Raising geese as pets ?s

Discussion in 'Geese' started by D Bar J Acres, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. D Bar J Acres

    D Bar J Acres Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 22, 2007

    I've been admiring geese for the last year, but last March DH wanted to try turkeys - Pencilled Royal Palms - instead as we both like to watch wild ones. Well, free range turkeys don't work as they scratched the heck out of our vehicles, sat on our front porch - which was cute, but MESSY - and terrorized our muscovies, so the turkeys moved on.

    Well this past Nov., a lone Toulouse showed up out of nowhere and lives with our scovies (they free range). We have no idea where "Gus" came from and he/she is wild, but better than when he/she arrived here. We both like watching Gus and he/she interacts with the ducks really well. So.... I've ordered 5 Pilgrims from Ideal to ship March 25th.

    I want them to be pets and have been finding very little information and what I have is conflicting. Is it best to handle them ALOT or only talk to them and have little contact (which is what Holderreads recommended to me). I know geese can have personality issues, particularily at breeding season, but we've no children and rarely have small visitors - and my husband and I are used to handling large breeding animals, so have no intentions of running from an ornery goose. My main concern is to have some nice pets that'll be fun to watch. We plan on raising them up in our vacant dog whelping kennel and then move them to our goat bucks (we raise Nigerians, so they are small and gentle) 50x75 pen.

    So, to handle or not?

    Also, are geese strict vegetarians or do they eat bugs as well? Is it best to feed them a meat free pellet or is regular poultry feed fine?

    Thanks! Jenny
  2. banter

    banter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2008
    Raymond Maine
    The best thing about geese is that they have a margin of adaptability.
    You learn a little goose language and they'll learn a little human language.
    Body language is part of it. There is a lot of info out there and you have to wade through it. I think a lot of the conflict comes from info about raising for pets vs. as livestock. I did a lot of homework before I got mine and I'm still surprised anew on a daily basis! They are very complex animals. I'm having a blast with mine!
  3. RoyalHillsLLC

    RoyalHillsLLC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2007
    NW Louisiana-Vivian
    I think some amount of handling is necessary for any animal you want as a pet. My pilgrims got too aggressive, and I do have children, so I had to get rid of them. I kept my Africans and have no issues other than the noise.
    After a full year of geese, I have to admit my muscovies are still my favorites. The geese get very noisy, very bossy around feeding times, and bury their eggs.
    They eat grases and weeds. Feed is not really necessary if you give them proper pasture. I fed mine regular until they were big enough to be safely allowed out (5 months maybe?). I planted plenty of oats, winter peas, and ryegrass and along with native weeds they have done great.
  4. Kelpie

    Kelpie Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2008
    Charles Town, WV
    My sebastopols are pets. I raised the inside for the first several weeks and they imprinted on me (though they seem to have transferred affections to my pig as pack leader). They are very sweet and gentle, even with toddlers. The exception to that is right now when my ganders turned hissy and nippy since it's breeding season. The girls are still adorable, one hopped onto my BFs lap on saturday and sat and got pets for a half hour. I think contact with people when they are young is the difference between sweet geese and mean geese, and the breed helps... pilgrims are known for their sweet nature.
  5. raindrop

    raindrop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 10, 2008
    Western Oregon
    I have a pair of Pilgrims that I raised last spring. I handled them daily to clean the brooder, and brought in yummy grass.
    I did not hand feed them.
    After about a month, they were too big to handle comfortably, I would just pet them while they ate.
    Now they like to hang out on the porch and poop everywhere, so I have to chase them off. They do learn, since on the days I am home they aren't on the porch nearly as much. Silly birds.
  6. neduckmomma504

    neduckmomma504 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 16, 2015
    Nebraska, USA
    I'm looking into getting a pair of Pilgrims for my back yard. Where is the best place to obtain them & how hardy will they be in the winter....Temps of -15 windchill and some snow....thx!
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia "I Believe" Premium Member

    Metzers is a great place for water fowl. @neduckmomma504 Welcome to BYC. Most geese are cold hardy but they do need secure shelter from high frigid winds and temps to protection from predators.
    1 person likes this.

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