Thinking about getting a pair of geese

Discussion in 'Geese' started by cleoppa, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. cleoppa

    cleoppa Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 28, 2010

    I'm thinking about getting a pair of geese. I had a pet duck many years ago, but other than I've never had any non-cage birds. I've done a little bit of research on the Internet, but I've got a few questions. I primarily want geese because I like them, they give eggs and can mow the lawn eco-friendly. My biggest concern in getting geese is that they're friendly. My friend had some geese (they were pets) when I was young and they were rather mean.

    1. I'm thinking of getting a pair of pilgrim geese as hatchlings. Anyone have any advice for or against?
    2. When you order a pair of geese from a hatchery, are they generally from the same clutch? Doesn't seem like such a good idea if they ever have babies...
    3. From my research, it seems like geese lay eggs mostly all year. If this is so, why is it that I can't get any geese until spring?
    4. Anyone have any suggestions for getting geese before spring?
    5. Are opossums a danger to geese? I occasionally have a possum around here. I live in the city so I don't think I'll have a lot of predators.
    6. Can anyone recommend a good book or two?
    7. Do geese do OK in snow? We don't get a lot. I'm fairly new to the area, but I think some years we don't get any.
    8. What do most people do for water? I know with my duck it was very difficult to dump the kiddy pools. Maybe something like a horse's water trough thing?

  2. NapoleanGoose

    NapoleanGoose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2010
    Bishop CA
    1. A great choice. I haven't had the joy of owning one myself, but they are said to be very sweet birds. You can tell the males and females apart, which a very nice bonus with geese.

    2. Hatcheries have a lot of birds, I doubt they would be related closely unless the hatchery inbreeds their own birds. Sadly there is no way of knowing if they do or not.

    3. Believe me, I thought the same thing. I got my geese and then I found out they don't lay all year. A "Season" as it is called on most informational sites, is their general yearly breeding season. Depending on the goose this can be anything from only 2 months of lay to 5 or more. Some geese even lay in the fall if the weather is good. Breeding starts in Jan-Feb and they begin to lay from Feb-April depending again on weather and the temperatures. If I recall, Pilgrims lay quite a bit. Quoting the ALBC " Properly managed, they lay 35-45 six to seven ounce white eggs annually" Keep in mind to get that many eggs from them you will have to take away the eggs after they lay them so that they will continue to lay, and some geese may go broody halfway between and then may or may not lay again that year.

    4. Older geese. Or try to find someone who has geese laying in fall.

    5. I've never heard of them being a problem. I can't see one going after a goose in cold blood, but if they fell into the pen with the geese and felt threatened it would probably put up a good fight. I'm not sure though.

    6. David Holderead's book "The Book of Geese" and "Domestic Geese" by Chris Ashton

    7. They are fine in the snow. We get plenty here and they never have any problem with it. I might even say they like it. [​IMG]

    8. Mine have wallowed in as little as puddles and were happy. They love my horse's water trough though. [​IMG]

    Hope this helps!
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    You may want to re-think the decision to get geese if you live in a city. Geese are loud. Pilgrims are probably some of the quietest of them, but they can still be loud. If you live in close proximity to others you may want to consider what getting geese would do to the neighbors' quality of life. Geese, in general, are the most challenging of the barnyard birds. They have their own personalities and temperaments. There is no guarantee you would get friendly geese, in fact out of the 4 geese I have owned I put down 3 of them for being nasty and the fourth tolerates us. She is by no means friendly, but at least she isn't vicious like the others were. I would urge you to think very hard about what it would mean to have geese before you get them. I did over a year of research before I got geese, and I still felt woefully unprepared for the reality of them once they grew up. They are tough birds to own.

    Good luck.
  4. erthymom2

    erthymom2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2008
    i've had both pilgrim and tolouse geese and loved them.Geese are differant than chickens but in a good way , not a bad way.

    i was lucky to incubate and hatch my own geese so we bonded/imprinted right away. they were fiesty but not mean or bite-y. They liked water but a kiddy pool was fine for them along with big puddles. only loud when really happy, when strangers or cars pulled down the drive - then they clammed up.

    If you can, get them right at hatching so they see/smell/hear you - then handle them ALOT and talk to them. for me the key was to get them used to being handled and around humans w/o feeling threatened or snappy. they were ok around my teenagers who knew how NOT to act around my bird kids, they werenot really keen about little kids because they were too active and excited i think for what they were used to.

    They will want to be around you if they can so be prepared for "company" at your door calling you...mine would follow the dog thru the doggy door to the kitchen until i put a lock on it.....believe me you do not want a few unsuperviser goslings in you kitchen near a dog bowl or water dish!!LOL

    Mine would try to get into my lap to sit and chat outside no matter what i was trying to do. i took them on short trips one-at-a-time to the feed store, petsmart, or just for a drive in the SUV. Stoping for ice cream with one was hard becauase by the time folks got done looking at her, my cone was either eaten or melted.
  5. crazy goose lover

    crazy goose lover Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 17, 2010
    Athens Illinois
    Opossums will kill geese as will racoons. I have had experience with both. Have also had a fox in town that killed some ducks.
  6. noahsgeese

    noahsgeese Border Collie

    Nov 30, 2009
    Quote:I agree with everything you said except for when you get a goose, you should not get to old of a goose, but just about a year or two old because you want them to be in there best laying season!
  7. NapoleanGoose

    NapoleanGoose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2010
    Bishop CA
    Oops, sorry, by older I meant older then a baby. [​IMG] Geese live such a long time. And if you want them to be nice be sure that the breeder has imprinted on them so that they already are fond of people.
  8. The goose girl

    The goose girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2010
    Quote:I got my gosling from an old farmer. He told me he started talking to the eggs a few days before they hatched, so the goslings would recognize his voice. They even answered him from within the egg! So cute! [​IMG]
  9. NapoleanGoose

    NapoleanGoose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2010
    Bishop CA
    Thats exactly what the mommies do! How sweet! I love goslings, they are such a treasure! [​IMG]

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