Questions about Goose Nesting Habits/Needs


10 Years
Jul 14, 2009
The Beautiful Pacific NW ,WA
I know this is way early, but i wanna be prepared.

What are goose nesting needs and habits? We had geese in the past but i never paid much attention to them because they weren't mine. i did have to help one pair when hatching time came, she just nested under the chicken coop with old straw and feathers.

Do/Should I provide a box/nest house?
Dirt or Wood floor?
Food & water in the hut?
Preferred nesting materials?

I am excited for next year but i obviously have to have a pen built before then so i wanna have anything ready that they might need.

Also, I can't remember if our old pair used the coop or not, our last 4 had a BIG dog house to live in but they were mean so i didn't like them and only messed with them when i had to.

Housing/Coop needs?
Cement or dirt floor?

Any suggestions or pics appreciated
Thanks everyone


10 Years
May 29, 2009
Washington state
Are your geese going to be penned all the time?

Mine play in the yard when I'm not working, and the problem with that was Lila (aka Petey Girl) chose to make a nest against the house, beneath some dead woody plant. She used dry grasses, pieces of the dead plant, and spent alfalfa hay I brought to her. I could not get her to switch her nest to the goose house, in spite of stealing some of her eggs and piling it with fresh hay and locking her in the pen.

They like a cozy area protected from rain and wind, but with a view. The gander will want to stand nearby. Petey built his own "nest" with hay, a child's plastic grocery cart, a plastic fire truck and some random garbage the wind blew into the area. He had to do something with his time while he watched over Lila.

Do not put food and water in the hut for the goose. She NEEDS to get up and move her legs, or they will weaken. She will sit in a coma for hours and hours, not eating or drinking or pooping. She will need the exercise very badly. I've read some very kind hearted folks put food and water in with the goose for her convenience, and they have a gimpy lame goose who needs physical therapy afterward.

Like chickens, they may or may not "accept" your carefully crafted cozy hut, but if it is the only likely place in the pen, she probably will choose it. Lots of dry hay or plant material, she will want to dig about six inches downward and have enough to cover the eggs when she takes a rest break.


9 Years
Apr 5, 2010
Viroqua, WI
I laid some scrap tin roofing across stacked strawbales (roofing held down by large rocks)...two bales on each side and the front and back open. Had a plywood floor covered by burlap sacks and lots of straw.
I was able to successfully relocate one of my Sebastopols this by pulling her eggs a few days in a row..right after she started her nest and putting them in the fancy nest house (described above) for her.
Worked well!
Do you have more than one female?

Puddle Foot Farm

11 Years
Aug 20, 2008
My geese made nice little hay nest in the garage where they live. They actually have 2 nests - one in their wire pen, where 3 of my geese live, and 1 right outside of it in the main part of the garage, where my rejected goose lives. Once, a couple of them tried to make a nest next to the house, but I chased her off several times and she learned that she'd best listen to me if he wants to have a nest. So, they chose between the two nests.

Since our coop is our garage, our flooring is hay over cement so they can get cozy at night. I would chose dirt probably if I had to chose between cement and dirt with nothing over it, though. That way the geese could dig at it if they were left in the pen for some reason (snowstorm, family thing, vacation, etc) and got stressed out. With cement, the geese would probably scrape their beak and their toes and bleed, which can be a very scary thing to come back to! That's just my opinion, though.


10 Years
Jul 14, 2009
The Beautiful Pacific NW ,WA
I thought I read somewhere that they need to be able to dig down into the dirt for their nest too. somethign about it helping hold warmth or humidity(im not really sure).

Mine will be penned most of the time probably during breeding season...maybe...i like to let them free range though, keeps them healthier and reduces feed costs, lol. I think we are going to fence off a whole field for the waterfowl and then I can remove any cozy-looking spots they might be temped to nest in, try not to plant bushes too close together and such.

I THINK i will have 6 females (3 for sure though). They are all White & Brown Chinese. From what I have read, Chinese lay the biggest clutches of any other domestic goose breed so i am going to be Overflowing with babies!!
I am just in love with these guys though and they really help keep the weeds down!!

I didn't even think about geese being so nervous, cement is a bad idea so i will just forgot i even considered that. I thoguht about it for my Muscovies, as a 'natural' nail file to keep those talons dull, but they don't chew and poke everything like geese do.

thank you gusy for the replies, i really appreciate it. They're all still babies but I just want to have everything planned out before we get started. I also want to be prepared for anything they will need when breeding season comes...I am sure the neighbors will LOVE all the noise


9 Years
Apr 24, 2010
When mine nested this year in early February it was still cold and they built one great big community nest in their goose house where they were penned for the winter. They didn't/wouldn't sleep in there prior to building their nest and would lay out in the freezing weather on the ground on top of straw. When it warmed up a bit they moved the entire next outside the goose house into the main part of the pen, I'm guessing so they could have a better view of everything. They made their next of straw, leaves, sticks and of course feathers. My goose hut floors are both dirt floors. I just make sure and rake them daily and sweep up excess food that drops onto the ground.

I think you may be right about the nest being on dirt because they would loosen up the dirt on the bottom with their beaks and lay the eggs directly on the dirt and not line the bottome with much straw all.

My emden is currently sitting on another fresh nest she built in the goose house and this time she's not moving it. I think she must have figured out that she and the nest stays out of the weather when they leave it in there, not to mention staying out of the sun since its so hot now.

I was one of the people Kim talked about who thought I was doing good by putting food and water close to them while they sat on the nest. They didn't get off like they should have and one of my females was very weak from sitting so much that she had trouble walking when she finally did get off the nest. She wasn't lame but I figured out quickly that this wasn't a good idea so I quit doing that and it wasn't too long before they started getting off a couple times per day to eat, drink and poop and their legs stayed much stronger.

9 Years
Apr 10, 2010
Coupland, TX
Isn't that interesting that they would sit there for so long and not get up unless food and water and poopy was a must... I guess I would do the same thing with my bed given the opportunity... jennifer Actually, the bed is looking really cozy right now... j


5 Years
Jan 26, 2014
my goose is broody on 4 eggs and she just has some grass i put in there pen and straw but i put mostly all of my animals go in the pen so i do have a sled of water in there but i dont have food but they love goign into our hay field

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