Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Tell me about geese  (Read 10698 times)


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Tell me about geese
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2014, 11:35:58 am »
Awww, wee squeaker's all grown up!  ;D
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett


  • Joined Feb 2013
  • Kinross-shire
Re: Tell me about geese
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2014, 11:41:51 am »
he/she turned into a big softy, unlike the other one :) who can be pretty grumpy.

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Tell me about geese
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2014, 01:51:30 pm »
I got an embden looking goose from an egg and she was the loveliest thing. Would sit on my lap, come for walks, even liked watching tv when she was little. The dog bit her face and punctured some skin and feathers right into her cheek. It was great that she let me wash it all out, and then tweeze out the skin and feathers that had gone in. Bit of spray, no problem.
got her a gander last spring and he's a bit mean, kind of horrible, but mostly in spring around the nest. I have had bruises. Although these two geese are the extent of my goose experience, I would hatch eggs or rear day olds, based on how much tamer they can be and how much easier that makes them. But I've no experience of other breeds or much other than my two and those of my neighbours.


  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Tell me about geese
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2014, 04:11:47 pm »
Reading this with interest.... :innocent:

After our start in hatching out some eggs of Steinbacher''s from Goosepimple (my 24 egg Brinsea Octagon takes 8 goose eggs with some lego bricks to keep them from touching each other, the bars supplied by Brinsea don't work for goose eggs we found) we reared two that hatched and had a brilliant Xmas dinner of one of them. The other one still in the freezer. The actual dispatch was much easier than I thought it would be, you just need to hold on tight and we used an empty feed bag to hold them still. Plucking a bit of nightmare though, one in particular had just started to grow some "underdown" and it took me hours to get him/her clean. I would have liked to keep for breeding, but they were from a very close mating (only two hatched successfully, another two were deformed) and getting unrelated mates from within the UK seems to be too difficult.
Definitely want to do more, but need to build a house for them first...

Victorian Farmer

  • Guest
Re: Tell me about geese
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2014, 04:34:42 pm »
I used to do a lot pilgrims west of England and snow geese favarate .I would get lots of hatching eggs and see haw you get on .


  • Joined Mar 2009
Re: Tell me about geese
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2014, 06:18:26 pm »
young as possible as they will think you are mum and follow you,,,, older geese will probably run away from you all the time..... mine do


  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: Tell me about geese
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2014, 07:44:04 am »
Hi HH, we keep Steinbachers, originally from Jaykay.  They are easy peasy generally, the mums are rubbish at mothering (forget they have offspring) and the gander only gets aggressive end of Feb to May when the ladies are laying then he backs off again.  I gave Anke some hatching eggs this year and she ate the results for Christmas, said they were very tasty.

I know the RBST are looking to promote some of the rare breed geese this year and Ruth Dalton might be able to help you (sure you know her).

Let us know how you go..
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs


  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Pencaitland
Re: Tell me about geese
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2014, 09:26:31 pm »
Hi HH, I have white Chinese geese that I think are stunning, they do lay lots of eggs although have never counted how many from each goose, they are wonderful "guard dogs" and very good grazers. They didn't do a very good job of clearing the overgrowth of pond vegetation though, it wasn't till I put the ducks on that it got cleaned up. My geese are all quit friendly but I have never been able to get them to go to bed at night! As soon as I try and round them up they go on the water. They seem quit happy with out a house. I have been told that their nobbles can get frost bite but mine have not suffered yet. Mine are white and are also known as Swan Geese. Previously have kept Brecon Buff geese who l loved and made good table birds but they are rare and I haven't been able to get hold of any again. Haven't eaten a Chinese goose but they are definitely classed as a light breed.
Buying eggs on ebay is addictive and a huge gamble...will any hatch, survive, be the breed you expected, be all male, survive to adulthood etc! Then you have to do the same again from another seller to be sure you end up with unrelated breeding stock!
Let me know if you are interested in any Chinese and I could send pictures (have to email them though) maybe I could swap geese for a piggy service?
Jacob sheep, Shetland cows, Pygmy goats, Chinese geese, Khaki Campbell ducks.


  • Joined Jan 2014
  • Wiltshire
    • Maythorn Farm
Re: Tell me about geese
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2014, 02:28:15 pm »
I have kept a couple of different breeds of geese.  I really like geese, they are clever, can be longed-lived and if you get them young, they can become very tame but if you get older birds they might be a bit wild.  Their eggs and meat are good too. However, geese are not for everyone, they mostly live off grass so you need enough grazing to last round the year ideally. Here are my opinions on some of the breeds:

I have kept Chinese geese in the past, they are full of character and perhaps lay more eggs than most breeds of geese.  All geese can be quite loud but my Chinese always seemed to be the loudest!

I have a flock of about 25 free range Emden type geese, we've had them for many years and they graze the water meadows with the sheep.  This large flock is not shut up at night or protected by electric fencing.  The adults aren't generally vulnerable to foxes but occasionally young or very old/sick geese are taken by a fox.  It is advisable to shut geese up at night and/or electric fence them if you don't want them to fall prey to a fox.  They can make nice pets or good eating birds.  If you cross an Emden with a Chinese you'll get a very big bird which would be good for the table.

I have four Pilgrim geese.  These are my favourite breed and seem naturally the tamest.  They are fine with me even in the breeding season but they are a bit defensive towards strangers in the breeding season.  Pilgrim geese are autosexing, which means the males are white and the females are brown/grey.  It can be difficult to sex geese, so this comes in very handy, especially if you plan to eat a few surplus ganders.  They are smaller than the Emdens.


  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Angus
Re: Tell me about geese
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2014, 03:50:42 pm »
Would geese help protect ducks and chickens from feral cat?
pygmy goats, gsd, border collie, scots dumpys, cochins, araucanas, shetland ducks and geese,  marrans, and pea fowl in a pear tree.


  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Kent
  • HesterF
Re: Tell me about geese
« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2014, 08:41:59 pm »
I don't think you can rely on it. My geese don't like the cats (not feral but prone to roaming in amongst the poultry) and so the cats stay clear of them but the geese don't protect the other birds too. Having said that, the cats also steer well clear of the cockerels which chase them and the drakes. In fact, I can't see them taking anything beyond a smallish chick or duckling - and mine are good hunters (they'll bring in a full size rabbit or pigeon). So if you have large fowl, I think they'd be reasonably secure from cats feral or otherwise (unless you're talking about a true wild cat?).


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