Hatching geese?

Y master

Feb 5, 2018
Hi. Sorry for posting this on a chicken forum but I don't really know where else to post these questions. I'm thinking of hatching some geese for my farm (that has a large pong/dam)but I have a couple of questions and was wondering if anyone could answer them. ..
1. Are geese aggressive toward people? I've heard stories of geese breaking a lady's ankle and others of really nice geese.
2. How different is it to hatch geese compared to ducks and chickens?
3. Do geese get along with ducks, chickens and guinea fowl?
4. Can you raise ducks and geese together?
Thanks so much.
I’m not a keeper of geese but have hatched them for a farmer friend the last couple of years. They are different to hatch from chicken eggs for sure. I followed this guide on hatching them which I found extremely helpful ~ https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=491013

Good luck with your possible new goose project.
I absolutely love my two flocks of geese! I've raised them on and off for the past five or so years and getting back into them recently was one of my better poultry-related decisions. The link in the above post is very helpful. Here's my two cents on your questions.

1. Some are, some aren't. Aggression can depend on the breed, time of year, how they were raised, etc. I keep Pomeranians and Dewlap Toulouse. The Toulouse are far more gentle-natured than the Poms. The ganders don't hardly squabble at all during breeding season, whereas the Poms have some pretty good showdowns now and then. None of mine are aggressive towards me. I've handled all of them since they were babies. Allowing goslings to imprint on you while they are young is a big step towards very friendly geese. That means spending time with them and hand feeding treats etc. That's not saying if you don't they'll be mean, but if you do there's a good chance they'll be more like a feathered dog than a bird!

2. As far as incubation and hatching, waterfowl are a little different. Eggs can benefit from higher humidity and take 28-35 days to hatch. Hatching geese is of course more similar to ducks than with chickens. That link has some great details. As with all waterfowl, geese prefer to breed on water. Fertility can be an issue in some breeds and compared to some breeds of ducks and especially chickens, geese are far more seasonal layers. Both the males and females are also incredibly devoted and protective parents.

3 and 4. I know plenty of people who keep geese with other species of poultry. My personal opinion is to give geese their own space. Geese are territorial by nature, and I've always thought they appreciate their own space. Not to mention, they are one of the biggest birds in the barnyard--and they know it too. That being said, they can tend to be bullies. They also become increasingly territorial during breeding season. So I've always felt giving them their own pens is easiest on everyone. However as I said before, plenty of people keep them with other species, especially ducks. I would just keep an eye on things, particularly in the spring.

Geese are hugely rewarding to keep, and once they feather out are virtually self-sufficient if given adequate pasture and protection from predators. They are extremely intelligent as well. They make excellent watch dogs and, if you put in a little TLC, they are actually very good pets despite their reputation.
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what do you consider a flock (in terms of numbers and in terms of the male/female ratio)? do you keep the 2 breeds separate? is it easier to raise the flock as a whole?
I'd say six birds is a nice little flock, or gaggle I should say, since we're talking geese. :D In reality, a 'flock' just an indefinite significant number of birds. Currently I have seven Poms and six Toulouse. There are two Pom ganders and five girls and an even three and three with the Toulouse. I've always kept at least two females per male and haven't had major problems. With as easy going as the Toulouse are, I can get away with less. Most of the boys pair up with no big fights, although I am going to bump up to ten this spring and hopefully get some more girls.. The Poms are a different story...

I do keep the two breeds separate for purity. However, I have two varieties of each breed: buff and gray. I don't separate the color varieties. I have males and females of each color--and one gray Pom gander that is split to buff--so I usually get a pretty good mix of both colors.

Is it easier to raise the flock as a whole? No. But it's not harder either...if that makes sense! To me, raising six geese and raising a pair is not much different (aside from a slightly higher feed bill--if they adequate pasture that shouldn't even be a problem!). Once they're fully feathered, they really are some of the easiest birds to raise.

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