Please help me understand

Discussion in 'Geese' started by Ellie, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. Ellie

    Ellie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2007
    Redding, Ca.
    Why you have your geese. Is it weed control, meat or recreational? If they bite or hiss why do you want them? This is truly an honest question [​IMG] so please don't take it the wrong way.

    I have been thinking of getting a couple of geese for free ranging on 2-3 acres of plants to control the weeds. I do have chickens on that same acreage. However, I keep reading and hearing that some geese will bite. Now, I know that it is probably like roosters...some bite and some don't, but it seems to be talked about quite a lot and it does seem like it is the majority the way some folks do go on that I've talked to.

    The people on this forum seem to be the best place for experience and knowledge. So, what is the real deal?

    Are most "mean" or bite or just some?
    Do I need a water source? (I do not have a pond)
    Can they bunk with the chickens?

    I thought about this for a few days trying to word it right so that it would not offend. [​IMG] I know I love my chickens and I don't like it when people say things that aren't true of them. [​IMG] So, I hope I've succeeded here and you can give me your thoughts.
  2. Mrs. Turbo

    Mrs. Turbo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2009
    Quote:ours are pets and we like to show them when we can keep them clean enough.......
    they do bite during breeding season, but the rest of the year they are laid back. Ours do go after the chickens so we would't house them together, but maybe if they were raised around the chickens they would get along??? We kept ours with the chickens when I was a kid.
    We have a pond, but other people use kiddie pools. The geese don't care as long as they can swim in something.
  3. crazy goose lover

    crazy goose lover Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 17, 2010
    Athens Illinois
    They are great weed control and comic relief. I can watch mine for hours. I have not yet been bitten and have only been hissed at once. I got hissed at when I backed one into a corner to pick it up. I did pick it up and it did not bite. Breeding season is the time when the males are very protective. Mine house with the ducks without problems.
  4. Baybrio

    Baybrio Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2008
    Poplar Grove, IL
    My pair is here to help deter hawks from taking the ducks - so far so good. I'm also pleasantly surprised by their lawn mowing ability. I find all my birds entertaining, I love watching them lead the ducks around.

    I'm still hoping they will continue to get along with the ducks and chickens. The most aggressive thing I've seen them do to a chicken is to "goose" her when she was eating from their food dish [​IMG]
  5. Hillbilly_Curt

    Hillbilly_Curt Out Of The Brooder

    May 16, 2009
    Vancouver Island
    I have 6 geese. They come running when I go outside. I originally got 4 free ones as we had a small lake where we lived and I thought it would be nice to have some geese in it. It just "needed" them. We moved a couple years later and still have a pond most of the year. I added 2 Africans to the mix. I just enjoy watching them, but as we live in thwe middle of nowhere, where the wilderness stretches for 10's of miles up and down the Island, they are also used as watchdogs in the night as the dogs sleep inside. Also eagle deterrants. If something comes close on the property that doesn't belong, they go off.
  6. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    They are our pets. I love their personality. Even though my gander goes after me sometimes... i believe he still loves me. **Do i sound like an abused woman making excuses for her man? [​IMG]..**
    He used to follow me around and sit on my lap and make goose baby sounds when i left him.,...
    I just know he still loves me... He has too. [​IMG]

  7. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 19, 2009
    I don't think your question is offensive at all. Personally I keep geese for meat, first and foremost, and I chose the variety based partially on their weeding and foraging ability so they could be useful and maintained on a reduced feed bill, too. They do both of their jobs here wonderfully.

    I, personally, would not keep an aggressive goose or gander. Mine are on a two strikes and you're out program. Hiss once, I'll show you who is boss. Hiss again after you've been put in your place and you'll be in the freezer faster than you can say h-i-sssssss. During breeding season I do expect reasonably protective behavior and have pens to keep that under wraps. Our geese are very well-behaved. I have no problems with them not meeting or exceeding my expectations.

    I think, honestly, the key with geese is the same as the key to success with many other species as well -- dogs, horses, swine, etc. -- they're simply not a match for everyone. I don't think timid, passive people should own geese. If your gut reaction when a goose challenges you is to back up, move away or otherwise yield to the goose's advances, geese are probably not for you. At least not until you have the opportunity to condition yourself to respond more appropriately. They're not stupid birds, when they learn you will yield to them they will exploit that. You'd established them as the dominate in the relationship. And that's only going to spur on more bad goose behavior.

    Much like physics, I believe goose ownership has rules. The most important of which is; for every aggressive action a goose takes towards a human there must be an equal and opposite aggressive reaction from the human towards the goose. [​IMG]

    If the goose comes at you, a few steps slowly taken, with a snaked neck and a half-hearted hiss. You should shoo them off for a few steps. If they come at you faster, further and with wings spread while hissing you should spread your arms, lean into it and chase them faster and further too. If they choose to make -- or attempt to make -- physical contact, you should promptly make physical contact yourself, grab their neck, turn them around and either pin them down or scoop them up and immobilize them and then, after a few moments, chase them off. And so on and so forth. Establish their place in the flock as always, under any circumstances, being inferior to your own and most issues will be greatly reduced if not eliminated altogether.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011
  8. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    When mine comes at me to attack i first give him the chance to retreat..
    If he keeps coming at me... i grab his neck(gently but FIRMLY) and put his head/body prone on the ground...
    I'll hold him there for a minute and tell him"no!" [​IMG]

    Then i'll let him go and see how he reacts.... sometimes he'll realize hes lost and retreat... other times he come at me again....
    When he does that i hold him down again....but when i let him go i turn him around.. (still holding his neck so he cant bite me)...and i'll put my other hand under his rump and send him flying a couple of feet... It doesnt hurt him at all..just his pride. [​IMG]
    That usually always works for me....
  9. un-named

    un-named Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 15, 2010
    Quote:Excellent question...I've wondered too!
  10. The goose girl

    The goose girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2010
    Quote:Good question. To me, they're kind of like family. We can argue, but we still love each other. Sometimes I want to make roast goose out of them, but that makes the good times even more precious. I wouldn't want a doormat husband either (well, okay, not one that hisses and bites, either, but I was speaking metaphorically). And geese are not exactly sharks; they won't kill or mangle you, not even accidentally.

    I like observing them, and I don't crave constant cuddles. Most animals are not cute and friendly all the time, but they don't all have the means to express themselves. Geese express themselves constantly, so if you know how to listen, you'll always know what your goose is trying to tell you.

    Geese are never mean or spiteful, they're just being geese. I constantly learn new thing about them, sometimes the hard way, but I love learning. And they're way more interesting than any TV show.

    When (not if, when!) I win the lottery, I'm going to have a poultry farm with gaggles and gaggles of geese!

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