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 Post subject: Are geese right for me?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:55 pm 
Wise Wyandotte
Wise Wyandotte
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Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 1:59 pm
Posts: 4069
Location: Victoria
Geese are amazilgly intelligent animals. If raised right they wil become friedns for life. Hand raising sexed goslings is the best way to go if you want pets - see this thread - viewtopic.php?t=9830

Feeding Geese
Geese are professional lawn mowers, and perform best when grass is the highest percentage of feed in the diet. Grass supplemented with some wheat each night (a large handful per small bird, 1.5 handfuls for a larger bird) will help to keep them in premium condition. Depending on the bird, some will eqat pellets some will not.

General Info on geese
There are light, medium and heavy breeds of geese. Light breeds are roughly 3-5kgs in weight some breeds include Pilgrim and chinese. Being smaller they can make a better first time bird, as they are not so daunting in size. They make eccelelnt weeder geese due to thier lighter wieght they are less likely to compact the ground. Light breeds mature very fast, and in general make better table birds (pick a white feathered breed, the darker feathers usually indicated a darker flesh, lighter feathers indicate a lighter flesh).

The lighter breeds are more likely to master flying, so clipping of wings, or plucking of wings is reccomended.

Sebastapol are a great back yard breed as they are unable to fly.

Heavy breeds such as the toulouse and the Embden do require a little more space. These birds take years to mature fully, but once there should weigh over 10kg. They in general are quiet, gentle and slower moving due to their larger size.

Nosie levels

The chinese are quiet a noisey breed, with a very high pitched, drawn out honk.
As an example for other breeds noise levels - I have two lines of toulouse, one line are the noisest birds on the planet, the other hardly utters a peep. So it depends on which line and the individual bird as to how noisey they are.

Making sure the geese have plenty of grass to eat (or their supplement feeds if grass unavailable, capricorn goat mix is very good) prevents bordem making them less likely to honk.

Breeding season
As stated earlier hand raising helps to prevent aggression, however in the breeding season (august/september - end of oct, early nov) geese and ganders do get a little protective. Hand raise birds should not attack, although they will tease/try you on. Do not run away from them if they do decide to chase you, often it is all for show! and they turn away at the last second honking as though they have had the best fun in years. It can be a bit scary, but if you stand up to them he will stand down. Out of 50 breeding birds, i have been attascked once by a bird that had only been in my posession for a few hours and i was careless.

If they do attack, look at the bigger picture, the gander is prepared to defend his mate and babies even if it means he loses his own life.

Health issues
Geese are very easy to care for, and get very few ailments. The main one would be worms, this is prevented by obtaining a worming medicing and applying it. I worm mine in autumn and spring.

Geese can be prone to leg injuries and are a little clumsy. Keep teir yards clean of rubbish or other items that could cause them to fall.

All in all geese are well worth a try, I highly reccomend getting some golings and raising them, you will not be dissapointed.

If you can keep chooks, geese will be a BREEZE!

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