Goosies eating too much lettuce?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by DoctorGoose, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. DoctorGoose

    DoctorGoose Chillin' With My Peeps

    381
    0
    139
    Jul 27, 2007
    Woodinville,WA
    Hi there--I've never raised waterfowl before, but my goslings (3 weeks old) are eating about 8 heads of lettuce a day (between the two of them) and absolutely refuse to touch the chick starter or the waterfowl starter I've gotten them. Any ideas? I've never had trouble getting a bird to eat before!!

    Thanks!
     
  2. Sugar Sand Farm

    Sugar Sand Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2007
    North Florida
    Im fairly new to waterfowl as well We have two 5 month old Embdens and 5 1 1/2 month old embdens Givingf them lettuce all the time is not very good. They need their feed. Also what kind of lettuce are you givng I was told that iceburg lettuce has no nutritrishal value at all. I also give my geese a mixture of greens every day but I make sure they eat ftheir feed as well Hold off some of the lettuce and leave the feed available if they are hungry they will eat it. Micki
     
  3. DuckLady

    DuckLady ~~~Administrator~~~BYC Store Support Staff Member

    32,536
    1,330
    521
    Jan 11, 2007
    Washington State
    Congrats on your goslings.

    You should cut out the lettuce completely until they learn to eat their feed. It is like feeding a child dessert for every meal and not making him eat his veggies. Letting them eat lettuce only is asking for trouble. They are not getting the nutrients they need to grow properly. They can develop leg problems ( a disaster in heavy geese) and be generally weak.
    You can let them out to graze in your yard while you are with them and they will learn to eat grasses.
     
  4. DoctorGoose

    DoctorGoose Chillin' With My Peeps

    381
    0
    139
    Jul 27, 2007
    Woodinville,WA
    I'm feeding them Romaine (Yay for Costco!). I've tried to let them out on the grass, but they go bananas when I try to leave, (even when they're in their little pen). They were outside for quite a while yesterday while I was working around the barn, but still quite hungry when we came in.

    The other thing is--yesterday morning, I ran out of lettuce and they threw a temper tantrum, taking the chicks they had in with them and throwing them about by the neck. [​IMG]

    Needless to say, the chicks have their own pen now...But the rest of my family get so upset with the goslings start to cry for lettuce....is there any way I can make their starter more palatable, or should I just throw them outside and let them deal with it?
     
  5. DuckLady

    DuckLady ~~~Administrator~~~BYC Store Support Staff Member

    32,536
    1,330
    521
    Jan 11, 2007
    Washington State
    You can try mixing their crumble with warm water to medium oatmeal consistency and hand feeding it to them while they are snuggled in your lap.
    They are fussing when you walk away because they see you as Mom and want to be with you. Glad you separated them from the chicks. That must have been scary.
    Now for the tantrums, they look at you as Mom, so treat the tantrums the same. Ignore it. Put their feed out and fresh water to wash it down with. Talk to them and play with them, but don't cave on the lettuce. Romaine is ok, but remember, if you have gardens with lettuce growing, your geese have learned to like it and will destroy your gardens to get to it and will discover other yummies you have there along the way. Get them used to grass and weeds (mine LOVE dandelions) and they will be great at weed control. Once they are grown, if you have enough forage for them, the feed they will consume will be minimal. But they need the nutrition now that feed gives them. Treats can come later.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by