How to make them eat more?

Discussion in 'Geese' started by sandipuppy, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. sandipuppy

    sandipuppy Out Of The Brooder

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    I've got 3 Embdens left. Hubby gives them a Folgers can of corn/wheat and they barely eat any of it. How much should they be eating?
    Maybe we're feeding them wrong? We put the food in a big dish for them beside their water dish. Their dishes are actually the vegetable bins from a refrigerator. Would they eat more if it was scattered on the floor maybe? Maybe I'm just a big worry-wart...
     
  2. Iain Utah

    Iain Utah Overrun With Chickens

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    Sandipuppy, I keep my geese in two flocks (Africans and dewlap Toulouse). The Africans free range on 9 acres and are each fed 1/2 coffee can 2x per day of whole corn and purina flockraiser. The dewlaps are kept in yard around my house are each fed 1/2 coffee can 2x per day of whole corn and Mazuri maintenance. All have access to grass hay 24/7.

    I use the large shallow black rubber bowls that you get at the feed store. I use 5 gallon buckets for water, even though it is a royal pain to empty the ice block and refill 1-2 times per day.
     
  3. sandipuppy

    sandipuppy Out Of The Brooder

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    so mine aren't eating nearly enough are they?
    How can I make them eat more?
     
  4. Demosthine

    Demosthine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Corn should be fed in very moderation. If you feed too much corn, they will get too fat and have problems laying eggs or not lay at all. Also, from my reading, you should be feeding them a lot more than just wheat, even if you are free-ranging. Watch for coupons from Nutrena for their Layer Feed with Omega 3. Awhile back, there was a $3 coupon, which brought it down to $14.00 for a 50 pound bag, a great deal. They need a fairly complex diet. If cost is not an issue, you can check the New and Improved Breakfast for Champion Layers from Fresh Eggs Daily.

    For my girls, personally, I find they prefer to scratch and peck it off the floor rather than eat it out of the food hopper I made. They scratch it all on to the coop floor and then scratch through it for the food. Not only does it encourage their natural instincts, but it also keeps them occupied during the day. Bored hens tend to start pecking at each other more.

    If you are free-ranging all day, you can get away with a lot less for the supplement. If you cost is an issue, I'd recommend going with a commercial brand. All six of my girls love the Nutrena Start & Grow. They aren't laying yet, so they don't get the Layer Feed. I ferment it to add a lot of beneficial bacteria and to help with the digestive track. They ultimately eat and drink less because it is more nutritional and satisfying for them. The process is really easy and the system can be made for about $5.00. Check out Natural Chicken Keeping's Fermented Feed article for all the details. My hens rush to the door the moment they see me with the red feed dish and follow me the entire time. They're almost pecking at my feet, their are so anxious to get to it.
     
  5. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

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    WHole wheat and WHole oats can be added TO a complete feed such as Flock raiser, Mazuri or another brand. Just wheat and corn and no grit to help digest is not helping them. If you live where it is bitter cold and the grass dies off you should look into growing fodder for them as well as a daily addition to their normal feed. As mentioned above you can add whole corn, but dont make it the primary diet.
     
  6. ChristineR

    ChristineR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Geese are different than chickens in their behavior and nutritional needs, though. I think they would waste A LOT of food if you scattered it on the floor.
     
  7. Demosthine

    Demosthine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Point well taken. I completely missed that he was talking about geese. I went to the "New Posts" option in the Forum and it brought this thread up. I guess I better look at that next time.

    I just did a search for that breed of goose, because I love learning knew things, and this article came up about "How to Care for Geese - Natural Ecological Lawn Mowers." I don't know how accurate it truly is, and I'm sure there are other options, but it says that geese "eat few things other than grass (chick weed, clover, dandelions, everlasting pea plants ...)" Are the free-ranging in a grassy yard where they have access to a lot of grass that they'd be eating? I'll be following this to see what becomes of it. Like I said, I'm a curious one.
     
  8. sandipuppy

    sandipuppy Out Of The Brooder

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    Basically, that's why I got them. Hubby's riding lawn mower died and geese are way cheaper than a new one and more environmentally friendly. Problem is, I live in Canada...and from about Mid November to March there is no lawn...just snow....and temps low enough to make Siberia look good....just have to get them through the winter in one piece and they'll be golden...
     
  9. Goose and Fig

    Goose and Fig Grateful Geese

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    If you can pick up greens at the grocery store, it would really be good. I grow and buy turnip greens because they are really high in calcium, they are cheap, and the birds love them. I also agree- cut back on the corn and replace it with other whole grains like oats and millet and throw in some layer crumble to round it out nutritionally. Don't forget grit or a bowl of play sand will even work.
     
  10. Demosthine

    Demosthine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Another excellent option would be to start sprouts and/or fodder. You can find designs all over this website and excellent information. The fodder would be especially good because it would be just like the grass and nutritional far better than their current diet. I bet they'd eat it like a homeless guy and fatten up to a nice, healthy weight.

    Oh, sprouts and fodder do best inside, so it doesn't matter if you're living in Antarctica.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013

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