How to Keep Geese in the Garden
The reasons for keeping geese in the garden yourself can be quite different. Some grow their own Christmas goose this way, while others breed them for the delicious eggs. In addition, geese are also very trusting pets and can replace a guard dog or the lawn mower. So that it works out with the attitude in the own garden, you should consider a few things.
What requirements must the garden meet?
Geese are basically grazing animals and therefore need a lot of space and run. If you want to keep geese yourself, you should therefore have a correspondingly large garden with plenty of meadow. Per goose you should optimally calculate with about 100 square meters of space. If you want to keep only two geese, you should provide 400 to 500 square meters for the animals. The goose breed also plays a role in the question of space. Smaller geese can get by with a few square meters less. For large breeds (e.g. Pomeranian goose) you should follow the recommendation.
You should also enclose the area with a fence. Geese do not tend to flee, but the animals are a favorite prey of foxes. Also, one or another dog from the neighborhood may discover its hunting instinct when it sees a goose in the meadow. With a fence of at least 120 centimeters you usually achieve a good protection. In regions with a lot of predators, electric fences for poultry are also an option.
In addition to sufficient space, watering places are another crucial point for keeping geese in a species-appropriate manner. It is important that you provide swimming and bathing facilities. If possible, these should be distributed throughout the grounds. A single small pond is not sufficient, as the water cannot be cleaned and replaced regularly. Instead, the following additional water features are recommended:
Disused bathtubs, children’s paddling pools, large pots or other containers.
Watering places are vital for geese. They serve several functions for the goose:
wetting insects before feeding
For hygienic reasons it is necessary that you clean the containers regularly.
The love for water shows the relationship to the ducks. In our guide “Keeping ducks in your own garden” you will learn how best to keep and care for these water birds.
Setting up the coop for geese
Even though geese prefer to be out in the fresh air, a coop is essential for keeping them in your own garden. Especially for the night the animals need a safe retreat. The same applies to winter days or particularly cold and rainy days. Basically, geese are not particularly demanding. A simple wooden hutch that provides about four square meters of space per goose and is easy to clean is sufficient in most cases.
The barn should be light, airy and dry for keeping geese. Geese do not like dark and damp coops. Ideally, the coop should offer a few windows that allow fresh air and plenty of light to enter the room at all times. If it is not too cold, the windows can be left open during the day.
To keep warm and to prevent them from walking around in their droppings, the animals need bedding in the barn. For this purpose it is best to use sphagnum. It absorbs the thin goose droppings well. On top of it you put a layer of straw, which you muck out daily.
If you want to have goose eggs, equip the hen house with laying nests. Set up the nest areas separately. Geese can lay up to 50 eggs a year, depending on the breed. They usually use the same nest. If possible, pad the nests with a thick layer of straw. Temperature plays an important role for laying geese. In winter it is important that the temperature in the house never falls below 5 degrees Celsius. In summer, laying performance is affected by excessively high temperatures. Bathing in cool water and resting in the shade must be possible at all times.
The right food for the geese in the garden.
Since geese are grazers, they gather their own food in the meadow. Here you as a keeper can benefit in several ways, as they eat small pests as well as green fodder. In addition, many geese also like fruit, so you can feed them fallen fruit from orchards.
To feed the geese as balanced a diet as possible, it is recommended, especially in winter, to provide additional grain products (e.g. corn, barley or oat meal) and vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, peas or beans for the geese. Meat or fish meal is also a good supplement for the protein balance of geese. Grit and clam meal are also part of the mix.
If you want to make feeding easier, you can also rely on purchased complete feed for geese and supplement it with potatoes and finely chopped herbs, for example.
Where can geese be bought?
Once all the conditions for keeping geese have been met, the only thing left to do is to purchase the geese or goslings themselves. The first address for this are trustworthy breeders.
Before you buy the geese, you should have a close look at the animals. Especially the plumage gives information about how well the geese were kept. It should be smooth, clean and shiny with no bald spots. Also a lively and friendly nature shows you that the goose comes from a good breeding.
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