What/How much to feed my Gosling - Help!

Discussion in 'Geese' started by vikkicatz, May 15, 2011.

  1. vikkicatz

    vikkicatz New Egg

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    May 15, 2011
    Exactly a week ago, we rescued a tiny baby "duck". Found out shortly after it was a gosling and probably less than 3 days old when we literally fished it drowning, all alone out the river (we live on the river, very fast current). Left it outside for a while, no one came for it and it was shivering and wet. It immediately started following me around. So, we've been taking care of it, i'm reading like crazy about gosling care and am nervous about feedings.

    After 2 days of crushed, mushed dog food (which my mother said she saw somewhere on the internet) I bought and gave it (non-medicated) "chick starter/grower" from tractor supply, which the label said was appropriate for a gosling of its age. It eats like crazy, nearly nonstop when there's food in the pen and for a day or two i thought that as good. When the food ran out it napped and then would make a pretty anxious cry as it searched for more food. Its penned in our house right now because its been VERY cold and rainy, but i've been adding grass from the yard to the pen. It definitely prefers the chick starter. After doing more reading and watching how much it would eat if I let it, i'm starting to get worried.

    The chick starter its getting is 20% protein and from what I read that borderline high and I REALLY don't want this guy to get angel wing, since we're hoping it will join a flock & migrate. So today i rationed its food a lot more and gave it a ton more grass, plus a little celery and part of a strawberry (it went crazy for the celery but not the strawberry). But I can tell, now that its growing like crazy, that its getting increasingly antsy stuck in the "playpen" (its aprx 2 yards long and 2 feet wide), especially since i'm not giving it as much chick starter. On less food its pooping less (which i don't mind) and more active, as it "forages" through the grass etc. that i've scattered.

    Nevertheless, I'm really worried about what the right balance of food is since it can't be outside right now for very long. Any recommendations on how much chick starter it should receive or better alternatives would be exceptionally welcome. I know even goslings can do well foraging for themselves outdoors but we're looking at rain & 40s/50s weather for at least 3 more days! What should i do???????????? I'm not sure what the balance is between overfeeding and starving my little guy.

    Help! Thanks!!!
     
  2. cbreezerentals

    cbreezerentals Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You did not mention whether you put a light in the pen, how does she/he stay warm ? I also give my goslings that are being raised by their mother non- med chick starter, rolled oats, and they free range.
     
  3. DurhamDuck

    DurhamDuck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2011
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    Our two goslings are eating the 20%starter/grower from TSC too with a supplement of grass and romaine lettuce (which they go crazy for). I'd say you're doing fine.
     
  4. lilchick

    lilchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I give my goslings All Flock by Nutrena. It is 18% and tiny pelleted. I also pick handfuls of fresh grass daily for them.

    Your gosling might be lonely.. It most likely thinks you are Momma too. Could you give it an old stuffed animal to sleep with? Mine pile up together, necks draping over one another. They only carry on when the water runs dry or feed bowl goes empty. Mine are "porkers" for sure [​IMG]
     
  5. vikkicatz

    vikkicatz New Egg

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    May 15, 2011
    Thanks all! It has a "nest" with a heat lamp and two mirrors, which it snuggles up against very happily. We tried some stuffed toys, which it was not interested in, but it snuggled the mirror right away. It definitely wants to be with me and will happily nap in my lap, but its also very content with its mirror family.

    Its getting grass regularly and I tried some romaine. It was indifferent. It goes NUTS for the chick food! I spoon it down around her pen so it has to "forage" for it and it practically attacks the spoon before I can sprinkle it. It loves this stuff! I just tried cutting up some crimini mushrooms into tiny, chick starter-shaped bits and it seems more interested in that.

    Its also very busy and happy to forage outside (if it can see me), but I don't like putting it out too long because its so cold and wet.

    S/he's growing so fast! I just want to make sure i'm doing the right things so she keeps it up!

    Thanks!
     
  6. cbreezerentals

    cbreezerentals Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think you are doing a great job !!!
     

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