Sick Goose?


Dec 2, 2021
New Mexico
I was wondering if anyone knew what to do about my 1 year old Toulouse named Loosey Goosey. I have only had my geese since around Easter. Since that time, I have been feeding her and her gander freshly chopped grass, weeds, and vegetables every day. I didn't think there was any problem because they both are really well and always had leftovers. About 3 days ago, I went out to the pen and Loosey was sitting on the ground like normal. But she didn't hiss or honk at me and when I moved closer, she didn't try to get up and run from me like both my geese do. I knew something was up. To be frankly honest, I had never picked up either of my geese before because I was always told that geese are aggressive and I was afraid of getting bitten. So I just give them what they need and leave them be. But when I picked up Loosey, she felt like a fake goose full of straw or something. I know that a female Tolulouse should weigh between 15 and 20 pounds and she felt lighter than a bantam chicken. But she doesn't look skinny. She didn't want any more grass or roughage. We do keep a variety of poultry and we always have plenty of different feed available. So my husband suggested that I give her some of the all flock pellets that we mixed with scratch grains. As soon as I put it down for her, she ate it ravenously. She seems to have gotten some of her strength back. But she still stays in one spot. I put her in a the nest in their shed even though I know she's not laying. Just so the ants don't get her and she's not baking in the sun. But I'm still at a loss. I put ACV in the water, I feed more than enough even to the point of wasting feed to ensure she has enough. She does hiss and honk now. But no mobility and she's still light. The poop on both geese looks different too. Before, it resembled green Chihuahua poops. Now, it's more liquidy and ranges from greenish brown to a more yellowy brown. This is my first time raising geese and there's not a lot of info that I can gather my research from as I did with the rest of our birds.
I hope goosebaby jumps in. I am so sorry its so hard when one goes down. Please always be the flock leader so yes always pick up your geese boss them around or tell them what to do. I dont raise mine friendly just respectful. They do need more than grass and weeds I think all flock at this pint is a great Idea and a supplement of Niacin (brewers yeast). The first year they grow so fast. However there could me other issues than food. I hope someone else will add to this. At this point hydration food and vitimins (I give poltry cell) are a cant do anymore damage solution.
Sounds to me like she probably has a niacin deficiency it will make them lame and if not treated can kill them. Geese yes are foragers if plenty of grass but young still need feed along with foraging. So your on the right path as far as getting her strength back but to treat niacin deficiency she needs liquid B complex asap. Here is info on niacin def in waterfowl,
I hope she responds quickly but it may take a little longer for her since this has been going on for a while.
please keep us updated on how she is doing.
Get her some liquid B complex and poultry cell or poultry nutri-drench like the others have said.

By what you described it sounds like she was starving to death. Fresh spring grass and vegetables are wonderful fodder for geese, but growing and molting geese need a lot of protein and nutrients that grass and vegetables just can’t give them, and even more so for large breeds like Toulouse.

Geese should have a multi flock, all flock, flock raiser, or waterfowl oriented feed. Protein levels for growing geese should be between 20 to 22%, but feed with that percentage can also be used as a maintenance feed through their lives, especially for heavy/large breeds like Toulouse, for example I feed mine Purina flock raiser all year.

Other than the vitamin supplements you can also get her Purina game bird, it’s 30% protein and will help get her weight back up quickly. Once she has recovered switch them to nutrena all flock or Purina flock raiser. 30% protein is good for putting weight on quickly, or if you’re fattening them up before slaughter, but long term it can cause health problems.
Is that all stuff that goes in the water? I can't get her to take anything from my hand. She didn't even want the comfrey leaf but she ate it when I broke it up and let it float on the water.
Is that all stuff that goes in the water? I can't get her to take anything from my hand. She didn't even want the comfrey leaf but she ate it when I broke it up and let it float on the water.
It can go in the water, but they might not like the taste, the only sure way to make sure she gets it is to buy a syringe and syringe it down her throat, which is easier than it sounds.

You have corner her, then squat over the top of her, use your body to hold her in place but don’t actually sit on her, with one hand grab her face and use your fingers to put pressure on the corners of her mouth, which will make her open, once her mouth is open hold it open by wrapping your hand around her lower jaw, she can’t bite you very well if your whole hand is in her mouth. With your other hand you stick the syringe down her throat and hit the plunger. The faster it’s dont the easier it is.

You can also have someone else hold her while you work with her head. Casportpony has an article that tells how to safely administer meds
As for goose care, there isn’t a lot of information out there because there isn’t a lot of goose owners compared to chicken owners, so I’m not surprised you had trouble, I did too when I first started.
On top of that there’s a lot of BAD information, Facebook and feed store employees are common sources of that.

Anyone on backyard chickens can fall victim to repeating misinformation, I have, but there are a lot of more informed poultry owners here that can correct or give better advice.

So some basic goose care if it helps:

Goslings and geese have higher nutrient needs than chickens and chicks. Goslings and geese need more of all of the Bs along with E, A, and everything else.
B vitamins and vitamin C are water soluble so there isn’t a risk with overdosing, other vitamins like E, A, D, are not water soluble so don’t go overboard on them.
(Your goose could probably use a good dose of everything for awhile though.)

Medicated feed isn’t actually bad for waterfowl, but most medicated feed is formulated for chicks so it’s too low in everything for waterfowl. People thought that the symptoms of vitamin deficiency that they were seeing was the effects of poisoning from the coccidia medication, but it was vitamin deficiency. The medication isn’t actualy toxic to waterfowl....unless you’re giving denegard (tiamulin) at the same time, the interaction is toxic to everything....

Small breeds and large breeds can have different needs. For large breeds 20/ 22% protein feed given year round is fine, for small breeds that can be too much and they can have obesity issues.

Geese have higher nutrition needs when molting, 22% protein is just fine again.

Adults that aren’t molting can be fed a 17% protein feed in the summer, especially small breeds, larger breeds might need more or might not, it can also depend on the individual and how much pasture they have.

Laying females need calcium supplements, egg shell, oystershell, or a layer feed, non laying females, goslings, and ganders should not be given layer feed so offering shells is preferable if you have a mixed flock.

If you have harsh winters 30% protein can be given on very cold nights, otherwise 20/ 22% is needed in winter months.

If you’re mixing scratch with feed, it depleats the nutrient intake of the feed, they’ll be filling up with scratch instead of what they need, scratch is a fun treat that they love, but it should be given as a treat. Corn doesn’t have a lot of nutritional value but it can help keep them warmer on cold nights in winter, just something to consider.

As for illnesses, there are some goose specific diseases but they’re generally rare, geese can catch a lot of things chickens can but their symptoms can differ at times which makes diagnosis tricky. There are some illnesses they are immune too, or at least thought to be immune to, like leukosis, mereks, and Newcastle for example.
Other things like mycoplasma G and mycoplasma S they can get, a lot of the Veterinary world seems to not be fully aware of this among other things though.
Companion animal (cats, dogs, and to some extent horses) medicine is decades behind human medicine. Avian/exotic medicine is behind companion animal medicine, and wishing exotic medicine what medically is known for parrots and other high value birds is ahead of “poultry.”
Chicken medical knowledge would have been fairly poor if it wasn’t for the growing populartpity of backyard chicken ownership, but because of that most studies for poultry are about chickens, there are nearly none for geese.

So what I myself do when I have some medical issue for my geese and I can’t find any information about it is I look up chicken medical articles and websites. I have to weed through some of the conditions that geese can’t get or are unlikely to though.
If chicken medicine has failed me I go to parrot medicine, which is usually pretty good information, because a vet might not care much about “poultry” but they’re going to be extra careful when they have a $$$$ endangered macaw as their patient.
When avian medicine has failed me human medal information is where I go next.

Not everything is relevant across species but the amount of things that are the same is astounding and and it can be a huge help.

If you know a farm vet or an avian vet that sees poultry you’re lucky, there aren’t a lot of either anymore.

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