Raising Free Range Geese
Raising Free Range Geese – Geese are not the first choice that comes to mind when you consider having homestead livestock. Mostly, people will think about backyard chickens or dairy goats for farming. Geese are among the best option for the homestead livestock due to the capability of a fun animal, lawn controller, homestead guardians that also happen to taste pretty darn good. Geese are an excellent choice for a poultry addition to a homestead.
They are attractive and friendly at foraging. Geese will add a new dimension to our daily chores. Mostly, people think that geese are the same as other waterfowl, such as ducks, or geese are like raising chicken or turkeys.
This statement is not valid. Geese are different creatures with unique characteristics and needs and should consider different from chickens, ducks, turkeys, etc.
Raising geese is not hard, and the young goose (goslings) can be as friendly as the family dog and more formidable when strangers or predators happen on to your homestead.
The fat of a goose is prized among top chefs, and many hawk or fox has been frightened away from a chicken dinner by the threatening wingspan of an angry goose.
BENEFITS OF RAISING GEESE: –
Geese often have a bad rap, and many people stray from even attempting to raise them. Geese considered aggressive birds and overly useful for much of anything. But, much of what we heard about geese is a misconception. They are an integral part of farming and are one of the first animals that were domesticated by humans.
Some breeds of geese allow people to survive the great depression by giving them a regular foundation of meat, eggs, and grease.
- Excellent watchdogs
- Easy to raise
- Excellent flock protectors
- Delicious meat providers
To buy adult geese is a good idea to avoid the nursery for the gosling. Gosling that arrives during winter season must get brood at 90 F during the first week, and reducing the temperature by 5 degrees F per week until 70 F is reached. As with all the raising birds, do monitor the behavior of the gosling.
The brooder space for each gosling must be at least half square foot of the floor space, increasing it to 1 square foot per two weeks. If the birds arrive during the warmer season, they can go to the pasture after some days, if they are supplemented with granules and restricted at night.
Goslings are easy to rear by providing the basic needs they require. To raise geese as a farming Endeavor, it is always essential to provide them suitable structure for them to go into at night. Geese don’t roost on a bar like turkeys, chickens, guineas.
It is crucial to make available them with a well ventilated, sturdy, low to the ground structure. There should be lining on the floor with the dry straw, and they will be happy campers. The house can be simple to provide shelter, clean, dry bedding, and protection from predators.
A brooding area with a source of heat is necessary for the first few weeks. This brooding area should be cleaned, disinfected, dry and pre-heated to a brooding temperature of 95 Degrees F – 100 Degrees, 35-38OC when the goslings arrive.
The temperature may be lowered gradually, and gosling can be weaned off heat as little as ten days or as late as four weeks depending on the weather conditions.
The minimum floor space requirement for each goose is three square feet in the structure. Since you will hardly ever want to restrict them longer than overnight, the house doesn’t need to be very large. An enclosure of three by six is very comfortable for two geese.
The usage of snap hooks on the latches for the poultry building will add further security. Most foxes can’t find these out, and the raccoon hasn’t outsmarted the fasteners yet.
DO YOU NEED A POND OR PLENTY OF WATER:
Geese are not like ducks. They do love plenty of fresh-water to play and bath in. They need access to the fresh-water to swallow the food, as they require water to clear their sinuses after eating.
Geese have a preference to mate in open water, so if there is any plan to breed the geese, having a lake or farm pond is ideal for them.
The geese don’t spend much of time in the pond. The water used for bathing must be refreshed regularly to avoid filthy water.
RAISE HEALTHY GEESE WITH THE RIGHT FOOD
The primary food source for geese is grass. To raise healthy geese on the lawn, they need all access to the grass. However, the grass should not be too long. The ideal length of the grass is three inches. The geese will chew the grass and graze along. The grass includes all the nutrients required by the geese.
However, if the availability of the grass is not possible, the geese can have wheat, poultry layer pellets, and supplement with fresh green as an alternative. Apart from these, cabbage, lettuce, and occasionally cooked vegetables can also be used to feed geese.
The feeding requirement of the geese depends on whether they are getting straight feed or their feed supplemented with fresh-cut greens or pasture. Initially, the bird will start with a 22% protein starter. However, it is necessary to take special precautions as the coccidiostats in the opener and grower can cause leg issues or even death in goslings.
It is crucial not to feed layer crumbles or mash to the geese as it can disrupt the ability to swallow by getting stuck in the upper bill.
The wheat must provide in the bucket and covered with water. The grain sinks to the bottom of the bucket and prevents the wild birds, mice and rats from accessing the wheat. Removal of the feed at bedtime will help to avoid the rodent infestations.
NEST AND NIGHT SHELTER
Geese require a warm, dry area as a shelter to sleep during the night, security from the predators and large enough for all of them to rest. A dog house or similar structure is more than enough for a pair of geese.
The geese will lay their eggs in this shelter and potentially they will breed Gosselins too. Geese lay 20-30 eggs per year which is fewer as compared to the chicken and ducks. However, the size of the goose egg is equal to three eggs of chicken.
FEEDING AND CARING FOR GOSLINGS
Because goslings can have an impression on you, it’s always best to start with baby geese. The imprinted connection is unique among farm animals to ducks and is the most satisfying aspect of goose ownership. Goslings can only eat their food if it’s wet—to the point of being soup. They’re very messy creatures that will need their brooder bedding changed regularly to avoid a stench.
It is essential to provide a supplement to the geese to prevent any leg issues that occur commonly in them. The supplements options are:
- Infant Vitamins without Iron: 1 dropper full per quart water
- Brewer’s Yeast: approximately 3 cups per 10 pounds feed or a generous sprinkle on top of their feed daily
- NON-time release Niacin Gel Capsule Supplements: 100 mg per one gallon water by squeezing the gel out of the capsule and into the water
Generally, geese fulfill their requirements by consuming fresh greens daily. Try to avoid hand-feeding especially to male geese as they are aggressive, and they will show that aggression when they are adults.
Geese known as the cattle of the poultry world
require a few inputs to raise and are among one of the best selection for raising meat on limited pasture space. These big birds are alert, curious, and mischievous. They are incredibly hardy and primarily live off of grass and weeds.
World Duck Breeder Associations
|NSW Waterfowl Breeders Association||Australia||NSW|
|Rare Breeds Poultry||Australia||Rare Breeds Poultry|
|International Waterfowl Association||Minnesota||IWBA|
|National Call Breeders of America||Ohio||NCBA|