New goose owner with a few questions

Discussion in 'Geese' started by Iain Utah, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. Iain Utah

    Iain Utah Overrun With Chickens

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    New goose owner here with a few questions. Hope to get some sage advice from the experienced peeps on this forum.

    This summer, I moved onto a 10 acre horse property that came with 3 free ranging semi-wild geese. I started feeding them grain twice a day when I feed my horses and they figured out the new routine really quickly. I have become quite attached to them.

    As the property is ideal for waterfowl (it is wetland property with 2 ponds and a large stream), I have recently started attempting hatching duck eggs to add a small flock to my property.

    So… onto my situation at hand…. On Christmas afternoon, a stray cow wandered onto my property and spooked the geese into flight. Two of the three geese overshot their landing and the goose that landed on my property called all night for the other two. By the next morning one had returned, but the third goose has still not shown up. I am assuming I will not see that goose again. [​IMG]

    Now I am worried that something bad may happen to one of the remaining pair, and I would be left with a very lonely solo goose.

    Will my geese link up with ducks? Would it be better to get 1-3 adult geese (or goslings) for them? What is the best option for my situation? Also, any other tips for caring for my geese are appreciated!

    Thanks for your help!!

    Janet
     
  2. kimberly35042

    kimberly35042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Janet, what type setup do you have? Is the back pasture/wetland surrounded by woods? If that's the case, free range birds may not do very well. My ducks and geese get along but mostly stay in their little segregated gangs. And geese are very social -- you really need at least 2 of them.
    As far as ducks, my thinking is muscovy might be your best chance at having a flock as they fly well, are great mothers and can hatch enough "replacements" if you really want to try to keep them back there. Another option might be a livestock guardian dog or at the very least, a shed or secure pen to keep them at night. Of course i may have your setup all different in my head than realtiy.
    Good luck!
    Kim
     
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Quote:[​IMG]
     
  4. Iain Utah

    Iain Utah Overrun With Chickens

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    I live in the northern mountains and most of the area is wide open pasture, except along the back fence line, where there are trees lining the stream. There are dog houses scattered throughout (I am told they are for the geese). There is a hay barn, where I am pretty sure the geese go at night to help themselves to their grain. Next to that is a large walk in chicken house where I hope to train the ducks to stay in at night.

    I am told the previous owner (who passed away 2 years ago) had purchased a breeding set of geese and at one point there were dozens on the property. When I moved in, there were just the 3 left. They mostly keep to a particular spot near stream, but are starting to hang out more by their feeding spot. They seem to like me, as they come up to feeding area when I call for them, and they otherwise gravitate to where I am on the property and hang out. They talk quietly to me, but squawk loudly and flap wings around other people. I have never been around geese before, but I sure find these guys charming. 

    I can see how they can be very social and given the dangers of living outside 24/7, it seems to make sense to get 1-3 more to make their flock size larger (especially if they tend to stay separate from ducks). If so, are goslings or adults better? Also, does gender matter? Of course, I have no idea what gender the ones I have are. I think both males as they are both the same size, whereas the third one was a bit smaller and generally shier than the other two.

    Thanks for the advice!
     
  5. zzGypsy

    zzGypsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    do you have photos of the geese? easier to talk about gender if we can see them.

    geese tend to mate 1 gander to 1-3 geese (girls), but you can't always predict how that will go. I've got 2 ganders, 2 geese, and one gander has collected both the girls, so the other gander has decided to court me [​IMG] obviously I need more girls...

    if you've got a pair of ganders, 2-4 girls would be a good choice, of course you can always go with more if you like.

    putting everyone up (ducks and geese) at night is safest, and you can train them to go up, but it may take a bit of work given that these are used to doing as they like. especially if you decide to add immature birds. young birds need to be fully feathered before they go out for free ranging (so they don't freeze if you have cold nights) so take that into consideration. at this time of year, adding adults or nearly-full grown birds might be safer. young geese are also more at risk to predators and this is generally a time when predators are more agressive about taking domestic animals.

    this summer I raised a pair of goslings with my ducklings, and added the whole lot to my two adult geese. the goslings ran with the ducks untill they figured out they were geese, and then split their time for about a month before deciding to stick with the geese. the two flocks generally hang together in the same area, but in separate subgroups.

    geese can be agressive so you'll want to keep an eye on how they interact with strangers.

    hopefully someone else will chime in with the rest of your answers...
     
  6. Iain Utah

    Iain Utah Overrun With Chickens

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    I have pics, but cannot post them yet (too new here). I am pretty sure they are the Toulouse breed, and since the remaining two geese are identical size and the third was smaller, I assume they are boys. I doubt I could get them to go inside at night and would definitely prefer adult geese if I get anything. Is there a place where can I purchase 2-4 mature females?

    On the other hand, with the ducks that I will be hatching myself (Anconas, by the way), they will be kept inside my house for the first 30 days, then moved them to the chick house (which has a heat lamp set up in it). I plan to raise them to be proper pets, which of course includes learning to go inside the chicken house at night.
     
  7. zzGypsy

    zzGypsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    watch your local craigslist, this time of year people are thinking about feed bills and sometimes adults come up for sale. you can post a "wanted" ad here on the forum (there's a section for it) and you can try any hatcheries that are close to you. many of them have adult stock for sale from time to time, they are more expensive, but they're generally better birds. if you have to have them shipped, it will be expensive for sure.
     
  8. Mitch in Ohio

    Mitch in Ohio Out Of The Brooder

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    I dont know if this will help but i have 2 tuft romans and they hang with my ducks. I started with 1 and at the time had 6 ducks. He stayed with them and the ducks and him have never been in a shelter area. They stay at the pond all year round and have been lucky not to have been taken off by wild animals here. He is the watch dog over them. They have been together for four years now but I picked up another tuft and they did not like each other so the duck group broke off into 3x3 groups and the other tuft took on the watch dog for them. Well last year, 3 ducks died of old age. They were like 8 years old so the tufts merged together along with the 1 duck and now number 3 ducks and 2 tufts.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  9. Iain Utah

    Iain Utah Overrun With Chickens

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    Gypsy, I see a few local ads, mostly sold as mixed pairs or groups. However, I am a little concerned given my lack of knowledge that I would get only females or the right breed that would get along well with these guys, as they seem pretty mellow. I don't mind paying extra to make sure I am getting the best geese for my situation. I imagine it will be a lot cheaper than buying another horse!

    Mitch, all information is helpful. [​IMG] How interesting to see the evolution of your guys adapting to the changes in your group. I will be curious to watch how my new additions all work things out!
     
  10. zzGypsy

    zzGypsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    if the price is not the deciding factor, check out holderread's hatchery... they are real conservationists and if they have the sort of bird you want, they seem to be the place to go. lots of places can get you hatchery quality birds, but if you want really good quality, that's where I'd start. you might also ping Oregon Blues and Olive Hill on here, they know geese and are great resources.
     

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