Need info on American buff geese

Discussion in 'Geese' started by daze333, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. daze333

    daze333 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 26, 2008
    Port Angeles, WA
    Hi all,
    I am thinking about getting some American buff geese. I want to know if they are unusual or common. Also how is there temperament? Any other basic details about this breed?
    Thanks alot!
  2. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays

  3. daze333

    daze333 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 26, 2008
    Port Angeles, WA
    One more question...if geese mate for life....then do you need boy/girl, boy/girl, boy/girl?? Not just 1 boy per 5 girls say?
  4. Silver Spring Waterfowl

    Silver Spring Waterfowl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi! We raise Buffs. We love them and think the world of them. They are calm, easy-going birds, extremely curious, and highly intelligent. I think they make the best pets, too. They also have a sense of humor. It doesn't always jive with mine. The population as currently rated by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy census as "critical", less than 500 breeding birds. My birds seem to be most at ease with one gander to 3 geese. (Some like it the other way around and one goose might have 3 ganders who have eyes for no one else -you just can't always tell!) If you want pets, don't start with more than 3 to 5, but buy them sexed. You will likely be hip deep in geese soon enough. Our original 17 turned into 87 within the first year. The eggs are excellent eating, by the way.

    They are not very excitable, but can be noisy because they do love to play and they are much like a bunch of kids at a waterpark when they do. They do everything by committee and discuss everything at length. These don't make good watchdogs, but they will greet you enthusiastically when you go out of doors or return home. They thrive on tranquility and routine (that's the migratory instinct) and they will do things or travel the same way every time, but are quick to learn something different if you teach them. The lesson must be repeated 3 or 4 times. Just make sure it doesn't include "HOW TO open the gate" or that sort of thing. They can also understand simple commands and they learn their names and come or ignore when called.

    I have around 38 Buffs right now and only 7 have mated permanently. The oldest will be 3 in June. Geese can live to be 25+, so they are still essentially teenagers and act like it. They also never forget anything, so it is very important that they not be teased, chased, or traumatized any more than necessary. Ours are gentle and affectionate for the most part, personalities of a few are more suspicious than the others. They are all individuals. They have never been treated with anything but kindness and respect, although they will take exception to that because of the Vent Sexing Incidents. (Ask me again about wings.) And talons. They have very sharp talons.

    They are excellent parents. There are some behavioral problems that could arise from this if you have children. They are very hardy, easy to raise, grow anywhere between 12-22 lbs They were originally bred to be meat geese. They are also very large, powerful, and potentially dangerous animals. This is true for all geese. Getting hit by a wing can bruise the dickens out of you or even break your nose. Their bills are sharp for cutting grass and aquatic plants. They can break skin easily. They also chew on EVERYTHING. That is how they keep the edge on those bills. We had to have an electrician put a guarded cable on our air conditioner after they breached the fence and began chewing it. Mercifully, no one was injured but the bank account. They also gnawed holes in 2 satellite cables and tore the phone service out, not all the same day. Let's see? What else should you be prepared for before you get the little darlings? Large Buffs will not be able to fly at all after their 2nd year, however small and medium weight birds can fly short distances. They won't fly away, but they can fly. They are goats with wings, essentially. They can be very destructive, especially if they are bored or have found something that intrigues them (like A/C cables and cat tails). It's mostly natural behaviors coming to the fore with no natural outlet. They are true grazers by nature and will eat grass like hungry locusts. They also seem to have inherent knowledge of what constitutes native growing plants, trees, and shrubs, and those that were purchased. Preferences are comensurate with price.

    Hopefully I haven't frightened you completely away from them, but it's not all a fairy tale. They really are like children (days when you love them and days where you could wring their necks)but I wouldn't give mine up for -or in spite of- anything. They're just too cool

    JROOSTER Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2010
    Nice post Kathy, I enjoyed the read. I have 4 American blue and they are just like the buffs. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011
  6. goosedragon

    goosedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    Quote:Simple geese don't always mate for life or ever. "Till death do we part" implies that human marriages are for life but more than 50% end in divorce. Usually a gander will take a few extra females in the flock if theyaren't claimed and protected by other ganders.
  7. The goose girl

    The goose girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2010
    Kathy: I really liked reading your post. You seem to enjoy geese the same way I do. And I love the way you refer to "the Vent Sexing Incidents"!
  8. dinahmoe

    dinahmoe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 19, 2009
    central georgia
    Quote:great info,thanks

    love this-They also seem to have inherent knowledge of what constitutes native growing plants, trees, and shrubs, and those that were purchased. Preferences are comensurate with price .
    happybooker1 likes this.
  9. daze333

    daze333 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 26, 2008
    Port Angeles, WA
    Quote:Thank you Kathy,
    I have recently gotten 2 sebbies, who both turned out to be boys. ={ But they are just like you described! They are like puppy dogs following me around and do seem to get into everything. Especially making the chickens water as muddy as they can. But like you said I love them dearly! The buffs sound alot like them. Thank you for the insightful and funny post!! Now I wonder if I let my sebbies free range, what am I going to do with the buffs? I can't mix them right?
  10. Silver Spring Waterfowl

    Silver Spring Waterfowl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Depends on what you're planning to do with them and the time of year. I free range and keep all my birds together after the mating season is over. That is to say, when we decide we've had enough. After that, we just pick up all the eggs, sell them or use them ourselves.

    They have close relationships with one another, irrespective of breed. Our original birds were both gray Toulouse and Buffs, so they really are "family" to each other. I have a Toulouse and a Buff (sisters, so to speak) that insist on sharing a nest each spring. They must wait until the end of the season when I let them back in together and then foster eggs pipping from the incubator. The Buff spends the most time brooding the clutch, the Toulouse pretty much takes over after they hatch. The hatchabilty rate for the eggs I leave them to set is not good, but those are Toulouse eggs I really don't care to hatch. They're just place-takers for the eggs in the incubator. I was initially afraid that there would be World War III over the goslings when they did hatch, but the girls seem to have an agreement and I don't worry about those two anymore. Don't assume, though. That type of hatch requires supervision until you know just what's going to work out.
    Sounds like it might be an interesting combination, Buffs and Sebbies, but if you don't want mixed breed birds, just pick up the eggs. They really are good. You might also consider selling eggs to crafters. They are much easier to work with than chicken eggs.

    Life is never dull with geese! They are truly wonderful! I think I spend the bulk of my time conversing with folks that don't know them or have heard bad things about them, that it's really not so at all! They've gotten such a bad reputation from birds that are not socialized (parks, etc.) or kept by people who did not teach them manners. A good knowledge of their behaviors and evaluating the world from their perspective goes a long way toward developing and encouraging a positive attitude toward humans and other species. Enjoy!
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by