Farming forum: Anybody keep geese?

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Name: Lee Anne Stark
Brockville, Ontario, Canada (Zone 5a)
Perpetually happy!
Forum moderator Tip Photographer I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Critters Allowed Cottage Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Keeps Goats Keeper of Poultry Frogs and Toads Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian
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threegardeners
Aug 8, 2013 3:34 PM CST
What do you feed them over the winter?
I'm being told hay, goose pellets, chicken scratch....do they need all that?

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Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Aug 8, 2013 4:10 PM CST
Do you have just the two of them?

The only Geese around here are the Canada Geese that no longer migrate and have set up to living in the local parks and by the grassy sides of highways.
Name: Lee Anne Stark
Brockville, Ontario, Canada (Zone 5a)
Perpetually happy!
Forum moderator Tip Photographer I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Critters Allowed Cottage Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Keeps Goats Keeper of Poultry Frogs and Toads Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian
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threegardeners
Aug 8, 2013 4:12 PM CST
I have those two and three Embdens.
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Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Aug 8, 2013 4:13 PM CST
Nice! Sorry, I am no help about advice on keeping them.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
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porkpal
Aug 8, 2013 4:26 PM CST
I've always wanted geese - supposedly as guards for my chicken flock. But I don't need any more animals here! Most feed companies make some sort of all-purpose poultry feed which should be adequate. If they are laying, a layer formula would be better. I'm sure they would appreciate the hay, but chicken scratch is not a complete feed - more of a treat. If they habitually free-range, they will probably hunt down most of their own food. I hope someone with actual experience can be more helpful.
Porkpal
Name: Lee Anne Stark
Brockville, Ontario, Canada (Zone 5a)
Perpetually happy!
Forum moderator Tip Photographer I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Critters Allowed Cottage Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Keeps Goats Keeper of Poultry Frogs and Toads Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian
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threegardeners
Aug 8, 2013 4:29 PM CST
They do free range...but I'm in Canada...come December there's 3 feet of snow out there and nothing to free range Big Grin gonna have to come up with a formula to get them through 'til Spring.

I love the geese....they keep half of my lawn mowed beautifully and create quite the ruckus when anything strange comes into the yard. The two fluffy ones are very tame and friendly, the 3 white ones are a tad wild.
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Aug 8, 2013 6:58 PM CST
Geese are good foragers in the summer, but when there's snow on the ground they need a dry place to sleep, and you will have to feed them some grain. I haven't had geese for a while. I used to feed them cracked corn, and alfalfa pellets in the winter (The kind they feed to rabits). Plus they used to pick up what scraps of grain the horses left. If you can find some really nice leafy alfalfa hay, they will pic the leaves off, but there's a lot of waste with hay. They will clean up the pelleted alfalfa, and nothing goes to waste. Good luck.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Jeff
Perry Iowa (Zone 5a)
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PerryJeff
Sep 6, 2013 9:31 AM CST
This is my first year with over wintering geese but I have duck's, chickens, Guineas that I have overwintered for 4 years. I have combined them all in the past to make it easier to feed and water but this year I will separate the ducks and geese they slosh the water so much it makes a big mess.
I feed oats early on and when above freezing and supplement with high protein feed or corn once a week. When it gets below freezing I cut the oats out and feed ground corn 18% hog feed far cheaper than poultry feed and will feed poultry feed at least couple days a month to make sure they are getting all needed nutrients
So Cal (Zone 10b)
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OldGardener
Sep 6, 2013 10:27 AM CST
Welcome! to ATP. I have geese as well as ducks and chickens, too, but live in a much warmer zone (10) with no "real" winter.. In the past, I have allowed mine to be out foraging but my current situation forces me to keep them penned now (plus they are geriatric geese). Are your geese penned, pastured, or ?

Again, Welcome! Welcome! Welcome! to ATP!
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Sep 6, 2013 10:31 AM CST
Welcome! Jeff, welcome to ATP. Welcome!
Name: Joy Hall
Hempstead, TX (Zone 8b)
Lonesome Pine Farm
Farmer Region: Texas Dog Lover Hummingbirder Keeps Goats
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rouxcrew
Sep 7, 2013 12:45 PM CST
How fabulous to see Sebastopol geese, and blues at that! We have a flock of Sebastopols, mostly lavenders and blues, they free range our farm all year. We are, of course, a lot warmer than you in the winter, but I will give you what advice I can. I would assume you will have a shelter that is water tight and warm. They do not need water to bathe or swim in, we have had great success using a horse automatic waterer. The one with the bowl. It will get dirty but since it only holds a small amount of water is easy to dump and clean. I then dilut the spent water and use it on plants.

They really need dry bedding since their feathers don't have a spine. It inhibits their ability to hold warmth and in your climate that would be a must. We feed whole corn and lay pellets to our combined birds. Since there is no egg laying going on, we don't worry about supplements. There have been many times during our horrendous drought that they have had nothing green to eat and do fine. I have a couple that will eat lettuce but the majority could care less. Some of my birds will eat bread as well, we hand feed when we have company, but again not all. My guys show no interest in scratch but have cleaned up extra sheep feed or oats from troughs. I know that show birds are confined and apparently do quite well.


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People, like sheep, tend to follow a leader - occasionally in the right direction. Alexander Chase
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Sep 7, 2013 12:47 PM CST
Welcome! Welcome! Welcome to ATP Joy! Your Geese are beautiful. Thumbs up

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