Things To Know Before Getting Geese

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Would you like to have geese on your homestead? There are many benefits to keeping geese, including their ease of raising and self-sufficiency. Geese are also often excellent mothers. Despite being easier than chickens, they are quite different from them.

Geese Are Grazers​

Chickens and ducks prefer insects and high-protein feed, but geese prefer grazing. Grass is quickly converted into meat and eggs by their digestive system, which is similar to that of a horse. Ensure that they have access to fresh feed as well as green forage.

Geese Are Very Hardy​

It is not unusual for them to stay outdoors during the day even in very cold climates. No matter what kind of blizzard there is, some will lie contentedly, grooming themselves in the snow. Consequently, they need only the simplest housing, just enough to keep predators at bay.

While Free-Ranging, Geese Can Defend Themselves Better Than Chickens​

Fortunately, geese are excellent at defending themselves against predators, making them perfect for free-range poultry. In some poultry farms, they are added to flocks of chickens that are free-ranging to protect the chickens from predators.

Night vision of geese is poor, despite their excellent daytime defense against intruders. They can't fight off what they can't see. Be sure to confine them safely at night.

Geese Don't Roost​

The large feet of geese enable them to walk across wet ground and paddle through the water. There are some significant differences between these feet and those of chickens or other birds that use perches.

In addition to clean ground floors in their coops, geese need large nest boxes on the ground. Elevated nest boxes can't be accessed by them.

Geese Are Water Birds​

Geese are waterfowl and are most comfortable when they have water to bathe in, but you don't need a full pond. When it's warm, they're happy to splash around in a kiddie pool.

Make sure their waterer is small in the winter and not easily spilled. They'll try to climb in to bathe, and afterward, their breasts and feet will freeze and ice.

During the winter, keep them as dry as possible if you live in a cold climate. Despite the fact that eating snow seems difficult, it is more pleasant than helping a panicked goose out of the ice.

Goose Eggs Needs Moisture To Hatch​

As land birds, chickens have very dry nests, but mother geese must bathe to moisten their feathers during incubation to keep their eggs moist. Due to this extra moisture, goose eggs cook a little differently than chicken eggs. There is a much larger, richer yolk, but a thinner white.

Goose Meat Is More Like Beef Than Chicken​

You'll be pleasantly surprised to discover that goose meat tastes more like beef than poultry if you raise geese for meat. With goose meat, small farmers can add variety to their harvests without the responsibility or expense of raising cows.

Whether or not you plan to harvest geese for meat, there will always be that occasional gander that won't be tamed. The rare treat you get when you need to harvest to avoid attacking behavior is worth it.

Aren't Geese Aggressive?​

Despite their reputation for aggression, geese are more likely to be aggressive because of how they are handled. Geese raised by hand are loyal to their owners and accept them as part of the flock.

Even though they will accept you as part of the flock, visitors may have a different experience. They may harass anyone who isn't part of their flock. Their watchdog-like behavior makes them an ideal addition to a rural homestead where very few people visit.

Do you currently raise any geese? How have they been so far for you?
 
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Finnie

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. I'd expect them to be a pain to pluck. I know ducks can be.
This past weekend I had a customer who wanted to kill and pluck his purchase on my property before taking them home. (Note to self: in future say no!)

He bought 4 Cayuga drakes and 1 white Chinese gander. I only helped pluck the ducks a little bit. But when they got to the gander, it seemed to go much faster. But that could have been an optical illusion, since any missed black feathers of the Cayugas were more visible than the white feathers on the goose carcass. They just seemed to finish more quickly on the goose.
 

baymule

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This past weekend I had a customer who wanted to kill and pluck his purchase on my property before taking them home. (Note to self: in future say no!)

He bought 4 Cayuga drakes and 1 white Chinese gander. I only helped pluck the ducks a little bit. But when they got to the gander, it seemed to go much faster. But that could have been an optical illusion, since any missed black feathers of the Cayugas were more visible than the white feathers on the goose carcass. They just seemed to finish more quickly on the goose.
Provide a trash bag for feathers and offal. Provide a place for the slaughter to take place. Charge extra for it. You don’t have to “help”. Many people have nowhere to slaughter even poultry, never mind nosy neighbors who would be horrified and report them to police, PETA, SPCA, city officials and the local news station. By offering a slaughter option, you will win repeat customers. Ask for contact information and send a text when you have more poultry available. Work the system, don’t let it work you.
 

Finnie

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Provide a trash bag for feathers and offal. Provide a place for the slaughter to take place. Charge extra for it. You don’t have to “help”. Many people have nowhere to slaughter even poultry, never mind nosy neighbors who would be horrified and report them to police, PETA, SPCA, city officials and the local news station. By offering a slaughter option, you will win repeat customers. Ask for contact information and send a text when you have more poultry available. Work the system, don’t let it work you.

At least it's only poultry. I've had them ask for goats. Now I've got a backhoe but, not entertaining a lot of on site butchering for others!
Exactly. They were a very nice Indian family, and I didn’t mind helping them out. But this is not going to be my future business model.

Bay, that’s exactly what he said. He said if I had a plucker he could use, he would be willing to pay to be able to use it. Because exactly like you said, there are a lot of people who live in subdivisions and can’t process at home. He said with a plucker and a place set up, I could have a business going.

However, I do not produce enough extra birds to warrant having a self-processing business. Plus I’m sure it would be some kind of violation. Having let one person do it, my husband and I both agreed that if anyone ever asks again, we will say no.
 

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I have three African geese, two ganders one goose, and they are great! I'd had chickens for over 20 years before the geese, got them due to moving to a more remote area with more predators to help keep the chickens safe, had already experienced too many predator killings even in a less wild area, though it also had quite a few predators. So far zero predator losses since addition of geese. Plus they're much more intelligent than chickens and more fun to interact with in my opinion. Mine will follow me, especially if I have food they really like, and eat out of my hands. Having geese with chickens makes chickens much easier to round up and direct, since geese are much more "herdable" than chickens which tend to panic and scatter if you move very fast at all. Geese help chickens be more calm and mentally stable.
 
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