now but that's tricky because keets need game bird starter with higher protein and after awhile a chick's liver sometimes can't handle the extra protein. So you'd need to be careful of that. I'm splitting mine out of the chick brooder once they hit two weeks old to avoid that and brooding them on their own.
     
  9. farmin4fun

    farmin4fun Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks so much for your advice! I have a broody that I've been trying to break so maybe I'll just get a few eggs and throw under her. Thanks again!
     
  10. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchaholic Extrordinaire Premium Member

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    That would be perfect. One thing to note is they take 26-28 days to hatch instead of 21 like chicken eggs. Good luck! And you're welcome :)
     
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