Geese pros and cons

Blue Sky

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I’d like to try geese. I don’t know much about them. They would have an acre and a half of orchard and yard to share with a dozen free range chickens and bird safe LGDs. They could further access 4 acres with a seasonal pond used by sheep. A goose coop and a pool are in the works I was thinking 5?
2 ganders 3 hens? What breeds?
 

Jesusfreak101

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Oh and you said something about eggs once they go broody they dont lay again for that year. My experience anyways on that. From left to right chicken, duck and goose egg. That's a quarter just to help with size comparison geese eggs are huge this one is actually a smaller goose egg from a first time layer.
 

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Jesusfreak101

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That's enough hens for one gander. They would love that size. The one problem I see is when their hormones kick in. I have very docile Toulouse geese moat of the time they are with chickens, ducks, goats, a cow, some pigs and they get along fine. Everyonce i awhile they get bossy and bite someone. But when homoronrs come late winter early spring they will beat everyone and have nearly killed both ducks and chickens if not seperated. They will also attack our dog, cats, the goats , pigs, and calf. So younwpuld need a place to seperate them at. Oh and females will fight over eggs when nesting so you will need to watch that. They also will abandon their nest after one hen hatches her eggs. Once they hear babies the leave the eggs to help raise so make sure to have an incubator ready. I had a girl hatch three goslings then leave the nest and more where hatching took them out in incubator all but one hatched. They make great mothers they will even accept chicks and ducklings but they are horrible while nesting. I heard of them fighting and stepping on babies over whose nest it was. Mine haven't done that but they will fight over how many eggs they have. I gone out and found the hens sitting on the same nest instead of their own nests. They also eat alot. Make sure you can change the water regularly i also have 50gallon troughs they get in and out of. And hatching make sure they have a low water and small pool to get into like a feed pan will work for goslings.
 

Jesusfreak101

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I have had geese going on 4yrs they are lots of fun. Oh and they tend to love to steal your favorite plants lol. Also just because a breed says they can't fly doesnt mean your birds can't fly. All of mine i have seen fly above 30ft in the air for over 5 minutes and land just because they felt like it. The cooler weather does excite them and they don't go in a coop very often mine prefer staying outside even in bad weather.
 

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Jesusfreak101

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It is and its not lol ducks are easier. I processed both and chickens and geese i have yet to be able to pluck clean even with dipping them in water. Something about their Downey feathers i can't get to come out on the belly towards their vent its. I always get half done then nothing will come out if there is a trick I would love to know it i tend to skin them at that point.
 

Jesusfreak101

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If she hatched them they probably imprinted on her. We had gosling that have done that. But once they meet the adult geese and spend time with them they change on that. And if the female hisses at you while your there she partly teaching them that your not ok. You can try to feed them and her from your hand while you sit quietly and they will learn to be calmer with you. Granted my gander had a few talking to himself. But when he put of breeding mode my 2yr old can pet him and feed him from his hand.
He a pretty cool guy most of the time. We had him for 3 yrs now maybe four can't quite remember but he learn over time the rules and what i will allow. If he gets out of line I just have to say not yell but say knock it off and he does. Geese are very smart and will learn they just need lots of time. I have one female i can go out to her nest and look under her and also whem she has babies she doesnt attack me even when i handle them my dh though they don't like him but he.deserves it he likes making them mad.
 

Jesusfreak101

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They do eat hay well mine do all year around. And geese can be very docile when handled often its just well atleast in my experience during the mating season which start in Jan (for us) and ends in june(once again for us) that they get aggressive for mine that is mostly hissing at you and calling you dirty names. Mine know better they got taught and have reminders that i will eat them if they miss behave. My kids are told to chase them until they give in and also if gander feels like challenging them to kick or hit him with a stick my kids are 7-2 who do this. Granted gander only like messing with the ones old enough to be scared of him which is why they do that. My 2 yr old he is terrified of with out the insintive lol. During this i am right there but you cant back down from them if you do they get more what the word assertive with you. It took my 7yr dd1 to chase him for over a week to fix the probelm of when she would run from him and he would chase her. Now it's the opposite. That being said when he isn't a b××× he will eat out of our hands and wants to be petted. We have Toulouse geese but those are the only ones i have experience with outside of the wild Chinese and African geese and Canadian geese i have met which of course were bossy lol.
 
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Blue Sky

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Oh I forgot to add I’d like a dual purpose breed. I don’t expect a lot of eggs and I’m guessing processing a goose is similar to ducks.
 

Blue Sky

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An elderly black lady taught me how to pluck ducks when I was five. She always pulled against the growth direction of the feathers and singed anything that wouldn’t come out or trimmed bits. Her praise was far better than my plucking deserved ;)
 
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