Thinking of raising geese for meat, any advice appreciated

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by WNCUrbanAgrarian, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. WNCUrbanAgrarian

    WNCUrbanAgrarian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    Hi,

    I raise Sebastopols for breeding right now, and just LOVE them!

    But a friend with more acreage than I have, and I, are thinking of raising geese for meat (for sale). Anyone on here specialize in that? Can you tell me how it has gone?

    Reasons we are considering it:
    1. Goose meat is AWESOME! I had to cull a half breed last year, so I cooked it. It had been pastured and supplemented with organic chicken layer feed. YUM! YUM! YUM!
    2. Because geese are such good foragers, it seems to me that they would be more economical to raise, and bring more profit than chickens.
    3. They seem also to be less work than chickens, and they SURE don't smell as bad!

    Thanks in advance!!!
     
  2. Huny

    Huny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 14, 2008
    Sunny Southern Arizona
    I looked at doing that, the biggest obstacle for me was if I were to sell the meat, there is no one who is USDA or State wide certified to put a stamp on it. If people are processing their own or finding someone on their own to, it might not be a problem. My geese are great foragers, I didn't even supplement during the summer, but let them have all the grass they wanted and they were healthier and better looking. There was a pamphlet on Pasture-Raised Meats that explained a lot of it, how much healthier, leaner and tastier the meat is. I think you would have to find a breed that grew fast on grass, and make sure you have customers and a market before you go into it. People just don't eat waterfowl anymore like they used to.
     
  3. WNCUrbanAgrarian

    WNCUrbanAgrarian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    Thanks Huny,

    Obviously I need to do more research into the USDA thing. Guess I'll start with NC laws and see what I can find. What kind of geese do you have?

    I supplement mine with organic soy free food from Countryside. I had to cull on last year that turned out to be a half breed, think it was half swan goose. It was lean and delicious!
     
  4. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    Make sure you have a market before going into a large investment (more than you'll eat yourself or give away for gifts, as example). I rather like goose myself, but plenty of people are used to flavorless supermarket chicken, and a goose is a large step away from bland.

    Check the state rules, and check to see if you'd have buyers before going large scale. In some states you have to sell them live, but can butcher as a free service or favor, in others you can raise but they must be processed elsewhere (look into who hunters bring thier kills to for processing, and strike up a bulk price).

    Get listed in local harvest for foodie types who want to know about thier food, you can get a higher price that way, maybe a local CSA that would like to offer "holiday geese" as part of it's plan?

    You do have some fablious goose recipies? you'll want to get those together, as many people will need help with what to do with a goose.
     
  5. WNCUrbanAgrarian

    WNCUrbanAgrarian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    Excellent advice Saddina! On Point in every way!

    I do know that marketing will be a BIG part of it. Fortunately living where I am, there is a really good Slow Foods Movement, Local Food Movement and a lot of Foodies like me. [​IMG]

    Thanks!!
     
  6. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    Quote:No problem, Free ranged deviled eggs with hungarian smoked paprika, dear?

    *passes a tray*
     
  7. WNCUrbanAgrarian

    WNCUrbanAgrarian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    Yum, Yum!!! [​IMG]
     
  8. Yellow House Farm

    Yellow House Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Jun 22, 2009
    Barrington, NH
    Greetings!

    I don't often jump into the conversations on this site, but I"m always excited to think of others giving goose a chance.

    Goose is an important past of our poultry farm. Our customers love it, and we are glad to offer a product that rebroadens horizons. Moreover, raising geese as farm animals for the purpose of commerce is the best way to insure their continued existence.

    We sell American Buff geese. It is important to be a blessing to the geese you raise, and that includes maintaining pure-bred stock. Marketing your particular breed of goose, the breed that your farm stewards, is a great marketing tool. Moreover, geese, on account of their size and breeding habits are more difficult to manage in multiple breeds unless space, time, and money are not concerns.

    Know how you're going to process them beforehand. Start any waterfowl market small and then grow with each season as is appropriate, We market geese particularly for Christmas. In New Hampshire they hatch with the sprouting of May grass and are slaughtered in November when the grass is fading. This dependence on forage is a powerful way to develop a strain of your breed that is particulrly developed to the rhythm of your farm. It is referred to as landrace breeding.

    Know how to cook goose well such that every customer leaves your space feeling confident. You will lose sales if a worried potential customer cannot find confidence in yourt expertise.

    Sebastapols, for all of their pomp and show, are productive geese. Give it a whirl. However, is you're going to market to a SLowfood market specifically, you might consider the US Buff or the Pilgrim.

    Cheers,

    Joseph
     
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