I want to get a goose??

Discussion in 'Geese' started by quirkysmith, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. quirkysmith

    quirkysmith New Egg

    Jul 3, 2011
    Hi there,

    I'm soon moving into a rental house with a fenced backyard. (Yay! No more apartments!) The lawn care will be my responsibility. I have been thinking about getting some kind of animal that would eat the grass, instead of having to mow weekly. I also have two young children who would love to have a pet. Eggs would be nice, too.

    ...So I found out that geese eat grass. Is this true? I have so many questions...

    Would they be a good pet, if I make sure to buy a smaller breed? (I've been researching a bit, and I think maybe a Chinese goose would be the right size and temperament?)
    The backyard has a shed; can this be easily converted into a coop for night time and winter protection?
    Can I get just one goose, or do they need to have a playmate?
    I'm not interested in breeding; is there something similar to the process of spaying/neutering to help avoid aggressive behavior during mating season?
    How much can I expect to spend on a regular basis?
    What else should I be thinking of that I'm missing?

    (I am still in the process of trying to find out if this is even legal in my city. I'm pretty sure it would be; it's a small town with lots of rurally-minded people.)

    Thanks for any input!
  2. pinkyglory123

    pinkyglory123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 3, 2010
    There will be a lot of poop! Also they do nip-hard-even the friendliest goose-they are not being bad they are just being well geese. They also may not be cuddly-mine like to hang out with people but not necesarily be picked up. Depending on the age of the kids it may get frustrating....and noisy.
  3. quirkysmith

    quirkysmith New Egg

    Jul 3, 2011
    Quote:My kids are very little-- both under the age of 4. I don't think wanting to pick up the animal will be too much an issue, since they are so small. I can just tell them, "We can touch the goose gently, but it doesn't like to be picked up." Regarding the nipping, what generally will cause a goose to nip? If we raise it from when it's small, it will be social, right?
    How do you handle the poop? Would one of those "pooper scoopers" people use for their dogs work? Can I put it in a compost pile?
  4. The goose girl

    The goose girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2010
    I don't think the combination of geese and small children is a very good one. I adore geese and think they are great pets for adults and maybe teenagers, but not so much for small children. Geese usually dislike sudden moves, and most children are all about sudden moves.

    Geese are very easily frightened, and if they at any time feel uncomfortable around your children they may attack and bite. Even if you raise a goose straight from the egg, it may not be very social. I'm not saying it's impossible, just that you can't be sure.

    My own goose slept with me in my bed for the first three months, and he is a darling. But it takes very little to shake a goose - if I'm carrying a new, to him unknown shopping bag, he'll hiss at it and sometimes try to attack it. All the geese I've had have been very distrusting of any new objects or people.

    The poop comes in any texture from soup over oatmeal to cooked spinach. Some poops (almost always the most ill-smelling [​IMG]) will cover an area of a square foot. A pooper scooper gets you nowhere with half the poops. And a growing gosling will poop 4-8 times every hour.

    A lone gosling will cry for company if it's left alone for just a minute. If you don't intend to spend 99% of your time with the gosling for the first 3 months, you should get two. But, I seriously think you should consider another solution than geese. I don't know enough about goats to recommend them, but I know they eat grass and that the mini ones are often kept in petting zoos.

    Geese are naturally aggressive animals, and it takes a lot of dedication and time to trick them into accepting you as another friendly goose. I've never heard of any treatment that make geese less aggressive, mating season or not.

    Geese will nip anything they can get their bills on. It's their way of exploring the world.
  5. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    First off, don't even consider adding geese without getting your landlord's permission in writing.

    I own a small rental house and if I went by and the tenant had added pets or livestock without my permission, I would evict the tenant and charge their deposit for every penny that it cost me to clean up the damage to my property caused by the pets, both materials and labor. Geese would make a large mess in that shed you have plans for and the charge to clean that up could add up to quite a bit of money.

    Geese eat grass, but they do not neatly mow lawns. They also eat every other type of plant in the landscaping. You will be charged to replace any plants that they destroy.

    Even if you get geese, you will still have to mow.

    You wanted a house with a yard. Now you have a yard to take care of. If you don't want to take care of a yard, then you really should be living in an apartment or a condo. You can't have it both ways. An average sized suburban lots shouldn't take more than 10-15 minutes to mow. It's not like it is a huge job. Plus, then it looks so nice when you are finished.

    I do not recommend geese around small children. Even if the geese are gentle, they grab at food and their beaks are just face height to young children. Their bites hurt and can cut badly, even if they don't intend to injure.

    By the way, I am not a mean control freak landlord. The tenants in my little rental have chickens. They asked permission first. We discussed how they planned to take care of them and I gave them permission. They are good tenants. They pay the rent on time and keep the house and yard neat. Their dog are well cared for, so I was happy to give permission to them to add chickens. The chickens are well cared for and have not been a problem.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2011
  6. SQContrary

    SQContrary Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 31, 2010
    Oklahoma County
    Just thought I'd add. We have been raising a pair of geese we raised from day old ... they were so cute and cuddly, evencuddlier than kittens...BUT THAT DID NOT LAST.
    My 6 year old hugged one of them recently and came away with a nasty surface bruise that looked like a hickey. Quite a hard tear-evoking pinch. The goose was 6 weeks old and pretty large already. They do poop everywhere. And A TON. They mow alright... they mowed down my day-lillies! [​IMG] They get very upset when if kids chase them, and I am sure that someday they won't run... they'll just let them have it. The geese have explained to my cats (any chance they get) and once even my dog that they don't like anyone in their space. Don't get me wrong, we have been enjoying them greatly... better from a distance.
  7. quirkysmith

    quirkysmith New Egg

    Jul 3, 2011
    Thanks for all the information! Sounds like a cat would be a better pet. [​IMG]

    I don't like the insinuation that I'd be a bad tenant. I have always paid rent on time and taken good care of my property. Of course I would ask my landlord before getting any kind of pet. I'm still in the planning phase of this whole living-in-a-house-instead-of-an-apartment thing; I haven't even moved in yet. (The house isn't ready.) I'm just throwing crazy ideas out there and seeing what the results could be. Call it my quirky side that thinks outside the box. Call it wanting to be closer to nature. Call it trying to think of interesting options to make life more fun and colorful. Having been raised in a city, I've never done anything like this at all, and I'm just exploring. I always check in with reality before pursuing any of my crazy dreams, hence this post.

    Maybe the next ambition should be home ownership out in the country.
  8. With geese it does depend on the breed somewhat. My American Buffs are 10 weeks old and still have only nibbled gently onto people, they don't hiss, and are very friendly - have lots to say about things that you are doing -- however, my 5 and 8 year old don't generally have the patience to sit and wait for them to come up to them. My geese tend to give them a wide berth in the same way that we go around bees or skunks. They also do honk - even the females - and it may bother the neighbors if they are close. Two female geese won't have the aggressive issues that the ganders do, but as other people have said, they won't eat like a lawnmower. I fence ours out of most of the yard because of the poop issue : ) It is pretty noticeable.

    I'd recommend chickens in a chicken tractor, or small moveable chicken area. They don't damage the yard then, because you can move them around AND they do eat the grass some. Chickens can be tamed to not mind being picked up so much and they are smaller and easier to handle. Plus, they lay LOTS of eggs, as opposed to the geese who only lay a few eggs during a short time. Three or 4 chickens don't require much money to keep up, once you have the coop/waterer and so on. Then you can feel out how the neighbors are and maybe add some ducks or something else if everything goes well and you like the chickens. Or add two geese eventually . . .

    Rabbits will also eat grass and are good first time pets, but they don't mow, and don't like being carried. Goats prefer weeds and woody stuff and will munch on grass, but it will be more ragged looking and they would definitely eat trees/landscaping and so on. Sheep are great lawnmowers and will keep the grass very short, but they may not be acceptable for the codes there, and goats and sheep require significant fencing, especially goats.
  9. The goose girl

    The goose girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2010
    Quote:I wish everyone would do like you before they got geese. Or other pets. Thank you for investigating! [​IMG]
  10. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 20, 2009
    Orange County, NY
    Sheep eat grass - goats eat weeds!!! I have goats, easy keepers and veryhappy to eat weeds all day, and hay!

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