Raising Geese on the Homestead

Geese can be a valuable resource on any homestead. Learn how to raise them in this useful article.


| January/February 1976



037-024-01

Geese are a useful, easy-to-keep and economical choice of livestock for any homestead.

ILLUSTRATION: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

Whether they owned a lot in town or farmed a half section, many of our ancestors felt that geese were a necessary part of the Compleat Homestead. And that was good thinking: the big, versatile waterfowl eat little, practically raise themselves, make ideal "watchdogs," and supply their owners with meat, eggs, down, fat, and liver. Small wonder then that, at least in times past, geese have been valued highly — even considered indispensable — by the self-sufficient family living on the land.

But that was before the days of "agribusiness" and its accelerating tendency to concentrate on animals and birds that can be raised intensively in confined spaces by modern "scientific" means. Needless to say, the independent and pugnacious goose — which thrives best when allowed to roam freely and select exactly the random diet of bugs, bark, and grass that it happens to want at the moment — hasn't taken kindly to this "progressive" trend.

Then, too, the delicious meat of this boisterous bird has — somewhere along the line — acquired a reputation for being "peasant" fare in our nation of conspicuous beefeaters.

And so we now find the goose rapidly disappearing from the farms and tables of North America. And more's the pity for that unhappy fact, at least in our estimation. We've been able to become less and less dependent on the city and its ill-gotten gains and more and more self-sufficient over the past few years precisely because — at least in part — of the geese we've raised. We recommend them highly.

Positives of Owning Geese

For one thing, geese are big (full-grown adults can-depending on breed and sex-weigh in at 8 to 26 or more pounds apiece). That's a lot of meat, and several meals, for the average family.

For another, these birds put on that weight very inexpensively. They eat a lot less per pound of gain than either chickens or ducks, and the mainstay of their diet during the summer, if you give them the run of your yard, can be nothing more costly than common, ordinary grass. In the winter, they'll do well on lower-protein (therefore, less expensive) grains such as oats with just a little corn thrown in for heat.

chris_69
4/17/2010 10:28:06 AM

obviously I'm too late for the above people, but find answers at the farming forum homesteadingtoday.com


jacqueline_6
8/6/2009 6:01:30 AM

Please help!!!!At what age can I put my geese out on the pond? They are 40 days old.Can I start to show them where the pond is,or is it to early. thank u J.S.


jacqueline_6
8/6/2009 5:56:30 AM

At what age do I put the Chinese Gueese, out on the pond ? they are 38 days old.


nerys evans
8/4/2008 2:55:13 AM

can you please tell me if my little chinese goosling will live ok with my two pilgrim gooslings at the moment one is three weeks old and the other two is 6weeks old.can you also tell me apart from duck crumbs what else do they eat many thanks






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