Home' Smart Farmer : February 2010 Contents FEBRUARY, 2010
FEATHERHEADS: Although not bred so much for meat these days, geese are still in demand
for their down and feathers.
If you are planning to keep geese on
your property they will fit in well with
your aquaculture system. If you have fish
or yabbies in your dam, the geese
contribute to the natural food chain,
with droppings increasing nutrients in
the water, which will stimulate plant
Geese are grazing birds, happy to live
outside (although there is always a
danger from predators), and they make
excellent 'lawn-mowers' around the
house and will clean up any windfall
fruit.Their main food is grass, with the
addition of some bread, household
scraps or grain occasionally.
They do vary in temperament. Some
can be quite aggressive and so are not
really suitable to keep roaming around if
you have small children. On the other
hand, they make excellent 'watchdogs',
particularly the Chinese, and will usually
give the alarm if strangers approach.
A suitable breeding set comprises one
gander to three geese.They are often
quite choosy about a mate, but once the
decision is made, they tend to remain
It is best to set up a nest inside the
shed for your geese, although if they are
in a safe run and not threatened by
predators, they will quite likely choose
their own spot in the run and see to the
nest-making themselves. Just make sure
they have adequate shelter from the
Not all geese will go broody, so an
incubator is often used or, once again, a
broody chook may do the job.
The young goslings can be quite
susceptible to cold until they are fully
feathered, so a warm shelter is necessary
for the first few weeks. Some people use
infra-red lamps to provide extra warmth,
but be sure the goslings can move closer
to or further from the heat as their needs
Geese are long-lived and usually stay
remarkably healthy, so they provide a
good investment as well as being
fascinating birds to watch with their
structured social systems and individual
• from previous page
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