Raising Geese for meat

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by PineBurrowPeeps, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. After trying and trying for two years in a row to find a goose for our Christmas goose, with no luck, I have decided to raise my own. After talking with some other people I know, I have 3 others interested in buying geese from me for next Christmas. I know it's a long way off, but whats the best meat breed and how old are they when they are typically processed?

  2. ghulst

    ghulst Songster

    Aug 31, 2008
    Zeeland Michigan
    White Embden are the best . Get spring goslings and they will be ready for Christmas.
  3. Rosecomb-Ryan

    Rosecomb-Ryan East Indie Crazed

    Apr 12, 2008
    Sacramento CA
    Quote:I agree
  4. chickenannie

    chickenannie Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    Does anyone know what Canadian Geese taste like as meat birds compared to geese that you raise yourself? We have sooooo many living here near the creek, it would be a waste to raise other geese for food.

  5. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    Quote:Either White Embdens or Grey Toulouse, both of them will be nice size birds by the time Christmas comes around. If you are ordering from a hatchery the minimum is usually 10 goslings. Becareful they can grow on you.....lol.
  6. becky3086

    becky3086 Crested Crazy

    Oct 14, 2008
    Thomson, GA
    As far as I know it is illegal for us to kill Canadian geese here, don't know about where you are.
    My cousin used to raise two or three geese every year for his Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner. He always raised the white ones too.
  7. Omniskies

    Omniskies Songster

    Mar 7, 2008
    The type of goose will depend on how much space you have and whether you want to breed your own every year or if you plan on ordering goslings every spring.

    If you're ordering goslings every spring then Embdens are probably your best bet. Toulouse are fine, too, but some people are turned off by the dark pinfeathers.

    If you plan on raising your own meat geese then you may want to put a little more thought into the breed's size, productivity, and personality before tossing a pair or trio on your property.

    Do you have a lot of space? If not then the Tufted Roman or Pilgrim may be a better bet. Tufted Romans are a small, plump goose. Pilgrims are a little larger and have the added benefit of being friendly and being an autosexing breed (the males are white the females are grey). The American Buff is a little larger (the largest goose in the medium weight class) and also has a docile personality. They dress out clean due to their light pinfeathers.

    The size of the bird is also important if you're dressing this out yourself and determining how many people are sitting down at the table. Tufted Romans, being a 10-12lb bird, are easier to handle than a 25-35lb Embden. However, one Embden will feed a family in one sitting much better than a small breed.

    How much do you want to spend on a breeder flock? Embdens and Toulouse are cheap to get in comparison to other breeds. Tufted Romans are normally pretty easy to come by. You'll be paying more for American Buffs and quite a bit for a good pair or trio of Pilgrims.

    Is a lot of noise a factor? American Buffs and Pilgrims are both quiet. Tufted Romans are chatty, but not _too_ bad. Toulouse and Embdens are like a gaggle of school girls that haven't had phone or internet connection in over a week.

    All five of the breeds I kept referring to will be ready to dress out by around 14-16 weeks of age. By that time most of the growing has been done.

    I can't imagine living on a farm and not having geese. I recommend one or two pairs for every household. Your smaller breeds can be trained to weed your garden. They grow rapidly, have a great personality, tasty eggs if you don't plan on hatching all of them (the eggs can be used or sold for crafts like egg carving and painting), are excellent parents, and can be live harvested for down.

    If you haven't considered raising them then you might be missing out [​IMG]

  8. Quote:Wow, thanks for all that GREAT info!!!

    Lots to think about now!
  9. chiknhut

    chiknhut Songster

    my geese are mean. as long as i am looking at them they won't bother me. but if i turn my back on them they lower their heads to the ground and come after me. when I turn around to see where they are they stop and look at me as to say"What, I wasn't gonna do anything". They hate girls. One has even bit my daughter who was trying to feed them. My husband can go around them with no problem. I try to have him with me to watch them while I feed the ducks and chickens. I hope they will begin laying so we can raise their offspring for meat.

  10. Omniskies

    Omniskies Songster

    Mar 7, 2008
    My Pilgrims have me spoiled rotten. They don't bite, they don't hiss, they don't make a lot of noise. They are the perfect goose.

    Even now that it's breeding season I'm only having trouble with a single pair. The gander has a tendency to hiss at me on occasion. That's it. He hisses sometimes. But I've become so spoiled rotten with everyone's good behavior that I'm extremely tempted to sell him and his hen so I can go back to not remembering what a goose hiss sounds like.

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