Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Going to hopefully buy a pair of geese tomorrow - breeds and transport  (Read 3338 times)


  • Joined Oct 2012
So hopefully tomorrow we'll be bringing two geese home, the place where we're going has lots of different breeds available including a pair of POL pilgrams which really appeal.  We're looking for a pair or trio that will make a bit of noise if there's any strangers coming onto the property - just 'lost' 100 fence posts overnight :-(
but for a breed that isn't to big / aggro due to small children.

So any downsides or alternatives to pilgrims? I looked at Chinese but in all the pictures i've seen pilgrims look more cheerful, also is POL a good idea? I like the idea that they'll be a bit more hardy then trying to hatch some.

Also transporting them home, I have a very large cat carrier - would that be ok? or a very large dog crate or cardboard box?

Many thanks - and hopefully photos tomorrow!


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
They're not going to enjoy a trip in a cat carrier.  Better a large cardboard box or dog crate.

I actually heard of somebody transporting one in a hessian sack, tied around its neck, leaving the head sticking out.  I guess if you want your new geese to hate you right from day one, that's got to be a good bet too!  :o
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett


  • Joined Oct 2012
The cat never seems to enjoy it either - why didn't I ask this before i broke down those two large cardboard boxes this afternoon!  maybe I could just strap them into the toddler car-seats...


  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Kent
  • HesterF
I use a dog crate like this (sorry about that link, hugely long) for moving them.

Hopefully you'll get some advice re. breeds tomorrow if you're going to a decent breeder. If you want to breed them yourself, be sure you get the best quality you can. Check the age as well - it's an unusual time of year to be buying geese because you tend to buy them as they come into adulthood so the autumn after hatching. If you're getting them now they're either babies or leftovers from last year so they may not be the prime examples. I imagine most will now be laying rather than 'POL' but, yes, they're not easy to hatch or rear so it is better to get them older imho.

A couple of other points to consider. Firstly although geese will make a lot of noise, they're not fox proof so if you do want them as guardians, you have to balance that off against protecting them. Secondly I think virtually all ganders will be aggressive at this time of year - it's sort of in their job description - so the head down charge is completely normal and is intimidating if you're on eye level if them i.e. a small child. My boys are 9 & 7 and big enough to give them a wide berth - my 5 year old girl still needs to be close to me if we're up with the geese. One of my ganders is very tame for most of the year and I can give him the odd stroke but at the moment he'll take chunks out of my given half a chance.



  • Joined Oct 2012
Ah thanks Hester - the dog crate in the link looks pretty similar to the one I have so perhaps we'll take that instead of the cat carrier.

This is the only pair of pilgrims that i've been able to find due to time of year and 'now laying from last year' is probably a better description than POL.  We're used to protecting chickens from the fox and have got electric fencing set up ready for geese in their own area, as much as I'd really like to have our hens totally free range in the day I've learnt that lesson with the fox so a large fenced off area seems the best compromise.

The ganders behaviour in breeding season had crossed my mind (and then went back out) but in general pilgrims seem to have a reputation for being less aggressive than other breeds and they won't be totally free range so small children will be supervised, hopefully the gander will get a bit friendlier in time.

Thanks both for the replies.

Carey boy

  • Joined May 2014
  • Caernarfon, North Wales

I use a  large dog crate and find it very good for the job but remember there not car clean so cover up well.
How many miles or how long will they be in it for?
If the R.S.P.C.A. see you using the  Hessian sack thing you will be in of it, yes I know that the RSPCA us something like the sack for large birds but it holds the wings and feet not  tied around its neck

Good luck


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
If the R.S.P.C.A. see you using the  Hessian sack thing you will be in of it

Yes for sure. Sorry, I wasn't recommending anybody do that, but perhaps I wasn't obvious enough?

I did once transport a gosling in a big box, and cut a hole so it could stick its head out of the top. It did that for the whole of the journey, and when I was carrying it down the street to its final destination  ;D .

"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett


  • Joined Oct 2012
In the end we put one in a large cat carrier and one in a large cardboard box but it was only for 20 minutes.

And today we spotted two eggs!!!


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