Raising Goslings, From the egg to nesting

Discussion in 'Geese' started by Elisi, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. Elisi

    Elisi Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 31, 2012
    Raymond, WA.
    Welcome to My Little Red Barn! Located in Raymond, Washington!
    I am finally back on the farm and ready to get started growing "critters" [​IMG]
    I will be starting with 10 African Grey goslings that I ordered from a hatchery in Missouri due to be delivered on May 16th. (I sure hope the PO gets a handle on their shipping dramas by then! I am going to be on pins & needles till they arrive safe!) [​IMG]

    I had originally put in an order at my local feed store for 6 goslings and got a brooder set up & ready, but that fell through. Turns out to be just as well because I want specifically African Grays and they could not guaranty that is what would be coming in. I lucked out in finding a good hatchery that has what I want.

    With the new order of 10 verses 6 AND after seeing all the wonderful photos on the "Here we go again" thread, the little guys are a bit bigger than I remembered and I think now that my current set up will be to small. I have an Ex-large Dog crate w/ removable cover. 36'L x 26'W x 26'H. I have window screen cut to fit the bottom, with duck taped edges. The plan was to put wood chips on top of that for the bedding. However I put this together about a week ago and I see the duck tape is not sticking very well to the screen so this might not be a good idea after all. I see that most of you are using towels, I might try that instead for the indoor brooder.

    After posting these photos I know this will not be big enough. I do have two of these so maybe I can put 5 goslings in each one
    I can buy an extra large box from U-Haul or something to keep them all together?
    Questions :
    How long should they stay in the indoor brooder?
    How active will they get during this time?
    Once I move them to the barn (10x10 stall) should I still keep them confined in a smaller area with the heat lamp?
    I humbly except any & all comments, suggestions or advice! [​IMG]

  2. When I ordered goslings last spring, they stayed in the house for about 24 hours . . . too big, and too messy for me to deal with in the house. While they were in the house, I had them in enormous open topped clear plastic tubs from Walmart -- they were 84 inches long or something approximate (probably about 4 ft by 2 , with a brooder light clamped on top. There was a plan for chick brooders somewhere using them - they stapled hardware cloth onto cutouts in the lid. I didn't worry too much about a lid as I wasn't keeping them in the brooders very long. This would work in the barn too, for a week or less though -- and you would need multiple boxes as 10 would be too many. You want Long so they can get away from the heat lamp. Gave them a bowl with another bowl over turned, so they could drink and wash faces but not get chilled or dirty the water too much. Gave them a simple bowl of food -- they don't scratch so you might not need the chick feeder.

    In the barn, for the first couple weeks I put them in a four ft square area, blocked off with a plastic raised bed frame that was about 18 inches tall that I happened to have extra from planting my strawberries. It worked great for keeping out drafts, and I still could use it for strawberries afterward ! But any boards in a square would work -- I just felt like they should be kept closer to the light, but they are pretty hardy as well as smart, so they would probably do that themselves. After that I used the portable puppy fencing panels to gradually enlarge their area till they were in the whole stall . . . .

    Hope that helps! Geese are fun, but messy! I think you are right about needing something with more space . . .
  3. Elisi

    Elisi Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 31, 2012
    Raymond, WA.
    Welcome Lark and thank-you for the info!

    I just ordered a Corrugated Cardboard Chick Corral for the barn so I have that covered.

    For the brooder I had several good ideas today. I will work on them tomorrow to see which one works out. I will post pics and info when I'm done.
    Can't wait till the babies get here! [​IMG]
  4. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

    Sep 7, 2009
    Florida - Space Coast
    Our goslings have 4'x4'x3 high brooders. We have 5 of them total and adding a 6th. Each has an open top food bowl (those red divided ones don't have big enough openings) and a 1 gal waterer.

    The airline approved dog crates don't have enough room to allow movement, food and water as well as space to get near or away from the heat lamp. 10 would be way over crowded, 5 will be cramped.
  5. Elisi

    Elisi Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 31, 2012
    Raymond, WA.
    Hi Celtic, so good to see you here!

    After following the other thread I realized the crate would never work. [​IMG] I have several metal frames I can use to make a 3'x 3' x 2' box. It looks like that should work. I will post photos later today.
    How long do they need to be in the house?
  6. If you have a heat lamp in the barn, they can go out right away. We had them in the house for 24 hours just to make sure that they were eating / drinking and moving around well. And because they were so cute . . . .

    Glad you have some good ideas -- the chick corral is great! Probably reusable from year to year too . . .
  7. psue

    psue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2012
    we also keep ours in the house only long enough to be sure all are eating/drinking/pooping. we then have an old steamer trunk we cut out the top on and added wire, It allows us to latch the lid for critter proofing. After about a week in there we have a 2ft x 6ft 2foot high brooder with a framed chicken wire lid for night and bad days. For nice days we have a small area inside the older duck/goose pen. the pen for the month olds is a 10x20foot chain link dog run with 2ft high chicken wire all around the bottom. There is a 2x4 ft house attached that has a 60 watt bulb for heat when they need it. but anyone not in the large group goes inside to heat lights at night or rainy weather.

    This is year one for us so the learning curve is in place,lol

    good luck!
  8. Elisi

    Elisi Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 31, 2012
    Raymond, WA.
    Thank- you everyone! You guys are the best!! [​IMG] With your help my Little Red Barn will be a grand success!

    I have decided to use the metal frames, I can have them ready in about a day so I have lots of time to get that project done. (the frames are actually my office shelves so I will wait till early May to put them together.) So right now it sounds like I need to be more concerned about getting the barn ready. LOTS to do there!

    The barn has not been used for about 4 yrs, it was cleaned out pretty good but still has some straw & stuff around the edges & corners. Do I need to worry about sterilization?
    There is power but I need to install a plug in & lights. Not a big deal!
    Water for now is not a problem, there is a faucet on the corner of the house about 20 yards away. (I plan on running underground water & installing auto water buckets later)
    I have an important question about the water, the well is about 6 mo. old & is still settling a bit. Right now it has a high iron content. (we plan on installing a heavy duty filtration system later on)
    I plan on giving the goslings bottled water but will the well water be OK for them later?
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    The stall I will be using is 9x12. Even though I am getting 10 goslings I will only be keeping a few for breeding, (maybe 1 gander & 2 or 3 geese?) so this should be plenty big enough for them and their nests. I do have the main part of the barn that is about 3 times that space if I need it temporally.

    In the stall there is a built in elevated feeder. It looks like it would work great for the adult geese, but I'm not sure? It is 21" high, 54" long , 4" deep & about 1 foot wide.
    Will this work or should I remove it?

    I will use pine wood chip bedding (if I can find some) for "Chic corral" then when they leave the corral straw bedding (if it is cheaper) with grass hay bales around the edges for nesting.

    The pasture is enclosed with good stock fence so I wont have to worry about them getting into the road or yard once they are grown. Until then I was thinking I could build a 11' x 12' temporary outside run with chicken wire. I was thinking I would leave it open to the sky because the geese don't fly, but the crows, owls & hawks do. OK totally enclosed it is!

    WOW, after writing this I realize I have WAY more to do than I thought! I will have to get busy if I'm going to be ready in time!! If anyone is interested, I will post more photos of the barn, stall & run area on my Flickr page. http://www.flickr.com/photos/kenaioutdoors/

    I am so excited to be working on the farm again! [​IMG]
  9. bubbaloo

    bubbaloo Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 7, 2012
    I have one goose egg in my incubator on its 3rd week, its doing well, i would like to know if and when it hatches, will it be ok on its own...., my only experience iswith chickens and I know how lonesome they get if they are a single hatch, chirping constantly, my last chicken hatch resulte in one chick, it made so much noise that I had to find a chick mate...will ths be the same for the potential gosling??
  10. BScott03

    BScott03 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2013
    I just purchased a goose from Atwoods. Do you raise them similarly to ducks? I purchased a duck as well. Thank you for the info!!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by