Return to the Farm Life Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Winter feed for geese in cold climate

Posted by Maggie_J z5 Ontario (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 8, 05 at 19:11

It seems frivolous to be asking this on a hot day in June, but I like to plan ahead. What do you feed geese in the winter when there is snow on the ground and foraging is difficult?

I have heard a mixture of grains, especially wheat and barley, is good, and a good quality hay for roughage. I suppose any green vegetables like lettuce leftover from the kitchen would be good for them too... but I would like to hear from goose owners in the cold zones so I can give my geese the best care possible.

I have a small field of alfalfa and a clover patch. Should I be scything and drying them to supplement their winter diet?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Winter feed for geese in cold climate

Back when we had geese we put all of our lawn mower clippings into black garbage bags (open of course) and left them in the sun so they were dry very very quickly. then we simply gave that to the geese along with there normal pelets and grains and hay.


 o
RE: Winter feed for geese in cold climate

In winter they need higher energy feed to generate more warmth--wheat and corn. I usually feed a mix of wheat, oats, barley, corn and a bit of flax plus a protein source like meat or soybean meal. Of course they still need their greens. I add in alfalfa meal but dry grass clippings are tastier to the geese (they don't seem to like alfalfa). I've also used hay (timothy grass) when available. Make sure the grass is mold-free though.


 o
RE: Winter feed for geese in cold climate

Our geese reject the ducks' organic layer feed in the winter in favor of whole grains (mostly cracked corn). We also give them hay. They love carrots and apples, if you have access to ones that are not cosmetically perfect.

Katey


 o
RE: Winter feed for geese in cold climate

Thanks, eveyone, for the input. I'm glad I asked now... Looks like I better get the rake out -- grass clippings are one thing we are not short of. Do I just leave them to dry in the sun and then gather them up?

Another question... do any of you free-range your geese and do they wander far?


 o
RE: Winter feed for geese in cold climate

We let our geese wander in our 1/4th acre back yard with 3 laying hens, they wandered into the neighbors yard once a week, over a 3 foot fence,grass is greener you know. The only time they ever went a wandering is in the fall, when she desided it was time to lay, the pair of them went all over looking for a nest, left our ard durring the day when we were all out and came back before we came home, the neighbors told us all about it though, they even crossed a busy street and looked in the green belt behind us, but they had established our yard as territory with lots of food and clean water so they came back.


 o
RE: Winter feed for geese in cold climate

Geese do not need the high energy of corn and wheat. Oats is plenty good enough. Dried grass/hay is not so good either. Try to get some winter oats, wheat or, probably best, Grazing Rye (sometimes called Hungarian Forage Rye) growing before the winter hits. Brussels sprouts and kale will stand extreme cold to give them some greens too. O:T: I have not forgotten you,but life has been hectic - will explain soon. Old McDonald.


 o
RE: Winter feed for geese in cold climate

I'm new to geese but have been doing a lot of reading about them and whole oats is definitely the recommended geese feed.
A little corn is okay during the winter months for extra energy but I think a lot of people over do the corn thing as a means to stretch their feed bill dollar.
Translation: its cheaper.
You might also want to feed gamebird or duck pellets.


 o
RE: Winter feed for geese in cold climate

Some of you don't know what cold is! Brussel sprouts and kale will not survive into the winter here--almost no garden vegetables can be overwintered. In cold areas geese need higher energy feed to produce the body heat. They don't put on much weight in the winter here. In the coldest weather I keep the feeders full and the heat lamps on. They also have heated water pails. Winters are brutally long here on the Canadian prairies with temperatures going down as low as -40 or so (not including the windchill). The geese survive cold winters amazingly well with shelter and proper care.


 o
RE: Winter feed for geese in cold climate

Winter on the prairies is brutal all right. I am not looking at conditions that are quite so extreme, but -20 C. is not uncommon. Motherduck, do you feed only grain to the geese in winter? Could you give me a bit more detail?

These goslings are getting huge! I can't believe they grow so fast!


 o
RE: Winter feed for geese in cold climate

Motherduck, Yes I agree that your temperatures are somewhat extreme, and I can only guess at how cold -40 is. I would prefer not to find out. Porridge in the mornings might not combat that low a temp. even laced with a dram of Dalmore or Glenmorangie!! Maggie's -20 is in line with my experiences, and Hungarian Rye, Oats, Brussels Sprouts and Kale, as well as a few other things, will survive at -20, consequently my post suggested those crops as possibilities. I found even -20 unnecessary to live with, so moved to Portugal where -6 last winter was the coldest most places had ever recorded. Old McDonald,


 o
RE: Winter feed for geese in cold climate

Hi Old McDonald! Minus twenty is not the lowest we get, of course, but anything lower is extreme for us. I can take the cold better than this heat... pant, pant. I am sure I would DIE in the Portuguese heat... even when my sister lived in France and I would visit her, I tried to make it either early spring or late fall.

I am looking into your suggestions. They sound as though they may well provide the answers. Once I have had a chance to do that, I will likely have a few more questions for you.

So little information is available about geese as they are usually treated as an afterthought to ducks... I intend to buy a book solely about raising and breeding geese, but it is no substitute for the information given by someone who really knows from ecperience. I have to say that SO FAR, both Brian and I really, really like the geese... and may want to breed them in some quantity if I can find the breeding stock I want.

My first choice is Pilgrims, but I am also looking at Pomeranians - maybe saddlebacks - and also the tufted Romans. I want a good-natured goose that I can free range as we have several acres of turf here... with numerous mature shade trees. Add a pond, and I think you have goose paradise!


 o
RE: Winter feed for geese in cold climate

Need some help, I'm raising some toulouse geese for first time in NY, had some in florida but as you know the climate is different. What should I feed them in he winter and how should I house them?


 o
RE: Winter feed for geese in cold climate

Howdy
I live in upstate NY -20 is common here in the winter especially in January and February. I feed my geese game bird pellets and cracked corn. Lettuce does not have enough nutrients in it so don't bother with that. I save bread crusts and cucumber peelings for snacks for the geese. They also pick at the goats hay as do my chickens. I have been known to shovel the snow off sections of grass for my geese to graze in the winter. I also give them free access to the barn on really bad days.Right now I have planted my geese their own cucumber bed. They just love cucumbers.


 o
RE: Winter feed for geese in cold climate

I have a mixed flock with geese, ducks, guinea fowl and chicken so they all get vegetarian laying pellets. They free range in about 1/4 to 1/2 acre which is fenced. In winter I usually give them some cracked corn late afternoon to give them all a little extra energy when it is cold, snowy and windy. Attached to one of the coops is a fenced area with a fenced top. That coop's occupants sometimes stay in that totally fenced area all night, preferring that to the coop. All the birds except the chickens like to stay out in the air most nights, but since it has a fenced top, predators can't get in. I may occasionally give them greens in winter, but don't make any special effort to do so.
I have a Pilgrim pair and an African Brown pair. Although the African Browns are noisy, neither breed is aggressive, and the Pilgrim are almost timid. Very nice geese. Ann


 o
RE: Winter feed for geese in cold climate

Thanks for the info. I have a custom built 12x16 shed coming,it has windows all the way around, so there will be as much light as possible and a goose door with ramp for winter so I don't have to open double doors. I plan on having heat lamps or heat for really cold days.I like the idea of the fenced in yard with roof, I may attach this to the shed. The shoveling of snow to expose grass is another thing I'm going to do. I plan on trying the cucumber on my geese. I have a brook in my barnyard and my shed is going to be placed within a stones throw of the brook but I will still have water in the shed. I feed them cracked corn, goose pellets and they graze the barnyard plus they nibble up whatever is in the brook including watercress. My 2 babies are just showing a hint of tail feathers, they are very tame, I'm their mom. They live in my kitchen at night and run the barnyard all day with me.I have been trying to think of names have any suggestion. thanks Mindy


 o
RE: Winter feed for geese in cold climate

Has anyone given thought to sprouting grain to provide winter greens for geese or other poultry?


 o
RE: Winter feed for geese in cold climate

I raiose swans they need corn for warmth I feed wild game and turkey maitenence.It has some corn but I also add cracked corn,and I chop lettace and throw on water that helps fill them up and get thier greens.


 o
RE: Winter feed for geese in cold climate

COULD ANYONE TELL ME WHY MY GEESE ARE EATING AN UNUSUALLY LARGE AMOUNT OF FOOD JUST LATELY,, IS THIS USUAL IN AUTUMN? ARE THEY PREPARING FOR WINTER? I FEED THEM MIXED CORN AND WHEAT LAYERS PELLETS, THEY ARE STILL GRAZING IN MY GARDEN, I HAVE A HUGE GARDEN BY THE WAY! I HAVE ALWAYS FED THEM HALF N HALF OF THE ABOVE, I HAVE HAD MY GEESE SINCE MAY 07, FROM BABIES, I FEED IN THE MORNING AND IN THE EARLLY EVENING,, PLEASE CAN YOU ANSWER MY QUESTIONS,, MANY THANKS SWEETIE67


 o
RE: Winter feed for geese in cold climate

We have two Roman Tufted. They do grow really fast. Feed them a mixture or grain and cracked corn (the cracked corn I will increase slightly for winter). I have a nesting corner in their barn with shavings and loose hay (they love leafy hay) they love to graze on it. I keep two bales of hay in their barn also. We named them first Heckle and Jeckle because we didn't know if they were male or female and this seemed to cover either. Then they didn't seem like Heckles or Jeckles so changed it to Bennie and June, the problem is not sure who Bennie is and who June is. Does it really matter. It isn't what you say its how you say it to them. The sound of the voice. So it's Benny and June or June and Benny. Pilgrims are next.


 o
RE: Winter feed for geese in cold climate

MY GEESES APPETITES SEEM TO HAVE SETTLED DOWN NOW, MUST BE A WINTER THING, BUT I HAVE A NEW PROBLEM, MY FEMALE GOOSE IS NOT SITTING ON HER EGGS, SHE STARTED LAYING ABOUT ONE MONTH AGO, AND SINCE THEN SHE HAS LAID AN EGG ROUGHLY EVERY TWO DAYS, THIS IS HER FIRST TIME LAYING AS SHE IS ONLY A YOUNG GOOSE, I HAVE BEEN LEAVING THE EGGS UNTIL THERE IS ABOUT THREE OR FOUR THERE BUT SHE JUST ISNT BOTHERING TO SIT, ONLY WHEN LAYING... IF THE EGGS GO COLD WILL THEY STILL BE OKAY FOR HER TO SIT ON? OR DOES SHE NEED TO SIT CONTINUALLY? DOES SHE NEED TO BE KEPT ON HER OWN? MY FIRST TIME ALSO AH AH.... SHE IS MATING WITH THE OTHER GEESE,,,I AM HOPING TO HAVE BABY GEESE..ANY INFO WILL BE APPRECIATED.. MANY THANKS SWEETIE.


 o
RE: Winter feed for geese in cold climate

Sweetie, your goose will not sit on her eggs until she feels ready. Neither will chickens. (This is called going broody.) It is really too early in the season for sitting on the eggs, even in the relatively mild climate (compared to here) of the United Kingdom. The eggs are dormant until she starts setting and will still be able to develop into goslings for 10 - 14 days after being laid. After that they are not viable.

The best thing to do is to take the eggs and store them in a cool place for her in case she goes broody suddenly. When you have a nice clutch ready for her, continue to add the new eggs but start using the older ones. They will still be good to eat, although goose eggs are very rich. Continue to use the oldest ones as you add new ones... That way you always have eggs ready for her when she is ready. When she has stayed on the nest for at least a full day and night, give her the eggs you have saved and she will try to hatch them for you.

Eggs laid later in the season will be more likely to develop into goslings than early eggs, especially if this is your geese's first season. Geese mature more slowly than chickens.

Please get a good book about geese and learn... and reading all you can find in this forum and other Internet sources is a good idea too. Geese are wonderful, but you will enjoy them more if you understand them. (And please, when you post on a forum, don't use all upper case letters. Capital letters are very hard to read and many people will not even bother.)


 o
RE: Winter feed for geese in cold climate

I have (3) 5-month old Emden geese and the cold winter here in southern Oregon will begin soon. I think I have their shelter figured out, I have hens also with their coop all ready. Will probably attach an insulated lean to against the coop with three sides protected. Will lay straw on pallets for the floor and use heat lights, same as inside the coop. but I have questions about feeding them when grass is not available. Hear a lot about grains but what type and are they fed raw or cooked. Same with apples, carrots, other veggies. One last thing, I think. Where would I be able to buy bales or bundled of Timothy hay, clover, bluegrass, orchard grass or brome grass? Any help will be appreciated.


 o
RE: Winter feed for geese in cold climate

Feed them unmediated chicken pellets or cracked corn. Make sure they have access to grit.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Farm Life Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here