Of the seven types of poultry listed, Dave Holder rates only ducks and geese as “excellent” for both their breedability and disease resistance in Story’s Guide to Raising Ducks. On the other hand, the chicken only got a “fair good” rating. He also notes that geese are excellent additions to the home for those looking for quality meat and feathers, lawn mowers, and “guarding” and monitoring aquatic plants. Geese, like ducks, can do well in cool, humid climates, too.
Tammy Morrow, owner of Bittersweet Branch Farm in Kidder, Missouri, currently raises six breeds of geese, including Chinese Brown, African, Sebastopol, Large Dewlap of Toulouse, Toulouse Common, and Buff.
Moreau laughs: “But I want more.” “I’m still in the market for a Pomeranian.”
She sells most of her eggs online to people who want to hatch her young. Occasionally, they collect a few eggs per week to place in their own incubators just to check for fertility. Any unfertilized eggs are blown up and sold in the Ukrainian tradition of the Pysanka drawing.
“It’s so exciting to hatch a bird. They are by far the cutest babies in the poultry world. When you look at those big webbed feet and see them all swollen up after they dry off, you’d never believe they came from that egg. They look huge!” “Gentle Giants” in the Bird Yards.
When it comes to raising goslings, Moreau finds goose eggs more difficult to hatch than eggs from other poultry.
“My best hatching percentages come when I let the goose sit first,” Morrow says. “I let her go brood and fill her nest with the eggs I want to hatch. I let her keep the eggs for about 3 weeks and then collect them and put them in an incubator or hatcher. When I take them in I give her new eggs and let her start over. I can get about 3 nests full before I have We’re done with summer. But nothing beats letting her sit on her eggs for the duration. I haven’t hatched a mother goose!”
Geese are excellent mothers. So good in fact, that they will adopt and harden the neighboring regiments. Whereas in the past she had wanted mother geese to raise their young from day one, Morrow found that all females wanted to have children.
“I’ve lost a lot of chicks by being trampled when all the mothers are trying to claim them,” Moreau recalls. “I have to separate some of them during the nesting season. Nobody seems to want to go to the trouble of building their own nest when another goose has already made a nest. By the end of the season, if I don’t separate them, I’ll have 3-4 geese sitting in the same box.” “You will end up with cracked and broken eggs. If you have the space and time, separate your breeding pairs and you can let the goose raise them themselves.”
If you are artificially breeding stringers, you will need a heat lamp. The cows incubator should be kept at 90 degrees at first. Like raising chicks, reduce the temperature by 5 or 10 degrees each week until it reaches 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
According to the Extension of the University of Missouri, sheep’s rapid growth and precocious plumage mean they don’t need to be in an incubator as long as their chicks are young. Any type of incubator that is sold for chicks is suitable for small items. However, due to its size, it reduced the rated chick capacity of the brooder by half for ducklings and by one-third for ducklings.
“We like to use pine chips in our can. We also turn up the watering. If you don’t, you’ll have to clean the pine chips out of it every few hours.”
Morrow simply adds a piece of 2×6 board underwater to raise it. The bartender should be deep enough for them to wash their nose.
The University of Missouri Extension recommends using chick crumbs or appetizers for the first week to 10 days. The pellet ration can be fed in addition to corn, wheat, milo, oats or other grains after this time
“Our local State Department sells bird starter. It’s non-curative. It has a higher protein content than chick starter,” Morrow says. “We actually feed it to all of our babies, not just the young ones.”
Provide access to food at all times. Offering insoluble grit is also appropriate. To prevent damage to the stem, use rough paper or cupped boards for the first few days. Avoid slippery surfaces, including food dishes.
The extension also stresses making sure that the feed you use contains only those additives that are approved for ducks and geese. There are certain medications that are sometimes included in chicken starting and growing mash to control coccidia, which are harmful to the cultivar. It may cause lameness or even death.”
Moreau noted that sometimes the strings needed someone to show them where the food and water were.
“Chicks are great for that. We also raise ducks here. If you don’t have to, I don’t recommend keeping ducklings with ducklings. It sounds like you should be able to because they are both waterfowl, but I have found that although geese love Water, except they don’t like to play in it. They like to bathe and they like to swim. Ducks like to make a mess, and birds like to be clean and dry. Ducklings are hyperactive and busy, and mares are calm and relaxed.”
In Missouri, Moro can move her young to a goose home after their fifth week.
“They have all their feathers by this age and the night temperature is about 70 degrees. I move them to an above ground cage with a wire bottom for 2 weeks. The cage is connected to the geese yard. The reaction of the adult geese is absolutely amazing. They are so excited. Although they haven’t seen the cohorts for 6 -7 weeks, except they are becoming very possessive Some baby geese were hatched at home never seen by adult geese before Some mares are not even of the same breed All the adults protect and guard the cage above ground, including the males They patrol the perimeter They warn anyone who approaches to stay away. Geese are “super dads” willing to take in any orphan. After two weeks, I release them from the cage straight into the geese yard, and I never have to take care of them again. They are immediately accepted into the flock.”