WHY shouldn't geese eat out of your hand?

Discussion in 'Geese' started by bayyjayy, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. bayyjayy

    bayyjayy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know I read this answer somewhere, but I really don't want to go through posts again looking for the answer.

    Thanks!
     
  2. hossfeathers

    hossfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've been told it encourages them to think of you as something they can chew on. OTOH, Holderread's goose book has a picture of a woman feeding geese from her hand in the section that talks about how to raise friendly geese.
     
  3. zzGypsy

    zzGypsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    it seems to make them think of you as part of the same flock as them, and that can lead to issues where they become agressive with you. geese can nip hard and flog you with their wings, bruises will ensue.

    if you're going to hand feed, you need to be aware of what goose dominance behavior looks like and nip it in the bud every time. and you may have to do that at multiple stages of their life (as the mature, as they become sexually active, as they have nests and goslings to protect.) can be done, folks do it, but for people with little or no goose experience hand feeding sometimes leads to agression they don't know how to manage.
     
  4. Kim65

    Kim65 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A single or even just two geese will imprint on you enough that they probably will not get aggressive and see you as their parent their whole lives. If you have a larger flock who imprint more on each other, yet you have lots of contact with them, that's when trouble can start (at least in my case).

    Semi-familiarity is where you can get a goose who does not fear you, yet considers you an intruder. In my experience, these are the kinds of geese who try to bite and flog you. I'll never forget Pinhead, one of five goslings I got at one time. He was meaner to me than a snake, and he was the lead gander.

    Funny thing was, he would still eat out of my hand. He would alternately bite my hand and then eat a few bites, then BITE my hand real hard to make sure I knew who was boss.

    I have three hand raised geese who are never aggressive with me, including the gander. But the gander is aggressive with my daughters and grandson, because he's familiar with them BUT not imprinted, so they are intruders.

    The only way they can be anywhere near him is to scare him away.

    Then, you have individual personalities in geese, and some are just going to be aggressive and mean no matter what, if not to you then to someone else, it is just their nature. They don't have teeth or claws and can't fly, so all they have left is obnoxiousness.

    I couldn't NOT hand feed any of my animals, and so far, with the exception of Pinhead, I've been fortunate to not have bitey or aggressive geese.
     
  5. bayyjayy

    bayyjayy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh my....this was funny:

    Funny thing was, he would still eat out of my hand. He would alternately bite my hand and then eat a few bites, then BITE my hand real hard to make sure I knew who was boss.

    I can totally see that happening!!! Thanks for sharing.

    So....can you have a goose imprint on, say, 4 people? Is that possible.

    This is why I am worried about getting geese....I don't want my kids or their friends to be scared to go in the back yard, though by spring we will have the part for the ducks and geese blocked off. (When our backyard is done, it is gonna be so neat!!!) I just dont' want any kids being chased in my yard.
     
  6. Kim65

    Kim65 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you can, make sure you get female geese, they are much less likely to get aggressive and bitey. They are more likely to run and hide.

    Just get a couple of them, and you and your children spend a lot of time with them. Allow them the fall asleep on you, be held and petted (they really enjoy that as goslings). It is natural for geese to be afraid of strangers, so neighborhood kids will hopefully ONLY scare the geese and make them go elsewhere. Having a penned area is vital, though, female geese with nests (January - May) can be fiesty and protective (ie, bitey) if you come within twenty yards of them. My very timid females nipped my legs and hollered at me for months last year.
     
  7. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    This is why you don't feed out of your hand.

    The flock boss eats first. If you let the gander eat out of your hand, you are letting him eat first while you wait. Plus, you bend down to offer the food and that is a submissive posture. Therefore, you are telling him that he is the flock boss. You'll have a better behaved gander if he thinks that you are the flock boss.

    I do not recommend geese with small children. Sometimes it works well, if the children are well behaved and the geese are well managed. Sometimes it doesn't work well and there is too much potential for small children to get seriously injured or terrorized. Remember that a tall gander is face level to a small child. Goose bites hurt and can easily tear flesh.
     
  8. Cottage Rose

    Cottage Rose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Goslings are sweet and friendly but the older they get the more they bond to each other and the more their natural instincts take over.
    Granted they come across as puppy-like as goslings and inexperienced people might expect them to stay that way
    but they are afterall farm livestock and breeding age geese's behavior needs to be understood and respected.
    For sure they will go after children no matter how sweet they were toward them and you as goslings.
    I would recommend keeping them fenced off from your childrens play area and don't allow your children around them unsupervised.
     
  9. bayyjayy

    bayyjayy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, my youngest child is 8, she will be 9 by the time we get geese, so I don't have small children anymore (unfortunately!!! sad.).

    When we move the duck pond to the other side of the yard so that we can have a natural swimming pool on the side closest to the house, we will have two fences up...one to keep the animals on their side and kids away from the pond, and another one to keep kids away from the swimming pool. Only the part in the middle will be accessible to kids and dogs unless we unlock the gates. Make sense?
     
  10. pete55

    pete55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds fine to me and at 9 year old I think your daughter will be old enough to learn to be responsible with geese and how to manage them under your supervision [​IMG]
     

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