weeder geese


9 Years
Mar 4, 2010
I currently have a small flock of chickens with the intent they would help with weeds, bugs and fertilize in my garden. But, I've just discovered these 'weeder geese' and I'm wondering if there really is such a thing. Could I actually have geese roam the garden, eat the weeds and bugs and not bother my crops too much? Could they range with chickens mostly? Do I limit their time in the garden? We currently have dogs who like the chickens too much...... ya, know for lunch. So we're practicing mutual exclusion right now. A hot chicken net is in our future plan, would geese do well to range with the chickens inside the net or do I need a separate area. Would the geese guard the chickens, I don't have a rooster. Do I need a pair and if so do I need a male/female pair or could I get female/female or male/male pair. I'm not really interested in fertile eggs. Our garden is pretty big but less than 1/4 acre, how many geese could weed a garden that size? Is there really a breed called 'weeder geese' or is it just a term for a mixed breed. I know that is a bunch of questions, sorry about that, I just really don't know a thing about geese.

These might be of interest to you.



It depends on what you have growing in your garden, I guess, and they wouldn't eat any bugs.

Oh, I just found this thread. https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=116596&p=1
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The links will give you an answer to most of your questions about using geese for weeding, I want to address the breed issue. Weeder Geese (now named Cotton Patch are what is called a landrace breed. a group of birds that have been fairly isolated from the stock they were bred from and sometimes for a special purpose. When the special need has disappeared sometimes the flocks will be kept and bred within their own group despite the fact that that are no longer used for the original purpose. Most of the chicken breeds that are kept and shown these days were actually made obsolete by factory farms. cornish x rock crosses which were once considered the most effecient Meat chickens have been replaced by 3 generation hybrids ( in other words the chicken you find in supermarkets ) were produced by a planned cross (hybrids) from a male line with a female line but both the lines were produced by planned crosses from their parents. so there is at least 4 breeds involved, 2 to produce the hen line and 2 to produce the rooster line that were the parents of the bird you eat. since you ate them they don't get a chance to reproduce themselves. I don't know about egg laying chickens but I assume it is the same deal.
Those turkeys in the meat cases are a bit simpler. Those broad breasted turkeys are to big to mate so the mother birds are all 'Mated" by AI!! According to the APA all turkeys are one true breed and the differences were selected by custom in different areas of the country.

That gets us back to Cotton Patch geese, they were developed from isolated flocks around the South that all showed a set of traits that were not known together in orther breeds. The name came about because when their owners were asked about them they answered that they were left overs from when Pappy used to use them to keep the weeds out of the Cotton Patch.
I used to use a China x African cross for weeders. Chinas for being light weight with long necks and Africans due to their large size would would eat more weeds per day, than the Chinas. They worked fine though they did have a tendency to eat the flowers off the rose bushes.
thanks for all the great info, y'all are the best.

Anyone want to comment on whether geese can be kept with the chickens when they aren't weeding?
I have 28 chickens, couldn't keep them out of the garden, they ate EVERYTHING, except the weeds...
My gander hates my turkey and roos. As for weeding....i wouldnt trust them in my garden they would probably eat or step on my plants.
I've found with my little goose, anything new I plant MUST be for her to chew on.

She only likes weeds if I pick them and hand feed her.
They'll associate more with you instead of chickens because they are...well...smarter.
With that comes a ton of poo on the back porch as they try to look for you though windows unless you have some sort of fencing. You should get at least 2 geese. They're social animals and may develop behavioral problems otherwise. Any combo is fine. I would recommend fem/fem to at least get eggs for a few months out of the year.
They wont protect the chickens but will certainly holler if something is amiss...unless they're not paying attention and a falcon happens upon one of your hens. Toddlers are better bird of prey deterrents.
I wouldn't consider a goose if you're wanting it to work for you. They may 'mother' little chicks if the chicks are mostly self sufficient. That being said, as much as my goose pisses me off, I can't bring myself to re-home her.Tried once after a week of constant 4am goose alarms, had to cancel.
I love her. She's so sweet and I just love her little quirks. USELESS sweet little goose goose. PAIN in the neck little beautiful clumsy goose.
Get a goose for a yard ornament that you can 'converse' with that MAY eat a weed or your entire garden. Who knows?

Sorry for the rant, but I DO feel better, thank you.

By the way, the 4am hollers were because of airplanes flying by. She could hear the engines and wanted to let us know by way of heart attack.
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