The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Poultry & Waterfowl => Topic started by: pickled onion on October 31, 2019, 09:31:34 am

Title: grazing geese
Post by: pickled onion on October 31, 2019, 09:31:34 am
Hi. I am thinking of using geese in my veg garden to keep the grass down, there is a lot of it. Would the geese eat any of the vegetables I would be growing or will they stick to grass? I assume they would consume new growth but would they go for mature veg?
Title: Re: grazing geese
Post by: Anke on November 04, 2019, 11:46:37 am
Of course they would - geese are masters at ring-barking trees for example. They will also prefer short grass to long grass - hence they were traditionally used as third grazer behind cattle, then sheep, then geese.

If you can fence them into an area - after mowing the grass - they will keep it down. Electric poultry netting has always worked for us, though I also wing-clipped younger geese, once they have started laying they seem to settle better into their allotted area. Proper mains electric netting is also the only way to keep out the fox.
Title: Re: grazing geese
Post by: Steph Hen on November 04, 2019, 12:07:59 pm
Their favourite thing is gooseberries! They're also really good gazers so if you can fence off veg they'll do well keeping grass down.
Title: Re: grazing geese
Post by: Fleecewife on November 04, 2019, 12:50:14 pm
Geese also don't believe in going round obstacles, they just tramp straight through, with their big flat feet, so veggies don't stand a chance, large or small.  They are wonderful, bright creatures and will quickly learn to follow you when you need them to.  They will also learn their names quickly, and will respond to the tone of your voice.
Title: Re: grazing geese
Post by: macgro7 on November 04, 2019, 01:00:34 pm
My ones were eating mostly grass over the summer but in winter they killed ALL YOUNG APPLE, PLUM, AND OTHER FRUIT TREES. They also learnt to eat artichoke leaves and consumed the entire plants! At least those sprouted back as soon as the geese were not able to get to that area.
They even ate rhubarb leaves, potato peelings (I was surprised actually as they are supposed to be poisonous) and a lot of other stuff.
Title: Re: grazing geese
Post by: cloddopper on November 04, 2019, 11:22:31 pm
Learn to recognise when the grass is no longer giving them enough goodness/ protein  as winter approaches and feed them with cool boiled pig potatoes , grains & fats etc.

 Some folk we used to know literally had their geese starve to death for they thought they could grass graze them all year round in a 1/2 acre orchard .

I felt absolutely miserable wringing the necks of their all the geese for they were too weak to eat ,  take water or almost cold Complan out of a syringe .
Title: Re: grazing geese
Post by: pickled onion on November 13, 2019, 06:23:49 pm
Thank you. I suspected as much but was told different. Not for my veg plot then  ;D