Topic of the Week - Getting Started, Keeping Geese

Discussion in 'Geese' started by sumi, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member 7 Years

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    Pic by @Almond goose
    Many of us chicken keepers start with a few chickens and then start thinking about expanding into other types of backyard poultry, like ducks or geese. Others like the idea of having a few of these noisy, but loveable, birds around. This week I would like to hear from our geese keepers what we need to know before we get started, keeping geese. Specifically:

    - How much space does geese need?
    - What breed(s) are good for beginners?
    - Are geese easy or hard to keep?
    - Getting started with goslings or mature birds, which is better?

    Anything you'd like to add…



    For a complete list of our Topic of the Week threads, see here:

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  2. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist Premium Member

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    housing requirements?
    goose/gander ratio?
    do they play well with others? flock size? compatibility with other types of fowl?
     
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  3. I have two American Buff geese girls very lovely birds, friendly and well mannered. I have them in with my main flock of mixed birds while we build separate coops and pins. They get along and love my chicoens, guineas, ducks especially and Turkeys.
     
  4. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Crowing 9 Years

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    I got rid of all of my birds for the winter except for a pair of gray cross breed geese.
    first myth .. all geese are not noisy..
    the Africans , to me, are the noisiest.
    I have had up to 30 geese in my flock.
    they do not bother the other species of birds.
    In fact, I have used geese as foster parents for ducklings..
    surprisingly, the ganders were the first to protect the ducklings..
    they do not require a coop. our winters here are fierce . weeks on end of below zero temps.
    a wind break of access into a barn or garage or a lean to will suffice for shelter.
    for my pair, I just set out a sack of feed in the shed, keep rolling the sides of the bag down and provide water a couple of times a day..
    she will start laying eggs before the snow melts..
    If I collect the eggs, she will lay about 18 eggs. fewer if I just let her make her own nest.
    I have a shallow mud mixing box about 9 inches deep by two feet by three feet.
    If I dare to brave the cold, the geese will take a bath every day. even when it is minus -20F. remember, the water itself is above freezing so it actually feels warm to them.
    they don't get wet to the skin anyhow..
    their down is well over 2 inches deep.
    they can lie down on the snow and pull their feet up off the ground , tuck their head under a wing and melt a spot into the snow..
    In the summer, feeding them is easier. I just let mine wander all over the place. no fences needed. the trim the grass and some weeds..
    keep them out of the garden.
    four geese can polish off an 8 pound head of growing cabbage in just a few minutes..
    geese can make fine pets.
    I have never had a mean one.
    I always told my kids, if you don't run, they have nothing to chase. (to no avail, with my daughters, though) ..
    ....jiminwisc.....
     
  5. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member 7 Years

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    These and more questions will be addressed in future topic of the week threads :)
     
  6. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist Premium Member

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    The guy at the feed store is an enabler and working on convincing me to pick up a few geese when they come in ;) I hadn't thought about it until he brought it up and gave me the chick days schedule which not only includes chicks, but fluffy little ducks, turkeys, and geese this year!
     
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  7. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member 7 Years

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    "What do I do with impulsively purchased goslings?" sounds like a good future topic! :lol: (That's how I got started with chickens btw)
     
  8. Iain Utah

    Iain Utah Crowing 6 Years

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    - How much space does geese need?

    Geese need more space than chickens or ducks. Preferably at least the size of a small dog yard. Active breeds can easily roam 5 acres in their territory.

    - What breed(s) are good for beginners?

    Dewlap toulouse are the most mild mannered and gentle. However, much is determined by individual personality and raising. Ganders are typically friendlier towards humans than geese.

    - Are geese easy or hard to keep?

    Very easy, if one has a grassy yard or pasture.

    - Getting started with goslings or mature birds, which is better?

    While one can develop a bonded relationship raising goslings, mature geese are much easier to keep. And if one does not care about having a hands-on relationship, then definitely recommend mature birds.
     
  9. Suzi18

    Suzi18 Free Ranging

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    I am interested in either miniature geese or Sebastopol Geese. I only have 3/4 of an acre. I don't want to breed so I was thinking 2 males or 2 females. If I get them young can I raise them with chicks?
     
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  10. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchi Wan Kenobi Premium Member 6 Years

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    why not to keep one goose.png

    First and foremost, when getting ready to get geese, please do not plan on getting only one. I see a lot of people thinking they just want one and it will be fine living with their ducks, or they want to get one to 'guard' their chickens. Geese are very social and really do need to have a companion of their own species, and I know this from experience after accidentally owning just one goose for two years.

    - How much space does geese need?

    Geese, being bigger than chickens and ducks, need more space than they do. I would say allow at least six square feet per goose in the coop, and make their run as large as you can. They are grass eaters, so the more grass they have access to eat, the happier they will be, and the lower your feed bill will be. I'd say at least 20 square feet per goose, and more if possible.

    - What breed(s) are good for beginners?


    Any breed that's on the gentle and docile side would be good for beginners. Smaller breeds might be easier for beginners too. I breed Roman Tufteds, which are the smallest domestic breed, and they are gentle, docile, friendly little geese, and would be good for beginners from what I have experienced. Sebastopols are also a smaller goose and are known to be friendly and docile, so they may be a good choice as well. Americans are a calm breed, and would also be a good choice.

    - Are geese easy or hard to keep?

    Geese are pretty easy keepers. If you can keep chickens or ducks, you can keep geese (as long as you're okay with the occasional bouts of noisy honking). Really, all they need is a coop, a roomy, grassy, run, feed, and a pool to swim in, and they will be happy.

    - Getting started with goslings or mature birds, which is better?

    I started with goslings, and I'm glad I did. It's a little extra work at first, but really they're no harder to raise as babies than ducklings are. Starting with goslings allows you to bond with them when they are small, and they might even imprint on you. All my geese that I currently have, I raised from goslings.

    Adults have an advantage in that all you have to do is buy them and then turn them out in their coop and run, and that's it. Goslings take more work at first, but it's very rewarding to raise them from babies. Plus, goslings are the sweetest, cutest babies.

    If, however, you don't care about having a bond with your geese or being hands on with them, then mature geese are easier and the way to go.
     

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