Do geese make good pets? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I have got two Embden goslings which I have had since they were 3 days old. They are now 4 weeks old and I have been trying to find out whether they make good pets. I have searched the internet and the library, but all I'm able to find is information about how to fatten them or kill them. Personally I could never kill let alone eat an animal I have raised myself, and my geese are strictly pets. I wanted to know about their personalities. All I have heard is been bad stuff about how aggressive and territorial they can be. My little geese are lovely and affectionate, and I would like to think that if I raise them with care and love that they will make nice pets. Does anyone have any information for me?

-- Melissa Ferraris (, October 02, 2001


The way you raise them WILL make them tamer and perhaps more likeable, but they'll most likely still have goose traits, too, which include the things you mentioned. I've heard of decent pet geese; it can be done.

-- Shannon at Grateful Acres Animal Sanctuary (, October 02, 2001.

Hi Melissa, I have 3 geese, 2 of them are the same breed as yours. We have had no problem with them as of yet, they are young (under 1year)but only show the territorial traits so far. We always know when something is amiss in the yard, they start making their noises. I don't let the boys chase or be unkind to them and they seem to tolerate the kids well. They totally leave me alone and come when they see me (food source). I am enjoying them and don't regret getting them so far. I hope you enjoy yours. Karole

-- Karole (, October 02, 2001.

It may be true that how you raise them will affect their behavior. I do know that they will develope a "pecking order." If you have a pair (male and female) the male will start to protect their area - sometimes even to death. We have had this happen when dogs attacked. Their aggressive behavior is in-breed - but some breeds are more aggressive then others. Right now we have all females and they are not as aggressive as when we had a male.

-- Tom S. (, October 02, 2001.

We had one goose, home hatched under a light bulb. Her name was Phoebe. She grew into a lovely white goose (Embden??). We put her with our sheep and she lived with them and ate with them. It was so cute to see her eat corn out of the trough right next to the sheep. She would run with the flock, flapping her wings. But, one day our new puppy got in the fence and killed her. It was sad and we got rid of the puppy. Phoebe was never possessive or mean to us. Now, the neighbor down the road has three geese. They are very territorial. They stand out in his driveway into his yard and when someone drives by, they will chase the car for a small distance, honking as they go. I don't dare drive into his yard for fear of running them over as they do not move for you and for fear of getting out of the car. The neighbor is a bachelor and doesn't get much company. I don't know if it is because of him or the geese! Anyway, I believe it is in how you raise them. If they know you and are very near you from birth, they should be great pets.

-- JoAnn in SD (, October 02, 2001.

we bought four goslings-ended up with two pairs one pr embden and one pr toulouse. Well long story short we ended up with our toulouse gander. He runs wiht our ducks( a flock of five-just discovered that we lucked out and got a pair of pekins and a pair of rouen and one extra males rouen...we are planning to butcher the extra drake shortly).

Our gander-since he doesn'thave a mate, will probably be thanksgiving dinner for us. He is beginning to honk-a beautiful sound-different from the African goos that our frined has-almost musical. And I admit to sometimes wondering if we should keep him and try to get him a mate in the spring-or sooner?

He is BIG-and he is beginning to show the territorial/proecting traists that we read ganders have...he is a great watchdog too! We are now learning his signals-when he lowers his head and starts to move toward someone-watch out! he hasn't goosed anyone yet-and we hope he won't. We are careful about who goes into his territory-and the manner in which we move around there-so far so good. Juryis out n him still though.

When we can let our sheep back into the pasture,( soybeans int he neighbors field are about ready for harvest (yippee-sheep and soybeans = wrecked fence-even good fence!) we will introduce the goose and ducks to the pond..if they decide to expand their territory in that direction, we may just keep him. If not-well we will ry again next year for certain. And we will probably be a bit more hands on withthe ducks and geese too. (orignally we were going to butcher all of them we had four geese and eight ducks) except for a pair of ducks on the pond. Plans change.)


-- sarah (, October 02, 2001.

I purchased a fully grown Toulouse goose when I was a kid. She was first prize in a shooting competition and the winner really didn't want to butcher a goose, so I bought her from him. No idea where she was raised, but she was an absolute sweetheart. She used to referee the fights between our ducks and try to break them up by interposing her body between them, was hand tame and would follow me around all over, ate gently out of hand, and would stand on my foot and tug at my shirt when I was handing out treats and she thought she should be getting more of them. I was terribly unhappy when she died.

I have always heard that ganders aren't nice like the geese are, but there is a blue-eyed white (and grey) gander at a horse farm where I sometimes go, and he's quite a nice and friendly bird too. He has decided he likes me and follows me around, and likes to supervise all our horse-buying trips there. I've had a few run-ins with other ganders which were not quite so nice. I have read accounts of geese being kept as pets in gardens a number of times, and most people seem to think they make good pets, so long as you respect their space if they've got a nest.

-- julie f. (, October 02, 2001.

Hi Melissa. This answer is late and you may never see it but if your geese imprint on you they make excellent pets. I had two geese one male one female .I bought them when I was 15 and they live until 22 and 17 years.The male liked women ,so he favored me and the female liked men, especially ones with deep voices-go figure.But they would swim with me sit with me while I read or just sat in the grass The only problem I had was finding rentals that had goose quarters.Love them and they'll love you back ,good luck! val

-- valerie hunter (, October 03, 2001.

Hey Melissa, Enjoy your geese!! They are wonderful birds with SO much personality. You've had them since they were youngin's, so they've more than likely bonded to you. Do they follow you everywhere you go in the yard? Do they make noises when they see you coming and rush to meet you? If so, your goslings have adopted you into their gaggle.

We have 2 Embeden's and 2 Brown African's. They have their own pool to swim in, a goosehouse to die for, and half an acre of lush lawn to call their own. Nothin spoiled about our geese.

Our gander is somewhat territorial, but nothing to write home about. The cats give the geese great respect and our 5 dogs don't challenge them. In fact, they run from the gander if he lowers his head and charges them. ( Of course, the dogs are NEVER left alone with the geese either). That's just askin for trouble. When the dogs bark at something or another, the geese chime in and honk and screech. What a din!!!

What are you feeding your geese? We can't get waterfowl feed here, so the geese get a pelleted high-protein chicken feed in the evening, with a little bit of cracked corn. They have free roam of the lawn during the day.

All our geese let us pet and hold them. My DH and I laugh at their antics, they are such clowns. Truely they are better than a barrow of monkeys! Enjoy your geese Melissa, they make great pets. And us humans could learn a lot from geese in the way they look out for one another.

-- Carol from Dixie (, October 05, 2001.

Hi there Melissa, I live on a lake in Miss. It is just beautiful and I spend alot of time on its banks. We have a gaggle of canadian geese that call this lake their home year around. We also have two african geese one female and one male. Their names are mother goose and daddy goose. They have good behavior for the most part, but they do set the tone for the canadians. About 2 months ago, I went to a flea market and purchased 2 geese. One being a Toulouse and the other a African goose. Their names are Sonny and Juju. Juju is very timid but is becoming a goose to deal with. Sonny is my soul mate. We spend alot of time together and he knows his name.If I am not out when he thinks I should be he comes up into the yard and gives me what for. We have conversations and work side by side. I know that my neighbors think that our relationship is very special. He has never ytied to get out of line with me or anyone else. But he certainly lets me know that someone else is there. I also have 3 dogs. 1 Lab, and 2 minature schnauzers. They are very jealous, but I don't allow them to be around each other though. Sonny lovees for me to pat and rub on his back and neck.He can be down at the other end of the lake and when I call him he swims just as fast as he can and comes running up to me neck held high. My canadians are sweet too! My feed runs me about 100lbs a month. That is not counting bread and other tidbits. They are a true blessing and they have taught me to really appreciate life for its simplicity and beauty.

-- Laurie Pierpont (, January 20, 2002.

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