Is the reputation true?

tnmommy

Songster
6 Years
Apr 14, 2013
338
19
131
Loretto, TN
I really want some geese and ducks for our farm, but my husband is refusing because geese have such a bad reputation for aggression. Which is why I want them, partly. I would love some weed control around the place and ducks without protectors will be picked off by the numerous predators we have. I have even considered a duck/goose shelter for the night if they will go in it. Is there a people friendly goose breed we might consider?
 

livininbrazil

Songster
7 Years
Dec 17, 2012
4,357
192
238
São Paulo State, Brazil.
I really want some geese and ducks for our farm, but my husband is refusing because geese have such a bad reputation for aggression. Which is why I want them, partly. I would love some weed control around the place and ducks without protectors will be picked off by the numerous predators we have. I have even considered a duck/goose shelter for the night if they will go in it. Is there a people friendly goose breed we might consider?
Geese can be terrors, it´s not an unfounded reputation. most of us have lovely ones, but then we know how to teach them to behave. As regards weeds, get yourself some garden tools!
Geese love grass. They´ll eat your lawn for you. And they´ll wreck any pretty little plants they can reach, apart from the weeds.
As for protecting, the geese could be picked off along with the ducks, depending on what the preds are.... they can´t protect ducks, they may just keep the smaller preds away a bit more because of their size, but that´s about it. A gander is more likely to attack the ducks himself than protect them!
A safe shelter for the night is usually a necessity. (I don´t have one here, but then there aren´t many)
There are some easier breeds, for instance I have Pilgrims, which are very mild-natured in general, harder to find are Cottonpatch, very similar to Pilgrims. Also Sebastopols are very mild. Some say the American Buffs are good. Breeding season, most ganders will get tetchy to aggressive. I would guess that toulouse are next along the line in being placid. To be honest, to put up with geese, you really have to be able to see their funny side.
Positive review? I think they´re great, I adore mine.
 

DurhamDuck

Songster
8 Years
Mar 26, 2011
413
15
121
Durham, Connecticut
I have a pair of American Buffs. The gander is loving like a dog to family, aloof or hissing around strangers (Depends on who they are and how close they get). The goose is more stereotypically grumpy, and doesn't like being held or picked up, she'll run away and honk if you try and grab her, and once you get her she'll beat you with her wings and bite. Bruises...

My gander is much more aggressive with strangers if I'm with him, because he gets protective/possessive.

My goose also has a curious habit of trying to force the ducks into mating with her. She will grab them by the neck and hoist them up onto her back. She only does this when she's laying eggs in the spring; after that it stops. She hasn't hurt the ducks yet, though they do seem a bit confused LOL.

I got them both as goslings and their bonds are very strong. Know that you can never separate a bonded pair of geese. Not if you have a soul anyway LOL. Seriously, though, they won't take to new mates unless their first one has been dead and gone for a while.

We got geese to protect the ducks and they do a good job. Oftentimes, when the ducks are mating or fighting (the geese can't seem to tell the difference) the geese will run over, honking, and stick their necks between the two ducks or pull them apart, breaking up any fights. It's funny and kind of cute.

No predator losses yet. Their size and noise intimidate many predators. Americans are too heavy to fly long distances, although when they really want to, they can go pretty far (Relatively low to the ground, though). My gander has gotten over a three foot fence only three times, and he was trying to get to me (I was too slow getting him his food!), not escape.

Do you have young kids? I wouldn't let a kid under five out in a yard with geese, just because kids are noisy and run around- things that make geese scared. Geese will never be 100% trustworthy around toddlers like the ol' family dog might be (and even then, you have to be careful)... but I guess you chicken people already know that, with your roosters and such.

I recommend Americans. They are generally sweet if you respect them, and also critically endangered, so you buying and/or breeding them helps support a heritage breed.

PS- what breed of duck were you looking into?
 

flockman

Songster
9 Years
Nov 6, 2010
1,185
53
163
Northern Indiana
My buffs are generally docile. The girls are great! My gander is very protective of his girls now during breeding season. Once goslings get about a month old he calms down and isn't an issue.
 

PenguinsCraft

Formal Chicken
6 Years
Oct 28, 2013
2,573
6,093
386
Custer, Kentucky USA
I really want some geese and ducks for our farm, but my husband is refusing because geese have such a bad reputation for aggression. Which is why I want them, partly. I would love some weed control around the place and ducks without protectors will be picked off by the numerous predators we have. I have even considered a duck/goose shelter for the night if they will go in it. Is there a people friendly goose breed we might consider?
I had American Buffs years ago. Ended up with 5 girls. I loved them. They were the best. Not mean to people, but would alert me when people arrived. They would chase the chickens and ducks into safer areas when the hawks were near.
 

livininbrazil

Songster
7 Years
Dec 17, 2012
4,357
192
238
São Paulo State, Brazil.
I had American Buffs years ago. Ended up with 5 girls. I loved them. They were the best. Not mean to people, but would alert me when people arrived. They would chase the chickens and ducks into safer areas when the hawks were near.
Good point....geese, as in the females, are far easier to deal with than the ganders in general.
 

tnmommy

Songster
6 Years
Apr 14, 2013
338
19
131
Loretto, TN
thanks! It would be so great to let my chickens out to free range. The yolk of their eggs has gotten incredibly dark yellow since we moved them to the chicken tractor, but they are limited with access to bugs and they end up walking over their droppings so much. I had them in a deep litter coop and run previously, so their droppings were constantly being composted due to their scratching for treats. Had no idea they pooped THAT much. Good grief.

How are geese with livestock guardian dogs? Anybody know?
 

miniwrangler

In the Brooder
6 Years
Dec 11, 2013
19
1
24
]Hi, I am in the uk , and have a pair of Embden geese. She is in lay at the moment and he is VERY bad tempered and we have to exert our authority every time we go out which is often!! We let our chicken out a few weeks ago and he went for them. He try's to get them through their run fencing too. I love them and they certainly let me know if our cats are about (touch wood, we have been fox free for at least 6 months).
I love our geese, my three year old knows how to tell them to back off, but don't expect them to get on with other birds is my only advice really.
 

grannyh

Chirping
8 Years
Nov 9, 2011
94
1
89
San Lorenzo, NM
I have a pair of Chinese Geese, raised with chicks. They are almost 2 years old and both are on the top of the pecking order! Some of the chickens have learned to just keep their distance. The gander will go after the domestic cats, our LARGE dog, some people and routinely, my husband! My husband has tried everything, but David still attacks him. He doesn't attack me, but he will fight the hose when I'm trying to change the water. They free range with the chickens, but I pen them all up at night. They have so much personality and are fun to have, but they can be a nuisance too! And yes, they all can find just the plants you'd rather they didn't ...and tear up a lawn in no time!
 
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