Seeking advice on keeping healthy geese in low grass environment

smt1990

In the Brooder
Nov 2, 2018
5
15
36
Hello!

I'm new here, and my place of employment recently acquired 3 American buff geese.

We've raised them from goslings and initially kept them at our owner's home where she had a pasture for them in the day and a barn at night. Now they are approximately 6 months old and are kept at our training facility. I've been coming here and reading up on ways to make them as comfortable and healthy as possible but finally figured to just make an account and ask.

We have a pen for them that's about 10ftx10ft for the three of them they stay in at night with a wooden little house full of straw and shavings to keep warm and safe from weasels etc. They have a pool in there as well. When it's been warm we've given them a couple rolls of sod 2x/week to give them that grass they need since we don't have pasture. The pen itself has pea gravel on the ground.

We do let them roam around in the sun during the day so they can exercise in the bigger fenced in run we have, but this is still mostly pea gravel with some weeds they will snack on.

My biggest concern is about keeping them well fed. Especially now winter is near and we can't get them sod anymore. We've been feeding them about 2 cups/day of hard red wheat for each goose, and an equivalent amount of growers' crumbles as well. I have no idea if this is enough, too much, or what. I also go out and buy kale at our local market and they get a couple of bunches of that as a treat daily.

Is there anything I can do to make them more comfortable? They appear pretty healthy, although the male did temporarily have a droopy wing that has since fixed itself. They are a good weight.
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Oct 3, 2009
115,670
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Mountains of Western N.C.
That is what I do in winter months buy kale and romaine lettuce I keep feed out during daylight hrs along with plenty of fresh water. I also use heated buckets so their water doesn’t freeze. You could add whole corn to their feed bowl to help keep them warm maybe half cup a piece along with with the crumbles and wheat. They’ll be fine till spring oh and some buy Timothy hay for their geese. Just always make sure they have plenty of drinking water.
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Oct 3, 2009
115,670
135,709
1,962
Mountains of Western N.C.
That’s a great feed it’s just not available every where. Putin’s Flock Raiser is next best feed it’s formulated for all poultry including geese.
 

Magnolia Ducks

Free Ranging
Jan 24, 2018
4,611
14,593
572
Magnolia, TX
Agreed. Assuming you meant Purina and not Vladimir. It is getting close to election so the Russians could have invaded spell check. Flock Raiser is more reasonably priced as well. I live in a very humid place and have trouble with keeping Flock Raiser fresh until all eaten. Seal it up in a plastic tub helps.
 

Magnolia Ducks

Free Ranging
Jan 24, 2018
4,611
14,593
572
Magnolia, TX
Fall egg number 28 for wilma. Think they are now big enough to be viable. Just need a gander. Egg on right is from Mini the duck.
IMG_20181103_100042.jpg
IMG_20181103_100042.jpg
 

Percheron chick

Crowing
8 Years
Apr 12, 2013
4,658
3,159
391
Hudson, Colorado
Hello!

I'm new here, and my place of employment recently acquired 3 American buff geese.

We've raised them from goslings and initially kept them at our owner's home where she had a pasture for them in the day and a barn at night. Now they are approximately 6 months old and are kept at our training facility. I've been coming here and reading up on ways to make them as comfortable and healthy as possible but finally figured to just make an account and ask.

We have a pen for them that's about 10ftx10ft for the three of them they stay in at night with a wooden little house full of straw and shavings to keep warm and safe from weasels etc. They have a pool in there as well. When it's been warm we've given them a couple rolls of sod 2x/week to give them that grass they need since we don't have pasture. The pen itself has pea gravel on the ground.

We do let them roam around in the sun during the day so they can exercise in the bigger fenced in run we have, but this is still mostly pea gravel with some weeds they will snack on.

My biggest concern is about keeping them well fed. Especially now winter is near and we can't get them sod anymore. We've been feeding them about 2 cups/day of hard red wheat for each goose, and an equivalent amount of growers' crumbles as well. I have no idea if this is enough, too much, or what. I also go out and buy kale at our local market and they get a couple of bunches of that as a treat daily.

Is there anything I can do to make them more comfortable? They appear pretty healthy, although the male did temporarily have a droopy wing that has since fixed itself. They are a good weight.
Domestic geese can do well on just feed and wheat in the winter months. 4 C each is a lot. They are going to start packing on the weight. Romaine lettuce and kale are excellent greens that can replace some of the pasture but can get expensive. I buy 6 packs of romaine at Costco for less than $4 as a treat. The bulk of their diet is hay when grass is gone. I fill feeders with whatever I have for the horses. Alfalfa grass, oat... they eat it all. Keep it off the ground or they just waste it. They eat about 1/2# each a day so one small bale will last about a month.
 

smt1990

In the Brooder
Nov 2, 2018
5
15
36
Domestic geese can do well on just feed and wheat in the winter months. 4 C each is a lot. They are going to start packing on the weight. Romaine lettuce and kale are excellent greens that can replace some of the pasture but can get expensive. I buy 6 packs of romaine at Costco for less than $4 as a treat. The bulk of their diet is hay when grass is gone. I fill feeders with whatever I have for the horses. Alfalfa grass, oat... they eat it all. Keep it off the ground or they just waste it. They eat about 1/2# each a day so one small bale will last about a month.

I forgot to say...we have 5 call ducks right now that have been eating with the geese, so my food estimate is probably off since they all eat (the 5 ducks and 3 geese) from the same 2 bowls of wheat and crumbles. Everything is usually eaten by the end of the day
 

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