New Gosling, Lots of Questions

SometimesCraftr

Songster
6 Years
Jun 25, 2013
48
28
104
SW Washington State
I have been planning on Runners for a year and have done lots of research and feel very prepared, but at the last minute decided to add a goose to the mix to help with predator protection. I know nothing about geese, other than they chased me as a kid, and I feel very unprepared. We picked up our newly hatched Fawn Runner's (three of them) on Wednesday, as well as a week old White Chinese goose, all females. Our little goose, Charlotte, bonded with us immediately. She cries when she can't see us, and wants nothing more than to follow us around the house (although i'm already tired of poop patrol and can't bring myself to "diaper" her...plus the cats are too curious). We are going to be building our housing for everyone, but I can't seem to find a lot of specific information on space requirements for geese. I want to build a house for the ducks and goose to share, but I don't want it to be shed size. It will be placed in a small barn yard we have, around a tiny barn that two Babydoll sheep occasionally use. The barn itself isn't big enough to add in their space, so it needs to be something separate, or added on. I am wondering how high the housing needs to be to accommodate the goose, as well as a suggested size for the nesting box of the goose. They will be housed at night, and let out during the day to graze the property. The barnyard is secured by a 5' fence, but no electric wire. I was hopeful that a goose might be able to scare off our predators, which are owls and raccoons (the neighbor looses ducks to both occasionally). Is it reasonable to assume the goose can chase those off? I'd love if I could just put them in the barnyard at night and not have to force them into the house. We live in the Pacific Northwest, so it's very mild weather year round. I'm not sure how much longer we will have the sheep (one of them is very destructive) so I can't count on them to help intimidate the predators. Other than this forum, can you recommend some good resources on learning more about raising geese? Everyone is being brooded in a very large plastic container right now, however the goose is already at a size where I feel like we need to go bigger, what is usually the next step? I'm not ready to move them outside yet, but perhaps to the garage next week. Is a kids plastic pool with "fencing" around it a good next step? The goose lays down in the brooder a lot, even to eat and drink she lays in front of the feeders to do so. I have been taking her out to walk around with me in the house just to be sure her legs are working okay. I can't find if this is usual or not. I was told she was a week old, but I feel like she hadn't quite learned to walk yet and was perhaps younger. I've been looking at this forum for the last two days, but haven't really found answers to my questions. Thanks for taking the time.
 

GiddyGoose

In the Brooder
Mar 30, 2015
34
3
26
Central KY
Well, I don't have much experience with keeping geese outside in a pen, I would mostly let mine do whatever on the pond(since sold all but the one house goose because of a change in financial position). I can tell you, though, that geese are wonderful companions when raised right. I recently found housegoose.com and am shocked at the information, I sure wish I found it when our house goose was a baby! I was recently told, here, that geese are not very good protection and usually do better with their own kind as far as mixing goes. I was humoring the idea of a goose protecting a flock of chickens, but was told that, from other's experiences, the geese are just as scared of predators as the others are. I know birds of prey can and will take down an adult goose.
 

Carrosaur

Songster
6 Years
Mar 8, 2014
1,790
101
186
Nashville, TN
I have been planning on Runners for a year and have done lots of research and feel very prepared, but at the last minute decided to add a goose to the mix to help with predator protection.  I know nothing about geese, other than they chased me as a kid, and I feel very unprepared.  We picked up our newly hatched Fawn Runner's (three of them) on Wednesday, as well as a week old White Chinese goose, all females.  Our little goose, Charlotte, bonded with us immediately.  She cries when she can't see us, and wants nothing more than to follow us around the house (although i'm already tired of poop patrol and can't bring myself to "diaper" her...plus the cats are too curious).  We are going to be building our housing for everyone, but I can't seem to find a lot of specific information on space requirements for geese.  I want to build a house for the ducks and goose to share, but I don't want it to be shed size.  It will be placed in a small barn yard we have, around a tiny barn that two Babydoll sheep occasionally use.  The barn itself isn't big enough to add in their space, so it needs to be something separate, or added on.  I am wondering how high the housing needs to be to accommodate the goose, as well as a suggested size for the nesting box of the goose.  They will be housed at night, and let out during the day to graze the property.  The barnyard is secured by a 5' fence, but no electric wire.  I was hopeful that a goose might be able to scare off our predators, which are owls and raccoons (the neighbor looses ducks to both occasionally).  Is it reasonable to assume the goose can chase those off?  I'd love if I could just put them in the barnyard at night and not have to force them into the house.  We live in the Pacific Northwest, so it's very mild weather year round.  I'm not sure how much longer we will have the sheep (one of them is very destructive) so I can't count on them to help intimidate the predators.  Other than this forum, can you recommend some good resources on learning more about raising geese?  Everyone is being brooded in a very large plastic container right now, however the goose is already at a size where I feel like we need to go bigger, what is usually the next step?  I'm not ready to move them outside yet, but perhaps to the garage next week.  Is a kids plastic pool with "fencing" around it a good next step?  The goose lays down in the brooder a lot, even to eat and drink she lays in front of the feeders to do so.  I have been taking her out to walk around with me in the house just to be sure her legs are working okay.  I can't find if this is usual or not.  I was told she was a week old, but I feel like she hadn't quite learned to walk yet and was perhaps younger.  I've been looking at this forum for the last two days, but haven't really found answers to my questions.  Thanks for taking the time.


400


Here's my brooder.

Geese will alert you about predators but they are in fact birds, prey animals, they can't really defend themselves, and raccoons aren't scared of geese like people tend to be. You really need to have a secure house for them to go in at night, FORCE them in, I don't care how, just do it.

A goose typically needs 3-4 sq feet of room to sleep in, I'm assuming a tiny Runner suck only needs about 2 feet. My geese stand at 1.5-2 feet tall... So plan on making your house about 4 feet tall, and make sure it has ventilation.

Geese don't need water, but they enjoy it.

You MUST provide a bucket for them to wash their heads in
 

GiddyGoose

In the Brooder
Mar 30, 2015
34
3
26
Central KY
You MUST provide a bucket for them to wash their heads in


Totally forgot about that. :) Yes, they need a water bowl, bucket, etc deep enough for their head to submerge. This is how they clean their nostrils, by blowing water through them. Very important to their well being.
 

SometimesCraftr

Songster
6 Years
Jun 25, 2013
48
28
104
SW Washington State
Great info, thank you so much for taking the time to respond! Thanks for the website, I'm going to check that out. The brooder photo was very helful! When I was a kid we had a neighbor that had geese for flock protection and they did their job well, but they did have two of them. Luckily as far as predators go they aren't a big problem here, but I wouldn't want to risk it so I will heard them in at night. The height info is a big help. I will share some photos once I'm done with our set up. We have large buckets of fresh water all over for the sheep (and now waterfowl), and my plan is for a kids pool in summer (with some drainage to the garden im hoping) and smaller containers for "swimming" in cooler months. I read more than a few spots that ducks and geese did well together so I'm surprised to hear differnet now. I'm guessing it just depends on the bird and situation. I don't think we will be adding another goose, but I will keep that in mind and think on it. The ducklings are very attached to her. I'm interested to see how this all works out for us. The sheep will be in heaven once the birds can be outside, they love all other animals.
 

GiddyGoose

In the Brooder
Mar 30, 2015
34
3
26
Central KY
No problem! I happened to think, a little later, that there is a FaceBook group called 'Just Ducky, Backyard Ducks' and, thanks to us goose lovers, they also include geese! :)

I will mention, once breeding season comes around for your goose, you may want to keep a very close eye on its interactions with other poultry, especially ones smaller than it. Geese are actually able to kill smaller poultry if they feel threatened or if they feel their boundaries are being disrespected.
 
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