Would geese like it here? (pics)

Discussion in 'Geese' started by raindrop, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. raindrop

    raindrop Chillin' With My Peeps

    712
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    Feb 10, 2008
    Western Oregon
    I would like to get some geese. We have 12 acres and a pond.

    Here is the pond, enclosed by field fencing.
    [​IMG]


    Here is a close up of the water/pond.
    [​IMG]


    Here are a few questions:

    1. Is a trio or a pair better to start with?
    2. I am partial to Pilgrim geese (had a pair when I was a kid), would that be a good choice for a beginner? I have dogs and toddlers so I don't want anything too assertive/aggressive.
    3. What kind of house/shelter do they need?
    4. What predators do I have to worry about? We have coyotes, fox, skunks and I suppose raccoons although I have never seen one. We also have hawks but I can't imagine a hawk could get an adult goose.
    5. Could I train them to follow me to the fenced garden area for treats so they could weed/eat slugs for a few hours in the winter/late summer/fall (when garden is fallow or when garden plants are big enough not to get eaten). Would they be okay with no pond to swim in for a few hours in the garden?
    6. How old are they when they can be out on their own? Could I raise them with chicks until they are big enough to take care of themselves?
    7. Can they free-range or will they run away?
    8. Is there a good website or book you could recommend to help me learn about geese?
    9. Are hatchery geese okay to get? Are the temperments of Ideal geese good/predictable? I am getting a chick order in early April, thought I would add on a few goslings.

    Thank you! I am very excited to get some geese soon if you think they would do okay at the pond we have.

    Edited to add: The pond has some mallard ducks that come to nest every year. The ducklings get eaten by bullfrogs I think, I've never seen any juvenille ducks and I've seen some dead babies. Would the geese chase the ducks away? Would the bullfrogs eat goslings if I hatched eggs?

    Thanks again.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2008
  2. theOEGBman

    theOEGBman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 13, 2007
    Central California
    I would love it there!! That is so beautiful, Im sure the geese will be in heaven. If this laptop wasnt so touchy, I would answer your questions, but I just got it yesterday and my fingers are too fat for the keys. Terrie should pop in soon. Good Luck!
     
  3. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Quote:I am envious. That pond is beautiful. I only have seasonal drainage ditches which my geese and ducks utilize. They are relegated to tanks in the summer.

    I would get no fewer than three with that much space. Honestly, I would get trios of several different breeds with that much space.

    Also, do not overlook ducks! You can raise them identically to your geese; but they have the added benefit of eating all the creepy crawlers around your garden and yard. There are some simply gorgeous breeds, such as Silver Appleyards, Saxony, Welsh Harlqeuin, etc.

    Quote:My Pilgrims are amazing parents and it is a breed I'd recommend to anyone. My experience with 'agressive geese' is this:

    - Andy goslings you let hatch under their mother will be instinctively wild. I recommend taking the eggs and incubating them yourself, that way they imprint on you and will be much more tame and manageable.
    - Geese are super parents. Both the male and female protect the gosling for the first 9 months to year of their life. When you see geese hissing at people, it's because they're too close to their goslings or nest.
    - During mating season (right now), even my friendliest geese are a bit tempermental. They will all protect the next when a goose is laying an egg. I have to make a point to display my dominance each day or they will nip me in the ass when I turn my back.

    I also very much like my Embdens. They are very mischevious, gregarious and goofey.

    Quote:Geese would prefer to not be in a shelter, so it comes down to predation. I tought mine to go in a shelter at night from early on and they all do it on their own now. If they are in a secure fenced area, they will just sleep in the open.

    Quote:Coyotes and foxes will certainly take a goose. The advantage with geese is they will make so much noise, you actually stand a chance of intervening.

    Racoons and skunks will take smaller geese. You have to be really careful. I also have lost seemingly 'too big' of geese to Great Horned Owls. Given what you have around your area, I would just train them to go in a pen or house at night for their protection.

    Quote:Absolutely! They will learn the routine. Geese don't eat slugs, though. That's why you need ducks to go with them.

    My geese will help themselves to lettuces, though, so you have to be careful about that even when they are big. I too let my animals into the garden to "hog down" what's left. The goats, pigs, ducks and geese all go in there.

    If you have never seen 3-4 geese work together to pull down a corn stalk, to eat the leaves, then you haven't lived. It's perhaps the funniest thing ever.

    My geese and ducks go all summer without a 'pond'. They just bath in tanks/waterers I provide.

    Quote:I put mine in a tractor at 3-4 weeks depending on the weather. They may need a lamp if night temperatures fall under 45.

    You can only raise them with chicks for about the first week. After that, the geese and ducks are so much bigger that they will trample chickens to death. So you will need to divide your brooder in two.

    Also, waterfowl should never be given medicated starters.


    Quote:Mine wander, but come back to me since they imprinted on me early on. They also know we feed them.

    In the Summer they will get by fine on their own. During winter, though, you'll probably want to toss out some chicken layer feed for them. Ducks especially usually cannot entirely feed themselves, especially if you want them to have the energy to breed/lay. Geese also need a bit of supplement during the winter when the grass isn't nutricious.


    Quote:The "Book of Geese" by Dave Holderread is the bible. His book on ducks is also "Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks". If it is at all possible for you to order your stock from him, I would highly recommend you do it:

    http://www.holderreadfarm.com/

    It's that route is too expensive (especially if you end up getting like 10 like you ought too), Metzer Farm in California provides very good waterfowl too.

    Quote:The best geese are going to come from Holderread, Metzer and Sandhill Preservation Center. Now, I have gotten geese from Murray McMurray like you did, since I was already getting some chickens. I'm pretty amazed at how much smaller and more varied they looked compared to those from a specialized breeder. I guess you get waht you pay for.


    Quote:I can't answer that one, we don't have bullfrogs here. Ducks and geese get along great. I just can't answer, though, if wild ones will be chased off by tame ones becuase the pond is 'their territory'.

    I would do some more research to see if the bullfrog is really the predator doing the damage.
     
  4. LinckHillPoultry

    LinckHillPoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 17, 2008
    Pennsylvania
    oh my goodness...
    the geese would be in heaven!!!!

    Here are a few questions:

    1. Is a trio or a pair better to start with?
    Pair, geese "pair" up, you wouldn't want a lonely one.

    2. I am partial to Pilgrim geese (had a pair when I was a kid), would that be a good choice for a beginner? I have dogs and toddlers so I don't want anything too assertive/aggressive.
    Pilgrims are very friendly and would be a good first choice.

    3. What kind of house/shelter do they need?
    Any kind of protection from the weather and predators.

    4. What predators do I have to worry about? We have coyotes, fox, skunks and I suppose raccoons although I have never seen one. We also have hawks but I can't imagine a hawk could get an adult goose.
    All. Just watch closely and make sure they have a shelter for protection.

    5. Could I train them to follow me to the fenced garden area for treats so they could weed/eat slugs for a few hours in the winter/late summer/fall (when garden is fallow or when garden plants are big enough not to get eaten). Would they be okay with no pond to swim in for a few hours in the garden?
    Most likely

    6. How old are they when they can be out on their own? Could I raise them with chicks until they are big enough to take care of themselves?
    Wait until they start to get their adult feathers.

    7. Can they free-range or will they run away?
    [​IMG]
    8. Is there a good website or book you could recommend to help me learn about geese?
    Storey's Illustrated Guide To Poultry Breeds, by Carol Ekarius. Also something written by Dave Holderread.

    9. Are hatchery geese okay to get? Are the temperments of Ideal geese good/predictable? I am getting a chick order in early April, thought I would add on a few goslings.
    [​IMG]

    Thank you! I am very excited to get some geese soon if you think they would do okay at the pond we have.

    Edited to add: The pond has some mallard ducks that come to nest every year. The ducklings get eaten by bullfrogs I think, I've never seen any juvenille ducks and I've seen some dead babies. Would the geese chase the ducks away? Would the bullfrogs eat goslings if I hatched eggs?
    I really doubt the bullfrogs would eat your goslings. The geese would probably chase the ducks out though.​
     
  5. raindrop

    raindrop Chillin' With My Peeps

    712
    4
    151
    Feb 10, 2008
    Western Oregon
    greyfields Thank You!

    I live about 20 minutes from Corvallis! I am so excited about that link. I had no idea geese don't eat slugs. Hmm. I will look into ducks. I am thinking I may add a couple electric fence wires to the field fence for added predator control and to keep the ducks in.
    We have border collies (3) and I know one of them would herd ducks if given the chance. Have you ever had Indian Runner ducks? What are good duck breeds to start with? I was attacked as a kid by some muscovy ducks so have been trained to prefer geese, but I want somebody to eat slugs!! So ducks will follow geese around?
    Okay, I'm off to study the Holderread website. I will need to start relatively small as DH is only gradually coming onboard with this whole waterfowl idea. Somebody needs to enjoy that pond!!
    Thanks again for your detailed answers.
     
  6. LinckHillPoultry

    LinckHillPoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 17, 2008
    Pennsylvania
    um.ok
     
  7. banter

    banter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2008
    Raymond Maine
    Go to holderreadfarm.com They are the primo source for quality waterfowl, and are located in Oregon.The site has tons of good advice and great pics. David Holderread has written books about both geese and ducks, and is considred an athority on both. I have purchased from them for years. I just bought my first adult bird from him, and he arrived in perfect shape. And I live in Southern Maine! Thats just about as far away as you can get! Feathersite.com is also an excellent source for pics and advice. I now have a pair of Sebastopol geese which are very gentle.
    The best of luck to you!
    Banter in Maine
     
  8. raindrop

    raindrop Chillin' With My Peeps

    712
    4
    151
    Feb 10, 2008
    Western Oregon
    Quote:2. I am partial to Pilgrim geese (had a pair when I was a kid), would that be a good choice for a beginner? I have dogs and toddlers so I don't want anything too assertive/aggressive.
    Pilgrims are very friendly and would be a good first choice.

    3. What kind of house/shelter do they need?
    Any kind of protection from the weather and predators.

    4. What predators do I have to worry about? We have coyotes, fox, skunks and I suppose raccoons although I have never seen one. We also have hawks but I can't imagine a hawk could get an adult goose.
    All. Just watch closely and make sure they have a shelter for protection.

    5. Could I train them to follow me to the fenced garden area for treats so they could weed/eat slugs for a few hours in the winter/late summer/fall (when garden is fallow or when garden plants are big enough not to get eaten). Would they be okay with no pond to swim in for a few hours in the garden?
    Most likely

    6. How old are they when they can be out on their own? Could I raise them with chicks until they are big enough to take care of themselves?
    Wait until they start to get their adult feathers.

    7. Can they free-range or will they run away?
    They can free range.
    8. Is there a good website or book you could recommend to help me learn about geese?
    Storey's Illustrated Guide To Poultry Breeds, by Carol Ekarius. Also something written by Dave Holderread.

    9. Are hatchery geese okay to get? Are the temperments of Ideal geese good/predictable? I am getting a chick order in early April, thought I would add on a few goslings.
    Yes. I ordered mine from a breeder who ordered originally from Dave Holderread. Also I've been considering ordering from Ideal!

    Thank you! I am very excited to get some geese soon if you think they would do okay at the pond we have.

    Edited to add: The pond has some mallard ducks that come to nest every year. The ducklings get eaten by bullfrogs I think, I've never seen any juvenille ducks and I've seen some dead babies. Would the geese chase the ducks away? Would the bullfrogs eat goslings if I hatched eggs?
    I really doubt the bullfrogs would eat your goslings. The geese would probably chase the ducks out though.

    Thanks Haley! I think I will start with a pair of geese, greyfields has convinced me to get some ducks too!
    I need to do more research on shelters since DH just finished a chicken tractor for me, I am hoping electric fence combined with a small dog kennel I could find on Craig's list would work.

    Edited to add: Haley I hadn't seen you response yet when I thanked greyfields! Just posting at the same time. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2008
  9. LinckHillPoultry

    LinckHillPoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 17, 2008
    Pennsylvania
    are you looking at any other breeds besides pilgrims?
     
  10. raindrop

    raindrop Chillin' With My Peeps

    712
    4
    151
    Feb 10, 2008
    Western Oregon
    Quote:I am open to other breeds, I just want a good "starter breed" at first.
     

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