Keeping geese can be very rewarding, although it seems they have gone out of fashion at the moment since they have a reputation of being aggressive. Most gardens do not have enough grass to keep them and many of us have neighbours who wouldn’t appreciate the noise they can make on occasions.
Not all geese are aggressive though and if you choose geese that have been raised by hand and handled regularly you will find they can become very tame. During the breeding season, naturally, the stakes are raised and ganders will take everything as being a potential threat. I mean what else has he to do except be a good partner and guard the goose while she sits?
If you choose the right breed and numbers for your set-up then you’ll have an eco-friendly lawn mower and some delicious free range eggs to eat or incubate from late winter to mid-summer. Domestic Geese don’t require a pond, in fact they spend most of their time on land, eating grass so a plastic water tub that can be tipped out and re-filled with fresh water will work well for them.
As well as keeping grass short, geese make fantastic burglar alarms. They have excellent eyesight for things out of the ordinary. Geese are fairly self-sufficient, needing only wheat, fresh water, grit and as much grass as you can give them. If there is a good supply of grass available for your geese then they won’t need much additional feeding but if grass is short, you will need to supplement it with other greens like lettuce or cabbage.
It is thought that the Greylag goose is the ancestor of most domestic geese that we have in Europe today (the exception being African and Chinese geese that are thought to descend from the Wild Swan goose).
Greylag geese are the largest of wild geese found around Europe. You can normally find Greylags around lakes all year round in the U.K. In Scotland flocks will come in over the winter months. I found the Greylags in the picture (left) taking a nap on a summer day in Norfolk.
Keeping Geese FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions about keeping geese. From what to feed geese to their housing requirements, this section should answer all of the most commonly asked questions.
General Goose Keeping Information
This section contains general articles about keeping geese that don’t belong in any other category. From our Beginners Guide to keeping geese to grass control using geese, there is a wide range of information in this section.
Incubation and Hatching Goose Eggs
This section contains information about incubating and hatching goose eggs, either by using an incubator, or with a broody. More general information about incubation can be found in the incubation and hatching section for chickens.