guard goose for the chickens?

Discussion in 'Geese' started by college town chick, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. college town chick

    college town chick Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 4, 2008
    My family and I are going to be getting chickens for our backyard. We do have a healthy and diverse population of predators in the area; breeding pairs of red-tails, grey owls, foxes, coyotes, raccoons, oppossums, rat snakes, rats, and a smattering of dogs and cats (some folks like to let their animals roam:rolleyes:). For the middle of the city we're pretty wilder-y (even have deer in the backyard sometimes).

    Our Border Collies can do a pretty reasonable job of keeping an eye on a flock, and our Pit mix does a good job of keeping "the bad guys" out of our yard (the best varmint dog) -- but we live in a college town so our dogs get put up at night. That leaves our chickens in the roost/run for a large portion of the day without their canine guardians.

    So we're thinking of getting a goose or two, as we've heard they help protect the chickens. Is this a good idea or is that all hype? How well do geese integrate into a chicken flock?
    What would be the best breed of suburban goose? I do have toddlers, so what's the most person friendly goose breed(thinking that maybe the kids could have the goose and a chicken as "pets" and the rest of the flock would be for "business")?

    What other steps could be taken to keep the varmints away from our chickens? I'll be honest, I seriously will freak if I run into a rat or snake after the birds -- those two critters have snuck up on me one two many times:eek:
     
  2. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    OK, I'm no expert, but this is what I have been told by people who have had geese.

    Geese make good guard dogs, they will usually honk when someone/something gets close to them. Guineas also do this.

    But I know someone who raised a goose with her chickens...and so the goose behaved like a chicken.

    As long as the geese were raised around the kids, I think they would be fine. My dad has warned me against getting geese because they 'bite' - they grab on and twist. My dad said they'll raise a welt like you wouldn't believe. But it all comes down to how they're handled and raised.
     
  3. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    I have Toulouse geese. I have 2 extra ganders. So I leave them out 24/7 and they keep the hawks away.
     
  4. Heather J

    Heather J Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 29, 2008
    I honestly think my geese are the reason I haven't lost any of my chickens to predators yet, but I have no proof of that. My white Chinese gander is a mean one to me and he picks on the chickens some, but he's really good with strangers (which is nice when my friends watch the birds while I'm out of town). All of my other geese are female, so I couldn't tell you how agressive they would be as ganders, but my Toulouse is least in your face out of the white chinese, african and toulouse. i think if I had raised my geese in the same flock as my chickens, and without a big flock of their own they might integrate better. Mostly they ignore each other unless the chickens are eating something the geese want when they all get out to free range, but they've never hurt each other, just picked a bit.

    I often come home well after dark from work trips (last night is was 1 am) and my geese and ducks are always congregated outside the doors to the two runs (chickens on one side, geese and ducks on the other), so even though I wish my dh would put the 'kids' to bed at dark, if he's not able, the geese are between the chickens and any raccoons or skunks until i can lock up the coop properly for the night.

    I admit, this is the biggest reason I've come up with for why I haven't gotten rid of the noisy things--though I think they are beautiful, i worry about irritating my neighbors. Guess I need to take out some more eggs as peace offerings. lol
     

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