Gaggles of Geese

FarmerKhaiti
FarmerKhaiti

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On Valentine’s Day Eve, we brought 2 gaggles of geese home, from Botan Anderson’s Mystic Prairie flock. We’d been thinking of adding a goose breeding flock to our farm for some time, but it just hadn’t happened yet. The breeds are Pilgrim and Toulouse, and we couldn’t be more excited! For the first week, the geese have been getting adjusted to us & their new home, which is the hoophouse until the pastures are clear of snow. They are gearing up for the spring breeding season now that they’ve settled in. Geese only lay a small number of eggs in the spring, so we were lucky to bring them home right before this began. There is not much information available about raising geese in larger numbers than a couple pairs or so, so we’re learning as we go. Thankfully, observation is a very powerful learning tool. Animals give plenty of clues about their state of being, if you just pay attention.

We’re passionate about raising animals on pasture, giving them a natural and good life outdoors with fresh air, sun and a diverse diet. The most amazing thing about geese is, like rabbits, they can eat and grow almost 100% on grass. We’re care about grass-based meat because it is the most ecologically sound choice for our planet. When animals eat grass, they not only utilize something we cannot eat, they harvest it themselves and enjoy this natural behavior in the process, and while grazing, they help build the soil by preserving and stimulating the turf. If more farms preserved grasslands by raising animals on pasture, we wouldn’t be losing so much topsoil from our fertile farmlands.

A goose will usually lay between 20-50 eggs over the course of 2-3 months. Our plan is to incubate the first eggs, and then let the mothers build up their nests and hopefully hatch out goslings. We are excited to be one of the few local farms raising real pastured goose. Grocery-store goose is usually raised indoors in dark barns, stimulating fast growth, but depriving these intelligent & noble birds of a natural, healthy life.

As we continue on our farming journey here at LTD, we’re realizing that one of our major missions is to “be the change we wish to see in the world.” We do not want animals to be subjected to factory farm conditions ever, anywhere. While we cannot stop it, we can provide an alternative – we can raise animals how they ought to be raised and we can know we are doing our part in fighting the good fight. Our customers truly complete the cycle by purchasing our products. Thank you for your support of our farm!

2 comments

  • I do love my geese but my biggest problem with them is their tendency to chew on anything. You definitely have to protect young fruit trees and never turn off any electronetting or they will chew up the wires. They are the most destructive of my birds.

    I took the same approach that you plan on. I incubate a lot of eggs and eventually let them raise their own. The osprey took some. It seems that there are always a few goslings that are excessively independent and don’t stick close enough to their parents so they get picked off by the raptors. The goose raised babies can also get crushed if there are a lot of older goslings enclosed with them. I don’t think that’s a problem if you just have the parents with them.

  • Hi Khaiti,
    I’ve been interested in raising my geese on pasture. I’m out in California and our grasslands tend to dry out by July. Does the grass need to be green or will geese and rabbits be nourished with dry grass as well? Do you lock your birds in at night or are they out in the field? Do you have any issues with foxes & raccoons taking your geese?

    Thanks for sharing your farm experience!
    Heather

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