Jessica is a lover of all things living. She believes in taking the time to be good to all creatures, even bugs.
Geese are adorable, large, quirky birds that can be a great addition to your flock. However, they are large and can be temperamental so there are pros and cons to owning them! Keep reading to find out four reasons why geese make great pets, and four reasons why owning them may not be for you.
1. They Can Act as Guard Animals
Geese can actually help to keep your property safe. They are naturally territorial and very loud; plus, many people are afraid of geese. They also have much sharper hearing and eyesight than humans, and they are not easily bribed into being quiet.
If you are looking for extra security, geese can actually be quite formidable guard creatures. They know what their home is, they like their homes, and they are not keen on predators or intruders! If anything out of the ordinary happens, at the very least they will alert you with a honk.
2. They Lay Huge Eggs
Geese lay eggs, and they are huge. Their eggs taste very similar to duck eggs, which are richer than chicken eggs. They can be used for cooking and baking the same way duck and chicken eggs are, you will just have to adjust for their large size. One goose egg is about the size of three chicken eggs or two duck eggs.
Goose eggs are seasonal. They require 10 hours of daylight to produce an egg, so they only lay in the spring and summer. They usually only lay about 30-50 eggs a year, so the eggs are definitely a treat!
3. Geese Are Hardy, and They Live for a Long Time
Geese do not have many health issues, and they can live for a long time. It seems that the average lifespan for a goose is about 10-20 years, but there are tons of reports of geese living longer than that. According to Guinness World Records, the longest lifespan recorded for a goose was 49 years.
"On 16 December 1976 a gander named George, owned by Florence Hull of Thornton, Lancs, UK, died aged 49 years 8 months. George was hatched in April 1927."
Geese are very hardy, and they adapt well to cold climates. All they need is a shelter at night to keep them warm and safe, there is no need for ay supplemental heating. They are less susceptible to disease and parasites than ducks and chickens, and they are well suited for cold and wet weather.
4. They Can Be Affectionate, Loyal Pets
Some geese bond very strongly with their humans. If your geese have bonded with humans they are known to follow their people around, and they even give hugs with their necks. They are silly and nosy by nature, so they will want to be a part of what is going on.
This is especially true if you hatch them yourself and then raise them. Goslings can even imprint on humans if a person is the first thing they see after they hatch. This creates an extremely strong bond because they will assume you are their mother. The goose will be able to tell the person they are bonded to apart from other humans, and they will want to be with their person all the time!
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All of these wonderful traits may make you want to run out and buy a goose, but as with any pet, there are pros and cons. Here are some of the reasons that geese may not be the pet for you.
1. They Are Messy
If you have ever had a pet duck, you know how messy backyard poultry can be. Geese make similar messes to ducks, but they are much larger! They love to splash in the water, so it is best for them to have somewhere to splash away from the main run area. If this isn't an option, their living area might be a muddy mess!
Geese can live on grass, grit, and water, so they will definitely eat the plants in your yard. This is great if you want them to take care of weeds, but not so great if you are trying to grow a garden. They will eat all the plants they can get their beaks on.
2. Some Can Be Aggressive
It's no secret that sometimes geese can be mean. They can be aggressive and territorial, and sometimes they can hurt people. Ganders especially can be aggressive during mating season. A goose attacking a person is much more serious than a rooster or drake, and you have to be prepared to stand your ground. This article has excellent advice on how to deal with an aggressive goose.
Not all of them are mean, but they are not a great choice for beginners!
3. They Are Large
They are larger than most backyard poultry, and this comes with several challenges, You are going to need a bigger place to keep them, more room for them to roam, they are harder to handle, and they are going to eat a lot more food.
Some geese can weigh up to 14 pounds, and they can have a wingspan of up to 4-6 ft. It is recommended to have 6-8 feet of room per bird and having water for them to play in will definitely make them happier. These are big birds so it is important to feel comfortable handling and taking care of them.
4. They Are Loud!
Geese are very loud. This is part of what makes them such great guard animals, but depending on where you live, this may not be a good thing. If you have neighbors that live very close by they might not appreciate your goose's loud honking in the morning (or throughout the day when they are alerting you about everything.)
If you live out in the country and don't mind loud noise, this is not a big deal! It is just something to take into consideration.
- A Dozen Fascinating Facts about Goose Eggs
- Oldest Goose in Captivity Ever
- Imprinting in Goslings and Ducklings
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2021 Jess H