I'm thinking of getting a couple of geese . . .


Frugal Fan Club President
15 Years
Jan 20, 2008
I absolutely love geese, but I haven't had any in forever and I have forgotten everything about them (besides the fact I adored them).

Talking me into them is welcome, but I know I'm on a site of enablers, so if anyone is able to overcome their enabling gene well enough to offer a few words of caution, I'd love that, too. What problems can I expect? Is there a breed I could get that might turn out less aggressive? How much should I expect to be feeding them? How terribly messy are they? What are their worst characteristics? Would there be issues with them free ranging in the same area as my chickens? I've been reading through this section, and the thread where someone's chicken was killed by a goose gives me pause. There are quite a few threads I've gone through, actually, but I don't seem any nearer figuring out if this is a good idea or not. This indecisiveness is painful!

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Geese ate all my chicken feed... have the same problem with the ducks. They just inhale it! Chickens stand around like WHAT?!?!?!
Pilgrims, americans, and sebastopols are supposed to be less aggressive than other breeds, with chinese probably being the most aggressive. But I think it depends a lot on how they are raised. I have one american and an embden, neither of them is aggressive to people, but they are still very young (about 4 and 5 months old). My embden is my bodyguard, it's pretty cute! He comes running to chase a lakenvelder roo away from me everytime that roo gets too close. I wait for 'baby goosie' now, since my lakenvelder is once again thinking he can whoop me
Every embden goose I've ever seen has been aggressive, but this one isn't. But he's only 4 months old too, so I don't know if his temperament will change. He sure has an attitude!

Any goose will be aggressive once breeding season starts, so just keep that in mind. I believe I've heard that the dewlap toulouse are not aggressive either, but they sure are expensive! But then, sebastopols aren't cheap either.

ETA: My embden gets about a frosting-cup's worth of flock raiser twice a day, plus grazing. He won't eat corn or grains at all, which is what everyone else gets. The american just comes and nibbles on the chickens' feed, and gets a bit of flock raiser as well, they don't eat too much. I'm sure that will change this winter though, once there is less grass to eat. Chinese are supposed to be good foragers, better than most. So if it's feed that you're more worried about, I'd go with them. It's probably because they are smaller than most geese, I believe I've read they are about 12 pounds adult weight.

ETA again: chinese and africans both are said to be good foragers, anything considered a 'weeder' goose. But they all forage, grass/greens is their main diet.
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I have several geese, they are oly 4 months old. I have embden and toulouse. I LOVE them. I don't know if I'm doing it "right" but so far its working great. I have them in with my chickens. My nests are tires filled with straw. They swim in a giant blue kids swimming pool. They so funny! When I go out they crowd me. I can barely move without accidentally stepping on one. They are oblivious to personal space. My geese are not aggressive at all to me or my children. (I am aware that it likely will change, and I probably will not be bale to let th kids out with them) I have a three and four year old, and the geese love them. The geese are just very silly. The chickens put themselves to bed, but on nights whe the moon light is out, the geese are just out swimming about in there swimming pool. If I open the back door in the middle of night the geese start calling to me. I really like them, they are full of personalities. It seems like 98% of the time when I go out I bring a treat of some sort out with me. On the rare occasion when I don't, the geeses noises turns into a noise that sounds like an appalled "MOM" MOM" like they are shocked that mom didn't bring a treat.
The downfalls would be that they swallow my hair (I have long hair) and pulling it out of there throat is rather gross. It does inspire frequent showers though lol
Lol! That seems like the type of thing I'd encourage them to do at least once, just because it sounds so weird I need to see it for myself. I know the goats love to eat my hair, and they're so adorable I have to force myself to not let them.

So . . . after going through all these threads, it seems the main issue is with aggression, right? And is likely the geese will take it into their heads to kill a chicken, or is that pretty uncommon so long as there is room to wander and a gander has a mate to focus his randy energies on? With their grazing, they sound more economical than a lot of poultry.

I'm trying to get all my thoughts wrangled down before I broach the idea with my SO. We both want animals the other is uneasy about . . . I want a couple of geese, he wants a couple of pygmy goats. It'll be interesting to see how this goes.
I seem to have sold my SO on the idea, mainly because he saw a picture of some sebastopols. Does anyone know of any Sebastopol breeders in Texas I could get ahold of?
I have 5 Toulouse, 3 are babies that we raised this yr. they think they are people they are so funny. When I yell for Daisey whcih is the dad before we knew he was a boy, they all fly to me, no matter where they are.....If they are in the yard and they can see me and I yell, they honk at me like we are over here, "Mrs Blind"! I love them they are beautiful and friendly!!
I like my geese, but I wouldn't get them again--it is no fun having a five-year-old who won't go outside to play because he's afraid of the geese; likewise, no fun looking up from a feed bin to see the geese attacking your screaming toddler. We have managed to get around these problems with a combination of timing, training, and closer involvement from mom (i.e., me), but I wouldn't have them around if I could do it over again.

That having been said, they are funny and smart. You can see the intelligence in their eyes. And I do think they offer a small amount of protection to the duck flock they were raised with. One of them died yesterday (so I guess I have to say "I like my goose" now, instead of "geese"
), and I think there's a strong chance he did so because he was attacking whatever was attacking the rest of the flock. I suspect a roaming dog, as he had a large (bloody) hole in his chest but no other trauma. The rest of the flock is fine.

So, anyway, if you don't have small children and you like geese, I say go for it. If they are raised around the chickens & ducks & what-not, they may actually be protective of them, rather than aggressive toward them.
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I have Sebastopols and I love them. They are not aggressive at all. We got them as day-old goslings and tried to hold them for a while every day, at least until they got too big. We'd give them treats and stroke them for a few minutes at a time. Now they don't like to be picked up (but if I can manage it they still like being held and stroked).

I got mine from Estes Hatchery online. I do have to say that while one of them is a classic Sebastopol, the other is a perfectly smooth white goose. I don't know if this is expected or a problem with their breeding program. Nonetheless, they are both very dear creatures. I highly recommend this breed!!

And goats are WONDERFUL! I never liked goats and never imagined wanting any. But we wanted to produce our own milk and everyone we talked to about cows said, GET A GOAT. So we got two and they are the most wonderful animals. They are smart and friendly and curious. I thought I was a sheep person until I ended up with both. Give me a goat any day!!!

Make sure they have been raised to be friendly or get kids that you can bottle raise and then they will be your buddies.

Go for it!
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