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Geese - what do I need to know?

Posted: Thu May 24, 2012 9:15 am
by devolutionary
Hi all,

Just been offered a breeding pair of geese for FREE, as long as we don't eat them. Which seems fair enough. Now, being a lazy person, what do I need to know?

We have a 20m x 20m orchard split down the middle, with 29 chickens in one half (resting the ground in the other half for a few months). Are the geese OK in there? What kind of water access do they need? And what kind of housing? Off to do some searching on the Interwebs, but would appreciate some DOs and DON'Ts.

Thanks in advance...

Re: Geese - what do I need to know?

Posted: Thu May 24, 2012 10:01 am
by oldjerry
The quick response is They'll make a lot of noise and crap all over your lawn!

More helpfully,10m by 20m is a good area.They only need a a 1ft deep washing up bowl to get their heads right in,change the water every day.Although they will eat mostly grass,supplement this with 4 or 5 handfulls of oats\barley\grain etc every day and they will love you.Early spring she will nest (they only need a simple shed that you can close at night) and when she's laid say 6 or 7 pinch subsequent one's off her while she's eating her breakfast,they are valuable (and delicious).hang on to a female or two eat the rest of the offspring at Christmas.Killing\plucking etc please ask later .Best Wishes,I miss ours,they were great.

Re: Geese - what do I need to know?

Posted: Thu May 24, 2012 10:20 am
by bonniethomas06
Are foxes a problem OJ?

Also, do you think they would be OK with a Jack Russell? (would the JR be OK I mean, rather than the geese)

I have been tempted for ages!

Re: Geese - what do I need to know?

Posted: Thu May 24, 2012 10:44 am
by oldjerry
Yes foxes will still give them grief, often it's the male taken as they will stand and fight.So fox proof (electric fence) and shut them up at night.Not so bad as they are with other poultry though.Incidently they are great if you can keep them near the front gate,you WONT get burgled,and as they're deposits are a bit... er... runny,people who would pay you a call wearing ordinary shoes don't relish a visit.(and let's face it ,be they the revenue,police or in-laws,you don't want to see them)

The terrier will soon learn,and they won't do it any lasting damage....give in to temptation they really are great . [ true story: when I was a kid dad and I went to the local station to collect a pedigree breeding pair sent from the ancient ,but now defunct Norfolk firm of Abbott Bros.When we got there there was a note from 2 different station masters(they'd changed trains twice) complaining of staff being peckedthrough the crate!]

Re: Geese - what do I need to know?

Posted: Thu May 24, 2012 11:17 am
by devolutionary
Thanks for the quick and excellent advice. My partner says the current owner has his nest in a wine barrel, which sounds like a great idea. She also says the grass needs cutting short before you let the on it - the rested half of the orchard is yay high in grass, so I guess I'll be doing a bit of hay making first.

I found a site quickly on the net that said geese are "easy as pie" and great fun, so it all sounds much more positive than goats.

Re: Geese - what do I need to know?

Posted: Thu May 24, 2012 11:25 am
by greenorelse
Yes, keep them away from areas you want to walk on...otherwise, they're excellent for keeping grass down (they won't eat tough stuff though).

It's not easy mixing them with other birds as there's nearly always a domineering one who'll attack the newcomers occasionally and, for all geeses' famed fierceness, they can be very timid with other birds.

I think geese are beautiful - elegant and a joy to look at. A dog around during the day will protect them from the fox but they must have very secure protection at night - unless the dog sleeps with them of course.

They're very hardy birds, very simple to keep but they will try to get out of an area if they think there's better grass elsewhere.

Moveable pens would be ideal - something like modular fencing about four feet high, easily re-locatable. I haven't found such stuff yet, though I keep looking. Something about eight feet long with spikes to push into the ground. Any ideas anyone?