Information on Geese Please

FunQuail

Chirping
Sep 23, 2018
44
80
84
Hi!
I need some information. I’m looking into geese for pets, mowing, and maybe eggs.
I am planning on getting 4 Toulouse geese.
What do you all use for housing? I want it to be portable and I'm going to get an automatic door for it too. What automatic door do you all recommend? Can geese be on mesh? And use a ramp? They're going to have electric fencing around them. Is that a worry for geese?
How do I train them to go in at night?
I want the geese to be friendly to me and not attack me. Do I need to be dominant? And how do I do that?
Can you have an all female flock? Can you have an all male flock? Can you have 3 females and 1 male? Do they need to be in pairs?
How much do the geese fight?
What do you use for water?
What do you feed them in the winter?
Do I need to worry about aerial predators? How likely is a hawk or owl going to try to take down a goose?
What feed do you all use for goslings?
How do you give the goslings water?

Thank you in advance and any other information is appreciated! :D
Kelly
 

Goosebaby

Songster
Nov 10, 2019
136
303
106
My geese are pretty much free range on and off during the day, different geese have different personalities so flock dynamics can vary, I have two groups that don’t always get along so they’re out at different times. They’re never really unsupervised, either I’m out with them or my flock guardian dogs are, “note: not any dog makes a good guardian.”
At night they are put away in 6x9’ roofed dog kennels that are winter proofed during the cold wet months. Their bedding is fine wood shavings. I wouldn’t suggest metal mesh as flooring as it may hurt their feet.
I don’t know quite what you mean by automatic doors so I can’t say.

I wouldn’t have a live wire because geese like to chew on things they have access to.
Geese are creatures of habit that like their routine, once they get used to where they live, it’s fairly easy to guide them back in at night if you’ve let them out. I like to repeat the word “in” while I’m doing it and they’ve learned when I say it that it’s time for bed.

It’s easy to have a friendly flock, just raise them and spend time with them daily like any pet and they’ll love you forever. Ganders can get grumpy in the winter and spring because of hormones so the best way to show them who’s boss is to pick them up and carry them around for a few moments if they’re being naughty..

An all female flock is perfectly fine. An all gander flock is too depending on their particular personalities and the flock dynamic. Example, my Thor and Parsnip grew up together and were bonded, they never hurt each other they were the sweetest boys ever. Darby and Strawberry grew up together also but occasionally squabble though they generally get along fine with each other, they do not get along with Leo or Parsnip and they can’t be together without a war starting.

You can have up to two females for one gander, He’ll prefer one more than the other but he’ll still breed with the other sometimes. A third goose is stretching it, he may accept her, completely ignore her, or worst case she might get picked on by the all of the others.

My geese drink regular water out of the faucet, as a rule if it’s unsafe for you, like if there’s heavy metals or lead, it’s unsafe for them. Access to fresh clean water daily is important.

I’ve heard of hawks and owls preying on geese, I haven’t had that issue myself so I suppose it depends on how bold they are, my geese are rarely ever truly alone outside so my or my dogs presence may be a main deterrent. The larger the bird of prey the more likely they are to think about trying for a goose though. I’d say goslings are most at risk.

Goslings should be fed a non medicated start, some people have had no problems feeding medicated start to goslings but I’ve personally experienced some horrible issues with it, medicated start has an additive called acs which has been known to be toxic to young waterfowl, so it’s up to you to research it and decide for yourself what’s best. I think it has to do with how concentrated the additive is.
Geese can be picky eaters so I suggest also introducing them to a wide range of different foods when they’re young.
My geese mainly graze during the day, with lots of treats like carrots, lettuce, fruit, berries, and cucumbers. I was feeding them a blend of grains but I recently experienced some health issues with one of my ganders so they’ve been switched to nutrena all flock instead of the grains.

There’s little self waterers for chicks that may work, goslings and geese like to play in water so regardless of what you use you’ll have a mess. I always kept my goslings in a big plastic bin inside and just used small bows for water and food and refilled them when they ran out. It’s more effort to constantly be refilling them all day but it kept them from dumping water all over their bed and gave me the ability to make sure their food and water was always fresh and clean. They need their bedding cleaned every day, as they get bigger twice a day until they outgrew their bin.
While they’re little they’ll need a heat lamp, as they grow they’ll need it less and less, if they’re huddled tight right under the light they’re too cold, if they’re spread out as far from it as possible and they’re panting they’re too hot.

I’ve seen some raise goslings in baby pools so that’s another option.
 
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NEgoosegirl

Chirping
Mar 11, 2015
76
37
91
I hope you have fun with your geese! I fell in love instantly with mine. :love A ramp can work for geese, although if it's long and more than a couple feet off the ground, they do sometimes tumble off the side. My geese used to live in a "chicken tractor" with a hutch at one end that was reached by a ramp. The hutch was about 3 feet off the ground. It worked fine, but I never dared to leave the ramp in place all day because I was afraid they'd hurt themselves. Probably paranoid. :)
 

DiYMama540

Crossing the Road
Premium member
Jun 25, 2019
2,843
15,177
752
SW VA
My Coop
My Coop
@Goosebaby nailed it!

For housing mine have big dog house type structures my husband built. They prefer to sleep out in the open, but if the weather is bad I go out and herd everyone into their house for the night.
I've not used any automatic doors so I don't have any recommendations there.

Check out our articles section for even more info on raising goslings!
 

BBHF1775

Chirping
Feb 10, 2020
46
135
53
NY State
I'll just say that an automatic door would never work for our Sebastapols and runner ducks. Long after the chickens have put themselves to roost for the night, our water birds are still playing around in the run and splashing in their pond. It is easier in winter to get them in (some nights they will do it themselves), but forget about it in summer. Don't get me wrong, they just need someone to tell them it's "bedtime" and they will go in their coops.

The worst thing I can envision with an automatic door is that you take a risk that they miss their curfew and the spend the night outside facing the elements and any predators.
 
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