So, maybe you have had chickens for a while, even have a few turkeys or ducks. The next rung on the ladder of backyard poultry is geese! Geese make a wonderful addition to a backyard flock. They truly are impressively beautiful animals to look at!
Here are some benefits of adding geese to your flock!
One of the perks of raising geese is that they grow incredibly fast! You can almost see them change and grow every single day! Goslings, although sweet, can be very messy. Since they grow at such a fast rate, the good news is they won’t be in the brooder box for long! After a week or so, they will be ready to go outside under your supervision.
Geese are very observant birds, who quickly learn all the normal characters in their environment. If any animal or person comes into the yard that they do not recognize, you will certainly know about it! Upon finding a possible threat, they will start making lots of noise. This noise alone is sometimes enough to ward off the neighborhood fox. It also is often loud enough to alert you inside, so you can come out and see what the trouble is. Even if that “trouble” is just the delivery man!
Geese sometimes will even attack to protect their flock members. We found this out the hard way!
One of our young ganders, by the name of Toulouse, was very protective of our mother Pekin duck. One day my daughter, who was 4 at the time, was running around, playing in the yard. She knows not to bother the animals, but in Toulouse’s opinion, she was too close to mama duck. He hissed and jumped on my poor daughter’s back to “defend” his friend. Male geese especially can become overly protective as they reach maturity, so it is always important to keep an eye out for little children.
That being said, I also witnessed Toulouse save one of my chickens from a hawk! He also hated seeing violence and always was there to split up any squabbles amongst my roosters.
One of my favorite things about geese is that they are grazers! Geese primarily eat grass. They do require some extra poultry feed in the evenings and in harsher months, but overall, they prefer to eat plants. If you let your geese out to free range, they are content to walk around the yard, plucking grass all day long. (This diet of grass means they also leave less stinky feces. Their poop is green and decomposes to look like hay.)
Entertaining and Friendly
Each goose has its’ own personality. While I have had a not-so-nice gander, I have also had the most sweet, precious female goose. Peach was our angel goose, who lived in utter peace on our farm for almost a year. We sadly lost her to a predator, but she loved us and we loved her. She let my daughter snuggle and pet her. She got along with all the animals, and could often be found sleeping right up next to our great dane, Kumo. She was so tame and wonderful, she even followed us on long walks through the woods. Geese are beautiful to see wandering around the yard and can be fun to watch.
They LOVE Babies!
Baby geese that is; goslings! One thing I learned about geese is that they make amazing parents. Once paired up, the female will sit on the clutch of eggs, and the father will sit in front of her, guarding her and the nest. Once hatched, both parents look after their goslings. Even bachelor male geese happily adopt orphaned goslings. Their instincts to protect and raise babies is very touching.
Geese make a great addition to any backyard flock! The truly are beautiful birds and I really can’t think of any negatives to owning them! If you decide to get geese this year, make sure to get more than one, as they need companionship.
Goslings also need niacin in their diet. Niacin is essential to healthy growth and can easily be found in brewer’s yeast online. It is not too expensive and a little mixed in with their feed goes along way. Also remember, like ducks, geese need constant access to water.
I hope you’ll add some geese to your flock soon!