generations geese have been domesticated and bred, mainly for meat, but have firmly resisted efforts to be kept intensively. A goose’s natural tendency to utilize good grass and to forage makes it a very useful bird. These hardy birds have been useful to humans for many years, from guard birds to the modern hybrids for the table. Geese are also security birds due to their noise at the sight of a stranger.
Choosing your Breed
Goose breeds are divided into light, medium, and heavy. The light Chinese goose originated from Asia. It is extremely noisy, making it an excellent guard goose. It’s the best layer of the geese family, producing up to 80 eggs a year.
The heavy Embden is a large, hardy white goose, with a gander (male geese) weighing up to 34kg. Their size makes them good table birds, and they produce 20 to 25 eggs a year. They can be protective and should not be kept if you have small children or pets.
The Roman and Roman Tufted, both light breeds, are compact, pure white geese. They are great for beginners, being kind, good all-rounders and easy breeders. They lay 30 to 60 eggs per season, and one gander (male) can breed up to five
The Pilgrim and West of England, both auto-sexing breeds (the sexes are different colours), are good examples of breeds that were developed by small farmers to graze rough ground while producing good carcasses. The American Buff is a large breed that was developed to be a heavy table bird and will put on weight with good grazing.
Commercial breeds tend to be white. They grow quickly and produce up to 50 eggs a season. They are excellent to keep, as long as you don’t mistake them for the pure breeds.
Geese need security and not a complicated housing. They need sufficient breeding space and protection from moisture and draught.
The flooring of their house should be covered with wood shavings or sawdust. Avoid hay or straw beddings. Geese really prefer being outside due to their nature of grazing and love for water, however they still need housing. Their housing could be an open house system or a wooden box. The main thing is to ensure their safety, enough space and air, and a good bedding.
Geese feed on varieties of food, but their main diet is grass. If you have a well fenced vegetation, you can release your geese to feed on the grasses. Mixing wheat and pellets is one of the best food to feed your geese with. When feeding geese with wheat, it is best served in a big bowl of water in other to aid easy digestion and also to prevent cockroaches, mice, and flies from inhabiting their cage.
The pellets should be served in a big bowl also but without being mixed with water. The food should be served fresh daily and in a large quantity if there are no grass to supplement your feeding. Geese can be reared on farmland with the advantage of feeding on grasses and also picking up slugs, snails and little insects. Make sure your water trough is well constructed in other to prevent their house from being wet.
Basic instructions in keeping a goose
1. They are very noisy animals, especially during the breeding season. Don’t keeps them if you can’t withstand noise.
2. Geese can live for 20 years, so they are really a long time commitment.
3. Children should never be left alone with geese, as they sometimes get upset with noise from children and can be aggressive.
4. Geese needs to be protected from predators like snakes, fox, stray dogs etc.
5. Geese like to mate on water, so they might need a little deep pond of about 2 ft.