"Keeping Geese - The Best and Most Natural Grass Control Ever
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"Keeping Geese - The Best and Most Natural Grass Control Ever

These days lots of people keep geese in a large garden where there is enough good grazing for the birds. Geese are indeed very economical to keep because their diet consists mainly of grass and unlike other poultry, they are robust and don't fall ill that often when they are well cared for. As a bonus, geese don't catch horrible blood sucking parasites like red mites and all they really need is to be routinely wormed to remain strong and healthy.

Another attraction of keeping geese is they can be kept in a shed because they really don't need to live in expensive housing that boasts lots of perches and nesting boxes. The only thing they need is good ventilation, a nice sized shed and they are happy. Unlike ducks, geese will not ruin the grass either by turning it into a mud bath during wetter weather. As a bonus their dropping are not smelly because they consist mainly of grass which means they can be easily hosed away when needed.

Geese Keep Grass Nice and Short

The other advantage in keeping geese is they do all the hard work of keeping grass nice and short which means far less mowing which is a real bonus if you have a large patch of land or have an orchard. Geese do need to be given quite a bit of space to roam around in though and this means they need more than is typically available in an averaged sized garden. If the area is too small, it would be unfair to keep these large birds on it even if you supplement their feed with grain, pellets or other types of hard feed.

Geese Tend to Stay Close to Home

Geese never wander very far from their homes which is another advantage of keeping them over ducks and other poultry. However, the land you keep them on has to be rested which means not allowing your birds on to it for a period of time so the grass can recover. This is another reason why you need to have at least half an acre in you want to keep a few of them. Ideally, you would need two separate areas which you can rotate so your geese spend one month or so on one area before moving them on to the second one.

You can easily cordon off areas using electric fencing which not only helps keep your flock in but those pesky foxes out. However, electric fencing needs to be regularly tested to ensure it's still live"". When you notice the grass looking a little tired in one area, all you have to do is move the geese onto the fresher grass whilst the area they had been grazing gets a chance to grow and recover. Rotating your birds in this manner ensures the ground and the grass does not become ""poached"" which may well put your birds at risk of developing an unwanted worm load.

Geese Naturally Fertilise Your Land

When land is well maintained and your birds are frequently rotated to different areas, their droppings naturally fertilise the ground making is richer in many ways so not only are geese a very eco friendly way of keeping the grass short but as a bonus these lovely birds also fertilise your land in the most environmentally way possible which ensures the land remains lush and green. If it rains, all the better because all their droppings get washed into the ground enriching it no end and as previously mentioned when the weather is wet, geese will not spoil the ground by turning it into a mud bath which ducks so often do.

Things To Consider Before You Get any Geese

Although geese are the best ever when it comes to keeping land looking good there are some considerations that need to be taken into account with the first being you need enough space to keep these large birds on. Other considerations include the following:

  • The noise factor – ganders tend to be rather noisy and this is especially true when the breeding season arrives. One of the noisiest breeds is a Chinese Goose which is something you need to bear in mind
  • The commitment – geese live for a very long time and if well cared for this can be anything up to 20 years so they are definitely a long-term commitment
  • Geese and children – geese and children are not a good mix and kids should never be left alone when there are geese around. Children tend to be a little noisy and boisterous which geese would find offensive and therefore may well chase the kids off which can be very scary
  • You need good grass for geese to graze – the majority of a goose's diet is made up of grass and clovers. However, not all grass is the same and therefore the protein levels they contain differ. Grass needs to be sweet, fresh and kept short which means it boasts the most nutritional value. Before putting geese on any ground, it needs to be mowed or grazed by sheep or cattle first
  • You need to think about the safety of your birds – geese have a few predators which includes foxes so their enclosure needs to be as secure as possible. As previously mentioned, electric fencing is the best solution but this needs to be regularly checked to ensure it is still working
  • You need to think about water – domestic geese only spend a very short time on the water which is only around 10% of their time so you don't really need to have a pond on your land for them to be happy. A large tub filled with water is enough for your birds both to get in and to drink. However you must ensure the water is fresh and therefore regularly changed.

One thing to bear in mind is that geese like to mate when they are on the water so if you are thinking about breeding your geese you would ideally need a small pond and this is especially true of heavier breeds like the Toulouse or African Goose. For lighter geese this is however, not essential as long as they have water tubs in their environments.

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