View Full Version : Does anyone have geese?
Mar. 15, 2012, 05:37 AM
I'm thinking of getting some geese as watchdogs so I wonder if anyone has any for this purpose? Also, kind of a side issue, does anything keep them from flying away after you've raised them?
Any info on geese would be appreciated!
Mar. 15, 2012, 08:33 AM
I don't have any, but my sister and a good friend do. I'm not crazy about them as they are VERY noisy. My friend has about 7 acres and they have free run of both places during the day and wander all over. You do need to provide a baby pool or small pond for them and they are pretty messy. They will walk around in packs. They will come after you and would scare people off most likely. Did I mention they are VERY noisy and irritating....
She also has about 175 chickens, 4 horses, and 2 dogs at the farm. The chickens go in coops at night and the geese have a large pen they go to at night with a covered area. Nothing bothers them, though she does lose the occasional chicken to hawks. The goose eggs are huge and very tasty. I bring empty egg cartons whenever I visit her and come home with tons of eggs.
Mar. 15, 2012, 08:38 AM
It's no problem to clip wings on geese --- clip one or both, and it only has to be done once a year. They are good watch animals, and depending on what breed, they can be very aggressive. But they are also a lot of fun! If you raise them yourself, I doubt they'd be as aggressive since they'd be used to you. Still, they will alert if someone comes onto the property, and they are loud. Just look for one of the more docile breeds.
Mar. 15, 2012, 08:43 AM
I have a couple of geese. They are noisy, messy and obnoxious. Every single time I walk out into my yard they come after me hissing and threatening to bite me. On the other hand they alert me to when anything or anyone comes on to the property. While they can fly short distances, most domestic geese don't fly. I've never had a goose fly away. I have had them killed by a fox or dog. They are fairly fearless though. My husband walked outside and caught the geese facing down a fox, hissing with wings spread, the fox was kind of dumbfounded and didn't know what to do with them. Both of my geese are male and, I think, are more aggressive than the females I've had in the past.
Mar. 15, 2012, 08:45 AM
I don't have any now, but we had some when I was a kid. They are dirty (goose poop is much larger than chicken poop), noisy and VERY territorial. They will go after owners, strangers (including delivery guys), dogs, cats, and pretty much anything else they think is infringing on "their" territory.
Mar. 15, 2012, 11:23 AM
I used to have them - they were kept in the barn at night, but free-ranged during the day. They were pretty tame with us but did get protective & obnoxious at times. They were great & noisy at alerting to anything out of the ordinary. I never had a problem with them getting along with horses, dogs and cats. But they were very messy and tended to like cement, such as sidewalks and around the garage, so we finally had to fence them off our yard as they drink a LOT and have very large, wet poop ! They love having a pond or pool but again are messy so make sure you can clean it out easily. . . I worried about clipping their wings, but none of mine ever tried to fly very far. Read up on them and they can be fun ~
Mar. 15, 2012, 11:44 AM
Yup, past tense. Flock of about a dozen Toulouse for a couple years. Adorable as goslings who followed DH around his garden. Gone now.
Messy, aggressive and loud have already been covered. Not much messes with them; the coyotes were only successful when they literally could catch the geese napping in the open.
However, be aware that they will chew EVERYthing they can reach. Tack of any kind (but especially reins), clothing, electrical cords, buckets, tire valve stems, tractor hydraulic lines, lead lines, plastic bedding bags, unenergized electric fencing tape/cord, vegetables, hoses, manure forks.... Everything.
Mar. 15, 2012, 01:42 PM
Having had geese, I'd rather someone gave me guineas... (And, no, I really don't want guineas, either!)
Mar. 15, 2012, 02:16 PM
They're not all bad :no: Read my account of The G Men here: http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=192435
As of today, it's still 99 and Chief holding down the farm. They've never run at us, "goosed" us or been nasty. Yeah, Chief will hiss at us sometimes but he gets over it quick when he realizes "Ohhhh, it's the pool people." and then he happily honks.
They are VERY good at their job... any stranger coming in the pasture, will be loudly honked at!
Mar. 15, 2012, 03:33 PM
Geese aren't really that great at predator protection, as you could ask our goose if you could find him...
He was sweet at first, at seemed an exception to the rule, then bonded to our ducks and would ATTACK me every time I turned around, like would come running from a few hundred yards away to bite me. Well he decided one night he wasn't coming into the coop and that was the last we saw of him. Fully able to fly and everything and probably could have squeeze into the barn on his own, but not one feather of him in the morning.
(Probably would have been more effective if we'd had more then one!)
We're buying some miniature geese for breeding/eggs/sale/etc. I would suggest if you want to get geese that you do it for those sorts of reason instead of specifically flock protection, and raise them up from goslings so hopefully they won't hate you.
Mar. 15, 2012, 03:46 PM
My neighbor has a flock of them - can't stand them! They're noisy (a three goose serenade under my bedroom window is not my idea of charming at 5 am), they crap EVERYwhere (it's huge, nasty, and the dogs think it's wonderful stuff to eat and roll in) and they eat your grass (a swath of my newly planted pasture was mowed down last year).
They were a huge part of the reason that I put up wire mesh perimeter fencing, because they are also lazy buggers and won't fly unless they absolutely have to.
That said, hers do seem generally homebound - she has a small pond at the back of her property, and for the most part, they walk down there in the evening, and walk back up to her farm yard every morning. She told me that they were the only birds that the local foxes don't bother. I haven't had any personal run ins with them - in the pre-fence days, I just used one of my corgis to "send 'em home", so I can't speak to how protective/aggressive they are, but I know that geese in general aren't the friendliest barnyard beasties.
They're definitely on my "No" list.
Mar. 15, 2012, 05:18 PM
Oh! Peafowl!! :)
I don't have one, but I have heard from several people they will viciously defend their flock against predators, including hawks!
And they're pretty ;).
Mar. 15, 2012, 05:26 PM
Good gawd no. We "have"Canada geese on our lake - this year it's been ALL year. I haven't slept all week because of the damned things honking all night long (it's cute when the fly over you honking - not when they go on all night long though). And they poop all over the pastures and the beach. They're disgusting. I wish the were tasty.
I have one 10 year old guinea who thinks he's part of the equine herd. He is good at alarming to things that aren't right but one is enough. His partner died a couple years ago and it was SO loud with the 2 of them......my farrier especially hated them.
Mar. 16, 2012, 04:33 AM
Wow! Lots of good info! Thanks to everyone, I did not know almost any of that, so interesting. I did live in Canada while I was married and noticed that the wild geese were pretty darned messy, (it was like dog poop as has been pointed out), and aggressive, as several of you also said. Didn't know if all geese were like that, and certainly didn't know that domestic geese don't really fly.
The reason I am thinking of geese is because I have a long-time stalker. I've had a lot of vandalism that usually happens at night. I have mesh horse fence, but at the moment the dogs can get out and I would rather not leave them out at night. I prefer to have them guard the house at night from the inside.
But...I remembered as a child the neighbors behind us had a goose in their yard and it would hiss at us every time we went near the back fence.
I wonder if certain breeds are noisier than others?
PRS - "My husband walked outside and caught the geese facing down a fox, hissing with wings spread, the fox was kind of dumbfounded and didn't know what to do with them." :eek: :lol:
NES - "We're buying some miniature geese for breeding/eggs/sale/etc. I would suggest if you want to get geese that you do it for those sorts of reason instead of specifically flock protection, and raise them up from goslings so hopefully they won't hate you." Miniature geese?! Had no idea they existed, maybe that is a better solution, the alertness without being so scary?
EmmyTheHemi - Now that is good to know, that they chew on stuff. Never would have known that! If I do get some geese, I will know to try to keep things out of their reach, if possible. Sheesh, was it just those geese, that breed of goose, or all geese I wonder?
WildBlue, bdj, hundredacres, Nlevie, Damrock Farm, :lol: :lol: :lol:
Now off to read ChocoMare's thread :)
Mar. 16, 2012, 01:10 PM
Yeah there are a couple breed of miniature geese, you'd probably do well with something like a cotton patch geese, they're pretty easy to find.
We went for Shetlands because they're a rare breed & not really available in our area.
Minis are also good for areas like ours with heavy clay soils, since the smaller birds won't compact the ground as badly.
Mar. 16, 2012, 05:30 PM
Oh, and another thing - they really will eat/graze on about anything. I thought they would eat weeds, but no they are not selective - liked my vegatable garden and eat grass, etc. They can be very easy keepers for that reason though - i fed grain but they supposedly don't need it.
Mar. 19, 2012, 09:35 PM
I have/had toulouse, embden, african and pomeranian saddlebacks, for two years now.
The evil Africans
The Africans I raised from goslings, and they were the most hateful, obnoxious, loud, horrid things. They left when they were a few months old.
The others I got as varying stages of adults, and have all been very pleasant. Ganders territorial of the geese? Yes. Geese territorial of their nests? Yes. But none coming after me.
Mine tend to only honk if there's something to honk about. When I leave for work in the morning, if they see something interesting, when I get home, etc. It's no more of a pain than my braying donkeys.
Which, speaking of, the donkey's have been much more destructive in their short time with me than the geese have. However, like someone else noted, they will play tug of war on grass, strings, electrical cords, and eat shiny things, plastic things, rocks, etc. I tend to consider it incentive not to leave junk laying around that's not horse safe anyway.
All in all, I like mine. One is sitting on a nest of 11, and will hopefully hatch some goslings to hand raise, so they are more personable (mine aren't tame, just not unfriendly). The eggs are SO yummy to eat, and profitable to sell if you can find a market for it.
Mar. 19, 2012, 11:08 PM
I love my goose. Currently I have one male Toulouse that I got when he was six months old. He hangs out with my one remaining duck. Yep, he is noisy and messy and he chases cars (on my property) but he never goes after me. Tried that exactly one time and I drop kicked him about 10 feet. Never had an issue after that. He does not like my dogs, cats, or chickens but he will "groom" the minis. I think he's eating bits of hay and bot eggs off them.
I've also had female Africans that I raised from babies. Loved them! Unfortunately, so did the coyotes. They were never aggressive and let me pick them up for petting. I think I'll get a couple more this spring.
Uno (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2507875257471&l=d20a1edc06) and Ducky
Feed us now! (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2599180300040&l=af35ab488a)
Mar. 21, 2012, 09:26 PM
I had an adult goose that came over from the place next door one winter and stayed. The people that owned the place did not live there and expected the geese to fend for themselves. He was a white domestic goose with blue eyes. He joined my ducks and got fed with them. I had to rescue him when he got frozen to the pond overnight and could not get loose. I dumped hot water on the ice to melt it. He was never aggressive or noisy and I really liked him. I got him a couple of girl friends after he had been around for years but foxes got them. The foxes never got him. He was kicked by a malicious bull and died of his injury. He attracted Canada geese to my pond and I was always glad to have them around though they did not stay long. I have never had a goose act aggressive toward me. I like geese.
Mar. 21, 2012, 11:22 PM
"long time stalker?" "vandalism at night??" Heck, I'd get a pet skunk!! How fun would that be??!?! :)
Mar. 22, 2012, 12:31 PM
I posted this on another thread, so I will repost it here, since its about our experience with geese. Its a little tongue in cheek, but by God, not by much.
I suggested to the OP of the other thread looking for property guards, that you could encourage wild Canada geese to nest on your property. In the pond, for example, ask me why. I'll tell you. 3 pairs visited us every spring - it was just lovely having 30 babies and their parents coming up into the pastures and onto our lawn eating the grubs and bugs up. Not so lovely walking barefoot on the lawn, but what a treat to watch! They were so cute, the babies, grass green - I was surprised to see, in the early weeks after hatching, grass green goslings. Yes we were all of us, cats, dog, horses and people tick and slug-free, but we were tick and slug-free prisoners in our own house and barn. Three months out of the year we people, dog and cats couldn't venture out of our house without being attacked by the males, and wings-spred, those suckers are big! The horses grazed amongst them, but we humans and the dog would skulk from window to window and peer out, trying to see where the geese were so as to choose the best door for escape to the car, or to the barn to feed the horses. The cats would sit on the deck rail and glare. Then, having decided on one good door to use for escape, one of us would be sent to sidle around the corner of the house and signal the rest: "OK! He's not watching the front. He's walking around the back. You have 5, maybe 10 seconds to make it to the car! Go! Go! GO!!"
Needless to say, the neighborhood children and dogs skirted our open spaces and cut through other neighbor's yards. Dang. Those geese even chased our car, hissing and honking as we sprayed gravel out the driveway, me weaving down the lane wildly, watching the rear view mirror, children crying, the dog riding shotgun silent, grim. If we made it out, I would think to myself, there's still the slow creep back down the drive returning home later - and how to get the groceries into the house? I could send a child out to the back yard to keep the honkers busy while I race to and fro from car to house putting the groceries away, but at what cost to the child? A bite on the leg? A knock-down and a pecked ear? Last time, poor Jamie nearly lost an eye. I know. This time, I'll throw them the cat...