Geese have to top of my list as being the most economical poultry on the smallholding or even when kept in the garden when space allows a reasonable amount of good quality grazing.
Firstly, the majority of a goose's diet is grass and they don't generally fall ill if they are kept correctly (they don't suffer from red mite like chickens) so other than routine worming, don't require much in the way of medication.
Secondly, they don't require expensive accommodation with nest boxes or perches built in (an old shed will do, providing it has ventillation) and finally (the best part I think) is that they won't turn a patch of grass into mud when it rains heavily like ducks will as they dabble. Droppings (which are basically macerated grass) do not smell and wash away easily in the rain or with the hose pipe.
Geese need a lot more space than is available in the average garden. Whilst it is perfectly possible to supplement their diet with wheat and poultry layers pellets (see Feeding Geese in our FAQ section on Geese), unless you are fortunate enough to have a paddock, orchard or similar with about a half acre of grass then it isn't very fair to keep them.
Unlike some other poultry, geese can make quite a lot of noise so people with close neighbours may find it difficult to keep the peace. Foxes can be an additional problem, it is a challenge to make large areas of land fox proof as foxes will dig under as well as climb over a fence. An electric fence is one of the better solutions and it is possible to keep foxes out, providing the fence is maintained and tested regularly to ensure it is active. Where a suitable space is available to graze a small flock of geese, it can be hugely rewarding. Geese have fantastic characters and unlike ducks, they do not wander far. Once trained to stay in a particular area, they will usually stay put.
December is a busy time for most of us. With short days and colder weather, the last thing on my mind is my spring incubation and hatching plans but it is mid December (in Northern Latitudes) that you should start thinking about selecting the right Geese for mating next spring.
It is common to mate a pair, or a trio of Geese but one gander to three geese is perfectly acceptable amongst heavy weight geese. For the lighter breeds of geese, four, even five geese per gander are possible. Ideally, mating pairs or groups should be complete by mid January so the birds have a chance to get used to one another and their environment.