Marks on goose's beak

cdclark707February 25, 2010

Hi folks,

Last year, I got some excellent advice in this forum about my (now) 21 yr old goose, what to feed him, etc.

This time, the problem is that I've noticed some dark marks on his beak. One of them is a gash line and the other two look more like bruises. All are small. When I hold his beak and touch the marks, he doesn't seem to feel any pain (he's just not wild about me holding his beak!).

I wonder if the marks are from an animal lashing out at him when he tries to eat his food when the other animal is in his food bin. When I went out last night to bring him in (when we have freezing temps, I put him in the bathtub for the night), something was in his food bin and scurried away when I came near it. I couldn't see what it was.

So... here are my questions --

-- Do I need to take my goose to the vet to get antibiotics or something? I'm concerned that, if these are indeed scratches, he might get rabies or some other disease from this other animal. On the other hand, I noticed one scratch about a week ago and last night he had 2 additional ones... and he doesn't seem to be any different, healthwise. Seems like if he was affected by this, he would show signs of sickness.

-- Right now, his food is in an open bin that's tucked in a cutout in the shed wall. Is there something else I can get for his food that will keep other animals out? I found something at a feed store that requires the eater to push the door open while eating. I think it was designed for dogs. This isn't something I think the goose would adapt to. Whatever I get needs to be weather-protected either by being placed in the shed wall cutout or have a weather protection built in.

So... any advice you can give me would be very welcome! Thanks in advance.


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I can't help you that much, but I can at least say that you don't need to worry about your goose getting rabies. Only mammals get rabies, so your birds are safe from that at least.

I know that doesn't answer your whole question, so hopefully many of the more knowledgeable members will give you advice on what else should be done.

Good luck!!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 1:40PM
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Thanks, Jill! So glad to hear that rabies is off the table.

Now I guess I still need to know whether his beak could get infected and how to protect him from further attacks by this unknown assailant.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 2:48PM
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I have two female geese and they are a hoot. They will go after and come in contact with any human, dog, cat anything larger than them. When it comes to worms, frogs, snakes, mice they run like heck. Now chickens on the other hand are great mousers. Guess you really need to find out what the unknown assailant is, mouse, rat, larger? don't use the push open door container the animal will only get stuck inside. Make sure the food inside of the food dish is completely visible to the goose so the goose can see in, he'll wait until its clear to eat. Peronally I would need to find out what's injuring the goose and send it packing.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 9:00AM
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How funny (about your geese)! And I had no idea that chickens are mousers!!! Wow. I thought chickens were vegetarians. And how can they sneak up on a mouse???

Thanks for the advice about the push open door for the food. I started putting the lid on the goose food when it gets dark, since the unauthorized eaters get into it at night.

I don't think there's a way for me to find out what's eating the food unless I install an infrared camera out there. The times that he honks at night (rarely), I go out to see what's going on, and don't see anyone else out there. I did find some poop in the food before I started covering it up at night (it's in a plastic box that's about 18" x 36") but it doesn't look like rat poop. Seems like a coon or possum would be too big to poop in the food.

His scratches are healing up and he doesn't have any new ones, so I think covering up the food did the trick. Although his food is visible during the day, at night there's no light out there, so I bet that's when he got scratched.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 11:59AM
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Chickens love meat. In their pens you'll see them scratching the ground, they are looking for bugs. Mine love pork chop sliced really thin then I drop the bone on the ground and she pecks away. She does a better job than I can cleaning that bone. They go crazy for meal worms too. i could go on and on.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 5:46PM
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Wow. Really. My concept of chickens just changed completely.

Do other birds eat meat, too???

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 6:23PM
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pris(8B TX)

Ever heard the expression "the early bird gets the worm?"

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 9:51PM
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eric_wa(San Juan, z8 WA)

Ducks and Muscovies love worms, bugs, grubs, mealworms, black solder fly larvae, slugs, flies etc..............


    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 9:51PM
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