Looking at adding some geese - help me pick a breed

Discussion in 'Geese' started by billw, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. billw

    billw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We're looking at adding some geese this year and I have been researching, but haven't come to a clear conclusion.

    We have a fenced acre that is about half grass and half potatoes, strawberries, cane fruits, gooseberries, and some other perennials. My goal is to introduce the geese as weeders that will both keep the grass down and keep it out of the potatoes and strawberries. So, I guess the first question is whether or not that is a reasonable goal. From my readings, it appears to be, but if you think that is destined for failure, please let me know.

    I know that the geese won't eat all the weeds, but we cycle the ducks through on occasion and they do a pretty good job at chowing down on the broad-leafed stuff.

    So, I am looking for a breed that has the following characteristics:

    * Is a good weeder.
    * Can't (or won't) fly over a six foot fence.

    Nice to have, but not essential:

    * Isn't much noisier than ducks
    * Pleasant temperament
    * Can raise their own young successfully
    * Good meat bird

    I could also use some guidance on how many would be the right number to basically mow a half acre of fast growing grass and weed the other half acre. I have read recommendations ranging anywhere from 2 to 20. I would be shooting for the ideal number to limit feed - ideally they would basically feed themselves while the grass is growing with just a bit of supplementation. I'd rather undershoot a bit and have to help cut the grass back than overshoot and have to buy more feed.
     
  2. Dwen

    Dwen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would suggest looking into Americans, Toulouse, or Shetland geese. They normally should leave your strawberries alone unless there are berries, but not all geese read the goose books.
     
  3. billw

    billw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. Shetlands look quite interesting and weren't on my list. Looks like flying might be a problem though.
     
  4. Dwen

    Dwen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine doesn't fly.
    I only have one though, so I can't speak for the whole breed. You can always clip their wings or pinion them.
     
  5. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

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    Americans are a good choice, but uumm the strawberries will make a great snack for them, as will some ofthe other plants you actually want. You may find you have to fence off the garden area from the geese.
     
  6. flockman

    flockman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I really like my American Buffs.
     

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