Which breeds of geese?

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In a previous thread, someone mentioned the use of geese for "watchdogs", which has piqued my curiousity. What breeds of geese are the best to raise considering mothering ability, foraging ability, and being good watchdogs? Thanks

-- matt (aa@aa.com), March 21, 1999


Dalmatians, of course.

-- Jerry (jj.jj@jj.jj), March 21, 1999.

Don't know which are "best". Ours are Sebastoples(sp?). Long feathered unusual looking beasties- Mad Max hisses and goes nuts if disturbed. Mabel just honks. Currently, Mabel has laid a nice clutch of eggs, which are getting sat on by her, and both Harry and Sue the Ducks- go figure.....Only Max hasn't sat on them yet.

I got them for weeding- will see how they do. They would go nuts if people drove/walked into your yard/driveway though- I don't find them intimidating- just cute- but others do find them scary when they run at them wings outstretched and hissing. So- it could keep the rifraff out I guess....and your garden weeded??

-- anita (hillsidefarm@drbs.com), March 21, 1999.

Matt ... can't tell you about geese, but a male duck my daughter raised from 3 days old was the best "Watchdog" I ever had. It was positioned behind the house BUT under the second story bedroom window. Nothing ever got by that duck, which had a 12 inch fence around the duck "house", with ramp leading up to it's wash tub 'pond'. Made sure the door was only big enough for the duck , AND that there was at least 12 inches beyond the doorway that the duck could avoid the teeth of a marauding dog or fox. That duck could wake me from a sound sleep with a low quack , quack , quack. Then, out of self preservational instinct, it never made any more noise. There was ALWAYS something there when I went to look; NO false alarms !! Dogs I have had, barked at very far away noises, and many times , never woke up to danger they couldn't smell. Tried to reach into that duck house to get the duck out to clean it and was rewarded with sharp pecks on the hand. I have seen ducks stand their ground with dogs too, and back them down. Ducks will always go into a safe box at night, but I doubt geese will. Geese WILL continue to honk for some time, BUT this may NOT be to your neighbors liking, and I think it attracts preditors. Duck eggs are rather richer in yokes, as I remember, but will do fine in baking. If you haven't a pond, strean or swamp near by, a good sized tub will make them happy. They are voracious eaters of slugs and I have seem ours leap into low hanging willow branches to eat caterpillars. Our duck always flew out of the pen to walk my daughter to the school bus and to meet her when she came home.Enough said. Eagle

-- Harold Walker (e999eagle@freewwweb.com), March 21, 1999.

From what I have read, the Chinese and the brown chinese are pretty irritable. (Somebody correct me?) We had White Emdens once, and they were not too bad....but the housing was wrong, and the night-thing got them. I ordered Toulouse this time, and they are coming on Tuesday. The literature said they were pretty calm, and they look like I think geese should look. I intend to spend time with them, and teach them to get into their house at night..probably with a pan of grain. They will be broken up into groups and positioned at different strategic locations. One thing about the firse set of geese...years ago...they ate the garden hoses....And to the poster that has the Sebastopole geese....$35 a piece for a gosling! Some watchdog! (but they are beautiful!)

got shoes?


-- Mary (CAgdma@home.com), March 21, 1999.

Dear mary: I paid $20 for the breeding pair of Sebastoples- fullgrown. (private sale).They're sitting on eggs so we'll see.... maybe we'll have some litle ones...(and yes- they're gorgeous. loud too!)

-- anita (hillsidefarm@drbs.com), March 22, 1999.

My reading (NOT personal experience!) says that Pilgrim geese are very desireable. They are medium sized, docile, good mothers (and fathers!), they can be sexed by color unlike any other breed, good foragers, and pretty good egg layers. I do not know about their watch-dog ability. I ordered 5 pairs, due here April 12. They're about $8 per day-old gosling.

You can get Pilgrims from Metzger Fams (800) 424-7755 or Pilgrim Geese (440) 293-7056. Order early, they run out.

-- Franklin Journier (ready4y2k@yahoo.com), March 22, 1999.

I hear from my wife, who grew up in rural Latvia, that geese can be quite hostile to small children. They have the ability to do some damage.

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), March 22, 1999.

My children had "pet" geese years ago. They had to resort to carrying a baseball bat with them to go to the barn to do their chores. They received numerous ugly black bruises from those geese and I've heard that those wings can break a wrist. Needless to say, no tears were shed when we did away with the "Pet" geese.

-- mostly lurking (mostly lurking@podunk.texas), March 22, 1999.

I read that about Pilgrim geese too. The Toulouse were cheaper. Not being a goose expert, I thought I'd start small. Metzgers did tell me that the African Geese were the largest and most aggressive of the "common" geese. I got these geese from Metzgers....tomorrow, I think.



-- Mary (CAgdma@home.com), March 22, 1999.

Matt, almost any breed will do! What is most important is survivability in a given climate. Military/sensitive sites in Europe utilize the white, long necked farm geese (exact breed unknown) that handle the cold weather well. Check with local farm coop in your area or feed store for suggestions of what will work best in your area. Screen off from youngsters if that is a concern. Most important is they are highly irritable, very territorial, and make lots of noise at any sign of any intruder. Virtually impenetrable! Dogs can be distracted, poisoned, or silenced by any number of means. Geese must first be located, and silenced individually or all at once which is nearly impossible without warning the others. Best cheap, early warning available, and besides they're better than an MRE in a pinch, or when no longer needed!

-- (snowleopard6@webtv.net), March 23, 1999.

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