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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 10:38 pm 
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Gallant Game
Gallant Game

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 12:08 am
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Like the subject says, just how good are geese at grazing? Are they effective at keeping grass and other weeds down? Reason I am asking is that I have about 4 acres of land of which roughly 3 acres is pasture. I'm not really a sheep or goat kind of person and I can't afford an alpaca right now... Then I thought geese graze don't they??? I am planting the 3 acres out with trees and shrubs and I don't want something destructive and the paddock has had sheep in it that have really stripped the grass down the dirt which is starting to make a recovery. I have permanent water running through the paddock and it is completely fenced with ring-lock fencing and I can clip their wings (how high can they get with clipped wings??). Just wondering how many geese I would need to effectively graze, without scalping the ground, the whole of the three acres? I don't know how I'd quoll and tassie devil proof them yet but figure this will only be a proble at night at they get locked up at night don't they?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 7:49 pm 
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Wise Wyandotte
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Location: Victoria
I pen my geese at night for peace of mind, however with the protection of a well trained maremma they could stay out.

1 sheep = 3 geese as far as grazing goes. They usually say between 15 and 20 to the acre, but i would start with 30 on the 3 acres and see how you go. geese tend not to eat grass over 4" or 10cm long.

Clipping wings may not be nessecary after they are trained to your property, they will not want to go too far from their water source.

Honk


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 8:10 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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I agree with Honk, geese are the best grazers - I have 4 acres - half with two sheep & two steers and the other half with the geese. I have never had to mow the side with geese since I have acquired them. Whereas the other side of the paddock at the moment could do with a slasher coming through it. Maremma dog trained for poultry is best for you - my sister has one and she didnt lock up her geese or turkeys at night. I pen mine at night as I have poultry as well and it just works better for me.
KEZZA


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 8:10 pm 
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Wise One
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Location: Wollongong.
Curly sebastopol cant fly,so they might be an option,although might be a bit hard to find 3 let alone 30 :D .

Kai


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 Post subject: Grazing geese
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 9:12 pm 
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Gallant Game
Gallant Game

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I had thought about a maremma but am still not sold on them - this is purely from ignorance as I don't know enough about them but I worry that a large dog that is bonded to my animals might see my children as a threat... I have to learn more about them b4 going down that track. Not sure I'd want a maremma having to fight off tasmanian devils each night (we can here them down the back but have not seen them yet - I'd hate for a dog I owned to kill a devil too - specially as they are dying out so fast from the facial tumour disease by themselves anyway...) and quolls are so tricky... I have lots of other animals around too and don't know if they bond to one lot of animals are the others at risk... How would it respond to my old golden retriever girl?? So many questions and so many doubts... Probably all unfounded I'm sure.

Not all the property is grassed. Much of it is basically mulched because the trees keep the grass down under them and drop loads of leaves. The previous owners had 4 sheep on the place and they pretty much scalped it and the grass down here in this colder environment doesn't grow or recover at breakneck speeds like it does further north. Maybe 12 or so geese would do it here I'm thinking using the 1 sheep = 3 geese algorithm ... The grass right now is quite short as it is still recovering from the sheep. It wouldn't be longer than an inch or two and it has taken about 5 weeks to get this way :(. When a goose grazes how do they do it? The sheep bite the grass off really close to the ground and often take the roots as well? Goats tend to be much the same but will eat a much wider range of vegetation? What range of vegetation will geese eat? Will they graze on blackberry (dreaming!! They'd be my new best friend if they did lol)? If they are free ranging will they need supplemental feeding? This is a winter rainfall area so we get a fair bit of grass growth during late winter to spring but during late spring and summer to early autumn the grass grows quite slowly and browns off and the grass is mostly native grasses, not improved pasture. The neighbours have a huge dam clearly visible through the fence and the water running through my place is a narrow shallow creek - I have been assured that once 'bonding' with their home has occured they won't wonder but I fear the lure of the dam may prove to great and they'll jump the fence and I'll never get them back... Geese are strongly imprinted aren't they - if I get adults am I going to have 'teething problems' getting them to accept me?

So many questions....


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 9:37 am 
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Wise Wyandotte
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Location: Victoria
MAremms should bond with the family and the birds, you need to get a pup. Mine loves kids and trembles with excitement upon hearing their voices.

They rarely kills, but rather bark and growl to scare off unwanted visitors - their very, very last resort it to attack.

Go for 12 then, you can always increase if it is not enough. Geese will eat grass and thisstles, no blackberries or any other broad leaf plants - you need tethered goats for blackberries.

I give mine a handful of wheat each nioght to keep them warm. You wont have much problems so long as you keep them penned until they are used to you and their new routine.Then they will be fine.

Regards

Honk


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