Weeder Geese?

Discussion in 'Geese' started by GoodEgg, Feb 13, 2007.

  1. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    Anyone use geese to keep down weeds?

    I also heard that they are the best bug-catchers going, and will eat any and all bugs.

    I was thinking the White Chinese ones (sorry, forget the real name?) were the best ones?

    Curious if anyone uses these. I wonder if you can turn them loose in a garden, or if they eat the veggies?

    And I wonder if they can be in with chickens? Particularly some of the heavy brown egg-laying hens (plus was planning a couple of roosters). Not in the coop, just sharing the yard during the times I let the chickens roam?

    Sorry if these are dumb questions, I just have no idea. [​IMG]

    Thanks if anyone has any info or ideas!
  2. eggchel

    eggchel Crowing

    Dec 26, 2006
    Both Coasts
    Hi GoodEgg

    Geese are great as weed eaters and walking lawn mowers. They just walk along clipping off the top of the grass, not tearing it up like chickens do or snorkling in it as duck will. By the way, geese are vegetarians and dont eat bugs. You need ducks to eat the bugs such as fly and mosquito larva, snails, slugs and even yellow jackets. Ducks will also eat weeds along with dabbling for bugs. A year ago when I had a nice size flock of ducks and geese out back, I didnt have any bugs, and the grass never needed mowing. The weeds were kept down to the same height as the grass.

    Chinese geese are loud, but beautiful. I have sebastopols. Currently I have one that is sharing a large (7x 25) covered chain link kennel with 4 chickens. They get along fine and stroll around together when they are out free ranging.

    Start training them when they are young to eat the weeds from the garden by cultivating a small patch and feeding it to them. They will leave many garden veggies alone, but dont ever feed them lettuce or other foods that you grow in the garden, or they will help themselves.

    Sorry, rambling now.


    <------- loves geese and ducks
  3. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    Thank you so much, this is great to know!

    Espcially since I think I lost my lawn-moving guy, who charged me a very little bit. I think it's too much for me to handle alone with a push-mower, and these days even the kids want over $50 for a yard this big.

    Guess I was misinformed when I read about geese and bugs? I was really looking forward to that part. I HATE bugs and we have tons of them in FL. Especially those giant cockroaches they call palmetto bugs, but they are ROACHES. Ugh.

    I LOVE ducks, we kept mallards when I was little. But they really tore the ground up and everything was bare and muddy. I've heard they do better when given water, but the best I could manage would be a plastic kiddie wader pool.

    I'll have to give it some thought I guess, and study some more.

    Hehe, I wonder what my backyard would be like with chickens, geese, AND ducks. Might as well take those mini-goats my friend was trying to pass off (JK, she wants to get rid of them because they jump fences and wander, and I can't build mine any higher!)

    Thank you!!!
  4. Picco

    Picco Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    Geese are great at weeding and they usually get along with chickens. Sometimes ganders don't get along with roosters and since they are larger the rooster usually looses... it really depends on your birds' personalities. housing the two species together is fine as long as a few guidelines are met:

    1. Fence of the area under the roosts since geese sleep on the ground and they probably could do without getting pooped on.

    2. Keep the waterers outside so the coop stays dry. Geese are messy when it comes to water and a damp coop is no good for chickens. A good practice is to keep the water on a raised platform (short enough to allow the birds to easily drink) with a wire mesh top for drainage.

    3. You'll have to modify the waters to allow the geese to submerge their hold heads to dislodge any dibris form their nostrils... adding an additional bucket is recommended.

    4. Allow your mixed flock a lot of extra living space so bullying is minimized.

    5. Geese can be raised without a pond but they should have access to an area where they can submerse themselves so their feathers are kept clean and in good shape. Kippy pools work well but have to be cleaned frequently.

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