What to do for geese during winter?

eliequine

In the Brooder
Jul 25, 2020
4
6
11
I live somewhere where it gets mega cold during the winter, below freezing for long periods at a time. During the dead of winter it can snow up to 6 feet, so what should I do for my geese during this time? Currently I give them their pellet food and fresh water everyday, but do they need somewhere to swim? It's usually way to cold to let them out, and I don't want them to get sick or anything.
 

Goosebaby

Crowing
Nov 10, 2019
1,924
2,429
306
Northern California
If the water’s frozen there’s not much you can so the geese will just have to make do with preening without bathing. They can tolerate being outside on clear days even if it’s cold, it’s important for them to stretch their legs and have fresh air, on stormy days they should be in like you’ve been doing.
In their shelter they should be on dry bedding, nothing damp or moldy, I like to use wood shavings for that reason.

Drinking water is just as important in cold weather as it is in warm, they’re better able to stay warm if they’re hydrated so it’s good you’re giving them water daily. A high protein all flock (18-20%) can help them through cold winters, you can help alleviate boredom on days they’re kept in by getting them treats like heads of cabbage or lettuce, kale, carrots, apples, and so on. You may have to experiment with treats because geese can be picky.
 

Leader Bee

Songster
Jun 22, 2018
631
788
176
I think i've seen other people post on these forums about "de-icers"? i live in the UK so there really isn't any need for them but It's not de-icer like you'd use on your car windscreen like I originally assumed! but some kind of electrical heating element that you can put into a body of water for them to stop it icing over? I'm sure there are other members here who have experience using them and can tell you more.
 

Callender Girl

Crossing the Road
Sep 18, 2018
3,114
18,107
766
North Central Iowa
My American Buff geese manage to make it through windy -- and I mean really windy -- Iowa winters when the actual temperature last year dropped to 20-below BEFORE the wind chill. There's a reason goose down is used for bedding; it's a pretty good insulator.

Mine do not have pool access in the winter, but I keep a large heated dog water dish in their enclosure. Although it really is too small for bathing, sometimes Gussie and Golly stand in it to preen. That honestly worries me a bit, because I couple of years ago, I read about a woman whose wet geese literally froze their feathers to the ground. Even if it was just an "urban legend," I'd hate to take the chance.

To keep my goats' and sheep's water unfrozen in the winter, I use auto water drinker de-icers from the feed store that cost about $40. I've never tried them for the poultry.

Goosebaby offered excellent advice, but clearly has pickier geese than mine. Gussie and Golly will eat ANYTHING if they think the ducks or chickens might want some.
 

Goosebaby

Crowing
Nov 10, 2019
1,924
2,429
306
Northern California
My American Buff geese manage to make it through windy -- and I mean really windy -- Iowa winters when the actual temperature last year dropped to 20-below BEFORE the wind chill. There's a reason goose down is used for bedding; it's a pretty good insulator.

Mine do not have pool access in the winter, but I keep a large heated dog water dish in their enclosure. Although it really is too small for bathing, sometimes Gussie and Golly stand in it to preen. That honestly worries me a bit, because I couple of years ago, I read about a woman whose wet geese literally froze their feathers to the ground. Even if it was just an "urban legend," I'd hate to take the chance.

To keep my goats' and sheep's water unfrozen in the winter, I use auto water drinker de-icers from the feed store that cost about $40. I've never tried them for the poultry.

Goosebaby offered excellent advice, but clearly has pickier geese than mine. Gussie and Golly will eat ANYTHING if they think the ducks or chickens might want some.
Yep I’ve got picky eaters!
 

Pinckney

Songster
Dec 6, 2016
91
118
111
Pinckney, mi
I’m in MI and it can get sud-zero here. I use the black plastic tubs for water which are easy to remove thick ice from. The geese will step into these to bathe when I give them fresh water in the AM.
I did find a gander frozen to the ground one morning. Took a bit to free him.
Although my waterfowl have access to a barn they stayed outside one winter. It got to -40 that winter. Since then I herd them into the barn, and they get it. But they free range outside too. I have a line of evergreens that tend to be free of snow that they hang out under. But we rarely have more than 6” of snow, if that, at a time.
 

LadyWolf44005

Chirping
Apr 26, 2020
121
180
99
I was thinking of geting some de-icers too. It's been SO cold down here in KY. I will have to go out side every so offten and brake ice in everyone's drink trays and pool. My only reluctance is the money would have to come from my plans of building a bigger goose pool. But seeing them stand in there pool trying to bathe makes me feel bad. So I think I will just go on ahead and buy some. At night I give them way more bedding then normal. A mixture of straw and woodchips which works nicely. One night I did not give them enough and almost regrated it! When I opened my goose shelter door Tyrion, my sweetest boy, feet and beak were a blue purple! I was instantly worried about frost bite. Swiftly picking him up I wrapped him up in a blancet and started boiling hot water in my tea pot. After Waiting for the water to cool off a bit. I grabbed paper towel an wrapped it around his feet. Then gently poured the hot water over his feet. Did not enjoy it at first,but as I could tell his color was returning to his feet. Tyrion started to enjoy it. I then proceeded to do the same to his beak. Everything if fine now! But I thank god I woke up early and for the lesson. Even if you think you have enough bedding and its winter ADD MORE ANY WAY!!!! Funny thing to add to this is that both geese now enjoy hot foot baths.
 

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