Guard Geese?

NYchickenMama1215

In the Brooder
Jan 12, 2021
24
10
27
Hello, I have never had geese before but have been doing some digging into the idea of getting guard geese for my flock of chickens. We are increasing our flock this spring and was thinking of adding 2 geese to help watch over the flock. I’ve gathered that it is possible to have only 1 but it’s not advised. I’ve also read that if you get a male and female pair that they may just bond to each other obviously and do their own thing and not stay with the chickens. My question is would getting 2 females or 2 males be a way around that? That way they do have a companion that is like them but would hopefully keep their attention on the flock of chickens rather than a mate. Hope that makes sense and not cruel to deprive them of an actual “mate”. Like I said I have never had geese before so I’m just trying to understand what is best for them to see if they are an option for our family. Thanks!
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
13 Years
Nov 18, 2007
25,488
17,508
771
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
:welcome :frow Years ago a daughter moved to where she couldn't have any pets so we took her dog. We didn't have any predators bothering the birds but the dog stayed outside. Eventually she was old and developed issues and had to be put down. We didn't get another dog. I did put up electric wires around my coops and pens, concrete under the gates and good heavy duty netting covering all of the pens. The predators had discovered our birds and we had some losses. We have had very few losses since. I did have a couple of Leghorns that were escape artists that we eventually lost. Prior a fox dug under a gate and killed some birds. A bobcat and a possum dug under some fencing and killed some birds. We had some issues with hawks and owls. Since putting up the electric wires, concrete under the gates and covering the pens, we haven't had the losses. Good luck with whatever you decide...
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
13 Years
Nov 18, 2007
25,488
17,508
771
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
:welcome :frow Years ago a daughter moved to where she couldn't have any pets so we took her dog. We didn't have any predators bothering the birds but the dog stayed outside. Eventually she was old and developed issues and had to be put down. We didn't get another dog. I did put up electric wires around my coops and pens, concrete under the gates and good heavy duty netting covering all of the pens. The predators had discovered our birds and we had some losses. We have had very few losses since. I did have a couple of Leghorns that were escape artists that we eventually lost. Prior a fox dug under a gate and killed some birds. A bobcat and a possum dug under some fencing and killed some birds. We had some issues with hawks and owls. Since putting up the electric wires, concrete under the gates and covering the pens, we haven't had the losses. Good luck with whatever you decide...
A coyote once went over a 5' fence into a pen. It and several birds went back over the fence and the coyote did manage to kill some of the birds. While it was chasing the birds I went in and got my gun. It was loaded with bird shot and as the coyote was chasing a bird through my backyard, I got a shot off. I'm pretty sure I hit it. It immediately abandoned the chase and took off. You never know what's going to show up next.
 

Goosebaby

Songster
Nov 10, 2019
882
1,202
236
Honestly guard geese are more effective with deterring aerial predators, birds don’t like messing with bigger birds so geese usually keep the hawks away. Geese will scare off timid foxes and raccoons but can’t really protect themselves if the foxes and raccoons learn how fragile a goose really is. Geese can’t in any way defend themselves or anything else from anything bigger.

Ganders can be paired with other ganders and girls with girls, they’ll bond with each other regardless of gender so I guess it just depends on if you want extra eggs (two females) a breeding pair, or two bros.
They’ll definitly prefer their own company but I wouldn’t advise just getting one, it’s unfair, and there’s a chance even with a single goose or gander that they may not get along with all the other birds in their flock. If raised from a young age with the chickens they’ll probably stand a better chance of getting along with them. Geese grow more rapidly than chicks so that’s something else to keep in mind.
 

NYchickenMama1215

In the Brooder
Jan 12, 2021
24
10
27
Honestly guard geese are more effective with deterring aerial predators, birds don’t like messing with bigger birds so geese usually keep the hawks away. Geese will scare off timid foxes and raccoons but can’t really protect themselves if the foxes and raccoons learn how fragile a goose really is. Geese can’t in any way defend themselves or anything else from anything bigger.

Ganders can be paired with other ganders and girls with girls, they’ll bond with each other regardless of gender so I guess it just depends on if you want extra eggs (two females) a breeding pair, or two bros.
They’ll definitly prefer their own company but I wouldn’t advise just getting one, it’s unfair, and there’s a chance even with a single goose or gander that they may not get along with all the other birds in their flock. If raised from a young age with the chickens they’ll probably stand a better chance of getting along with them. Geese grow more rapidly than chicks so that’s something else to keep in mind.

Thanks for all the reply’s yes I know they can’t keep predators away, but I thought it would be useful to have a couple extra set of eyes to watch the flock. We have lots of hawks in our area. I haven’t had any problem with bigger predators. Yes I was thinking of getting 2 males probably. Would 2 males be better at alerting if they see something or females? Like I said just learning about geese and would not get any until I know if I can properly care for them. If I do get geese my thought was to get my chicks first and let them get a little bit of size then get goslings hopefully and raise them together.
 

Goosebaby

Songster
Nov 10, 2019
882
1,202
236
Thanks for all the reply’s yes I know they can’t keep predators away, but I thought it would be useful to have a couple extra set of eyes to watch the flock. We have lots of hawks in our area. I haven’t had any problem with bigger predators. Yes I was thinking of getting 2 males probably. Would 2 males be better at alerting if they see something or females? Like I said just learning about geese and would not get any until I know if I can properly care for them. If I do get geese my thought was to get my chicks first and let them get a little bit of size then get goslings hopefully and raise them together.
Observing my own geese I can’t say that males or females are any better at alerting to danger, they’re about the same, ganders if they feel protective of something they’ll stand between it and whatever they don’t like and they’ll honk pretty loud if th think something is approaching, females honk when someone is approaching and can do high pitched cackling war cry when a fight is going on.
If they’re afraid of something geese tend to actually get very quiet and make a low “heh heh” like sound and while they stand up really tall and stare at whatever it is, I’ve seen mine do that at strange dogs and snakes.
 

NYchickenMama1215

In the Brooder
Jan 12, 2021
24
10
27
Here's a video I watched a while ago. I thought it was very informative.
Yes I saw that video too! that has been part of my dilemma. I’ve seen many videos on YouTube about having a single guard goose but I’ve seen just as much information saying that you shouldn’t have a single goose:idunno Its a bit confusing, well at least I have plenty of time to do more research before I decided on what I’m doing. I may just stick to my roosters haha. Just thought it would be fun to add a different kind of bird to our flock as well as maybe getting the benefit of having extra eyes watching over them.
 

Cindarelly

Chirping
Dec 16, 2019
36
53
71
We incubated eggs from our geese last year and ended up with 5 extra ganders.
I didn't want to eat them and I didn't know how I felt about selling them individually as guard ganders. I sold one to a loving home. He adapted really well and is doing great. I felt better about selling him by himself that I went ahead and sold the others. All have adjusted, but they were raised with chickens, ducks, and turkeys.
Now a few of the new owners want to add more geese.
 

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