September 29th is Happy Goose Day! These days, more and more people are getting backyard poultry. Most choose chickens, but geese can also be a great choice. A Galena, MD vet offers some goose care tips below.
Why get geese? Lots of reasons! They’re easy keepers, and lots of fun to have around. If you like gardening, you can also use their manure for your compost piles. Believe it or not, geese are also actually great watch birds, and will make a ruckus if anything out of the ordinary occurs.
The main things you’ll need to care for your geese are very basic: grass, fresh water, and a clean, secure shelter. As far as the shelter goes, you’ll want one that you can easily access for cleaning. For bedding, you can use straw. Geese can make tempting targets for predators, so make sure nothing can get in!
Like any other animal, geese are susceptible to illness and injury. Keep an eye out for warning signs. Some of these would include stumbling, limping, withdrawal, and lack of appetite. You’ll want to do plenty of research, especially if you’re just starting out. It’s also important to get to know your birds. That will make it easier to spot anything out of the ordinary. Contact your vet immediately if you notice anything wrong.
This is one area where geese really shine. These guys mostly eat grass and ground cover plants, such as clover and dandelion. That makes them very, very cheap to feed. Once the grass comes in, you won’t need to do much at all in this area. (Note: geese won’t eat tall, overgrown grass, so you’ll need to start them on a lawn that’s already been mowed.) In winter, they can have wheat and corn. Geese will eat flowers and veggies, so if you plan to have plants, you’ll need to keep your geese in a separate area. A low fence will probably do the trick. (Geese can fly, but they’re usually too lazy to bother.)
If you’ve ever had a puppy, you’ve likely had some experience with puppyproofing. This may give you an idea of what geese are like. These guys may look quite regal, but they will chew and peck on everything.
Do you have questions about raising geese? As your local Galena, MD animal clinic, we’re here to help!