Thinking about incorporating Embdem's into livestock rotation

Discussion in 'Geese' started by Treefolk, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. Treefolk

    Treefolk Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 22, 2011
    I'm looking for a poultry to bring through on the last phase of a rotational grazing. I want to graze things that forage for almost all of their food, so cattle, sheep/goats and then something that can take advantage of the munched down grass.

    I've read that Embdems are the best meat breed and will primarily eat grass for a lot of their diet. I was thinking about bringing turkeys or meat chickens through but they require very large inputs of feed that is brought from outside sources. I realize that all this feed would help enrich my pastures, however I don't want to bring 13 tons of feed in every year.

    So some of the things I would like to know are, has anyone eaten an Embdem and if so what was the dressed weight & flavor? Also does anyone have success with feeding primarily with forage, if so how much land and under what conditions (IE lots of grass from rain, lots of bugs, ect)? I've read that free-range stock density for most geese is around 20-40 per acre, is this accurate?

  2. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Some thinks for you to think about.

    Geese need protection from predators. They have a lot more things hoping to eat them than cattle do.

    Geese can live on good grass, but they can't digest mature fibrous grass well. They need new grass. So if you run them after your other stock, you need to wait long enough for the tender shoots to start growing again.

    They will eat many types of broad leaf weeds. They will not eat bugs.

    If you want bug control that you can turn around and eat, I suggest Pekin ducks. Pekins will need more feed input than the geese, but they will remove any bug they can get their bills on. They are fast growing, nice temperaments, and good feed conversion.

    I've never raised Emdens. There must be some reason why they are the commercial goose of choice.

    I raise Pomeranians because I like Pomeranians. The Pomeranian makes a good table goose because they have more breast meat than other breeds of goose. I have no idea what their feed conversion rate is.

    I give my ducks and geese the option of getting under shelter, but they don't seem to be too bothered by weather.

    Ducks and geese have a larger body cavity than chickens, so the dressed percentage probably isn't as good. Some university somewhere has probably done a study on it. But you can't compare geese to chickens either for selling price or flavor and quality of meat.
  3. Treefolk

    Treefolk Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 22, 2011
    Thank you for the tips. I'd run Khaki campbells for eggs if I were to do duck.

    I guess I'll hunt down some ag university studies.
  4. Cottage Rose

    Cottage Rose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 24, 2008
    Mid west Michigan
    If you go to my website on the bottom of my White Sebatospol page there are
    2 links to Mother Earth News on raising geese for meat you might find helpful.

    I'm raising 2 Embdens for meat this year.
    In my experience my geese do not eat hardly
    any weeds and mainly graze on grass and rarely eat bugs.

    If you need something for bug control I highly
    recommend Muscovies who are also excellent for meat.
    See my Muscovy page for more details.

    Good luck! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011
  5. goosedragon

    goosedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
  6. gallorojo

    gallorojo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2009
    I have 1 -1/2 acres of fenced , good pasture with attached pole barn. Currently this has 4 sheep, 4 goats, 6 geese, and maybe 45 chickens on it. Plenty of grass for all the grazers, they can't keep up with mowing it, I have to sometimes. The geese get fed just a tiny bit of whole oats each day, they steal some from the what I throw out for the chickens. They were raised on NO purchased feed, just forage, and they grew amazingly fast. They seem very healthy and strong on just good pasture. I'm sure I could have more than 6 geese. They wander around with the sheep day and night, no worries. Great animals for minimal input system!!!

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