“ Animal Species: Birds „
We bought six tiny goslings from a fur and feather auction and raised them in my bedroom until they were large enough to fend for themselves! They were our first learning curve in the world of keeping birds and I have to say, they have really kept us entertained!
Geese make brilliant pets if you have a large enough garden or space for them to wander. They like to be in a flock with more females to male ratio. They eat a lot of grass so really keep your garden down, but beware if you free range them on a farm where you make hay, as you will find when cutting it huge patches of short grass where the geese have given you a helping hand! They also love to eat flowers and veg, so be sure to put these out of the reach of the geese. You can feed geese either waterfowl pellets or normal layers pellets, and they do love lots of wheat, though grass is their main feedstuff.
Geese have a reputation for being vicious, but we have not found this to be the case. Our big male can be a bit aggressive during mating season (feb- may) with children and strangers, but they are always fine with us as they know us well. They do take great pleasure in standing on the public footpath in the field and hissing at and chasing walkers and their dogs when they come through. So they are great for putting off unwanted walkers! They are very brave and will even stand up to our mastiff if he gets too close and turns his back.
Geese lay the best eggs, which are white with a very hardy shell. They are extremely large, probably equivalent to two or three normal hens eggs and make the most amazing omelettes. They are also excellent for baking because of the large rich yolks. Laying season can be quite short (feb to may) but we did have one of our females laying over winter.
If you want to hatch goose eggs then the geese really need access to water during breeding season for successful breeding to take place. They are more fertile in their second year than their first. Our geese have only had access to water that we have put out for them until this year. They have now discovered the pond at our new yard and love it. Nothing beats watching your birds swimming and playing on a pond.
Just one thing to add, if you get a flock of geese it is important to have somewhere safe to lock them away at night as they can not protect themselves from foxes in the dark.