goose housing help

Posted by: ministerman

goose housing help - 03/03/13 01:59 PM

Hi, I am wondering about housing for geese. I live in Canada, so winter is real. I am thinking that the trio will be inside in the winter, ( with nice day turn out), So I am thinking an 8x8 pen with a gravel floor, and one area that is 3x3 covered with slatted floor over a foot deep pit for the water. Does that sound appropriate? Then add to nest boxes towards spring. I am thinking China’s or Africans and want them to set out thier own birds. Then a yard outside fenced,( to protect the geese and the kids) about 10x12. Does it sound like I am heading in the right direction?
Posted by: ministerman

Re: goose housing help - 03/06/13 11:32 AM

so no onew ever had a first day with thier geese?
Posted by: CJR

Re: goose housing help - 03/06/13 04:28 PM

Apparently, no one with GEESE has checked in just lately. My sister-in-law kept Geese (free range) for years. We are in Northern Montana, COLD, ice, snow, lake frozen most of the winter. Her geese lived out (shed, I guess they might have used it for shelter??, and nested out.) We are in farm country with cultivated fields and woods and keep thickets around for pheasants, wild Turkeys. However, last number of years, with farms cut up (NOT MINE-put a Conservaion Easement on 250 acres) and subdivisions all around, large wooded areas cut down--all sorts of varmints now crowd our farmsteads--. Can only say that Geese like more space than you are suggesting, but perhaps you have no choice? (Yes, the geese chased the kids if they got around them--and pooped at the back porch and walkways--but they coped!) They were fairly successful nesting out..... Always wanted Geese and Ducks, but never wanted that close friendship at my back--or front doors) Good luck, CJR
Posted by: South Hill Farm

Re: goose housing help - 03/17/13 07:57 AM

hi ministerman! i raise american buffs in vermont so i am your person! much advice out there that geese only need some dry straw to stay warm but i believe in coddling my birds. so, we made them a small, lockable shed and kept the bedding refreshed and dry all winter. you just keep adding new bedding to old and the old will start composting and your birds get the benefits of radiant heat!! they don't have to have access to swimming water in their housing just nice deep buckets of clean water so they can put their whole heads under. they will splash the water onto themselves for bathing. you need a heating device in the buckets to keep the water from freezing (duh!) i liked being able to close them in at night for their own safety. if free ranging like ours they will nest wherever they choose not always in a smart place and you may have mixed results with moving ill chosen nests. main thing i'm concerned about from your post is flooring. slats and gravel will be hard for them to walk on. soft shavings or hay are a better solution by my lights. they also need access to dirt and grit just like chickens for digestion. my birds would never use a 'nesting box' but since they don't fly, roost or perch a very small, low house can serve them well, retain some heat and function as a big old nest all at once. best advice is train 'em early to come to you for hand fed snacks this makes them easier to corral if you see threatening predators or want to close them up earlier in the day than they'd like because you won't be around at dusk. as far as bad weather they know no such thing and like to be out in everything! good luck!
Posted by: ministerman

Re: goose housing help - 03/17/13 10:03 AM

Thanks for the reply and help. There are a few things I didn't explain very well. The 8x8 pen would be thier inside pen. When I said Gravel floor, I really only meant a dirt floor. The 3x3 slatted area, was really intended to only be in one corner, with a little pit under it, so that the bedding didn't get as wet with the slashing in the bucket that is setting on top of the slats. I would cover the floor with straw, and they would only have to walk on the slats briefly to get a drink and a bit of entertainment. I am thinking that they may be living in this pen for the worst couple of months of the year, with turn out only on the best weekend afternoons when I am home. When it is not winter, they would run in an out.

Do you have any pictures of your set up?

Posted by: KS Waterfowl

Re: goose housing help - 03/19/13 01:45 PM

Let me begin by saying, as a rule, don't over think things for your geese. They WILL NOT be very thankful! That said, our geese winter and live most of the year in our waterfowl yards with our ducks. We raise Tufted Romans and Pilgrims and have not found them to have any difficulty with the cold or wet weather. We do provide dog-house type structures as well as a 1/2 round hut shelter them, but during many of the ice storms and snowy days we get here in the midwest, the birds are normally out "enjoying" the weather. I do run them inside the hut and lock them in on a few of the below zero nights of the year, making sure the hut is bedded down with straw, but they will flatten it by morning and be all the madder because they were confined. Our birds have a large fenced area as a general living area, with the houses inside it, but during the day they have access to our back yard and hay fields so they can go where ever the choose, all I have to do in the evening is clap my hands and they come running back to the smaller yard. We leave kiddie swimming pools outside of the pen and have a shallow pans inside for drinking when confined. I will take pictures for you and post them to our blog.