Growing up we had these wonderful neighbors that had all kinds of fowl, Joe and Annabell Creel, in Kirkwood, MO. They not only had geese, ducks, chickens, pigeons, pheasants, peafowl, and more, they showed them. Joe was a show judge for pigeons and had some of the best fowl and birds in the nation. They had many breeds of each of the fowl. They used to take a friend and I with them all over to bird events and we loved it! They were not just neighbors to us, she and I called them Mommy and Daddy Creel. Many years have past and the acres they once owned is now a subdivision with many expensive homes on it.....shame. Time changes about everything, ey? But not my love of animals or the values the Creel's instilled for fowl.
When I was a kid I had Bantum/Banty Chickens and Ducks. I even trained one of the Buff colored Bantum hens to do tricks. Deron and I have or have had chickens, peacocks, pheasants, ducks, and now all types of breeds of Geese. We bought most at the Farm Store. We had talked about owning geese for a few years before we bought them.
Not only are geese fun to watch, they made great watch dogs, or guard animals. One goose egg equal 3 chicken eggs when cooking. Not only did I take duck and geese eggs from Creel's birds to school to have them scrambled for my class to taste, years later we took duck and geese eggs from the Creels for my own sons school too. The duck and goose eggs are very rich and when scrambled Delicious!
Yes, these babies, goslings and chicks, are quite cute! I am seriously thinking about keeping one in the house as a house goose in diapers. I train animals to do all kinds of things.
I sell animal clothing and outfits, my biggest seller are pet rat clothes, so I am also thinking about making and selling goose clothing. I have been asked, as a harness maker, if I could make chicken and or goose harnesses for little carts......at first I thought it was a joke. But many folks have asked. I am not the type to just take the measurements and send off the item. I like to do the research first. Train my own animal and figure out proper training as well as safety measures before I would ever sell something that would fit wrong, work wrong or put something in the wrong hands that might harm an animal. Soooooooooooo, I might be working with one of these geese to pull a little cart or wagon......we will see.
These are diaper holder harnesses I made for our little goslings. It worked well, the gosling could not only walk and run in it, when it poooooped the 1/2 panty liner caught it all. Sure makes having a gosling on your lap more comfortable without the worry of a mess. One thing for sure, if you are going to have a Goose for a House Pet, you are going to need a diaper holder, that work well, and some sort of absorbent diapers.
WHAT GOOD ARE GEESE AROUND THE FARM?
What can a goose do for you around your farm? Well? What do you need it to do? Keep the fish under control in your pond? Act as watchdogs when strangers come to visit? Weed your garden for you? Lay golden eggs? (ok, that might be a fairy tale) But would you like to sell your fertilized eggs on line? Or blow your eggs out and make crafts to sell with them? Want to make crafts or pillows with the feathers? Need snakes to move off your property? Do the neighbors children need to be told to leave? Or do you just need a good pet?
Are The Eggs Good To Eat?
Yes. You may not want to fry them sunny side up, but to scramble them, yummmmm. As I have said on this site before; I was the kid that brought our neighbors goose and duck eggs, as well as chicken eggs to school for the teacher to scramble up and the kids to try. When my own children were young their father and I also took goose and duck eggs, as well as farm fresh chicken eggs with our electric skillet to the school and cooked the kids up some scrambled eggs. It was quite fun for the kids to see the different size eggs in person as well as to get to taste them.
If you pierce both ends of the egg, you can blow the egg out of the shell and decorate the egg. Some beautiful art on goose eggs has been and will be done.
Many farms have geese because they make great watchdogs. Many times it is the geese that alert the dogs of something going on. Many times people/strangers are more afraid of geese then of the farm dog. Plus the fact that it is usually a flock of geese rather then just one greeting the folks at their vehicles. Most farms have expensive tractors and such as well as prize animals that need to be guarded.
Tufted Roman Geese are said to have saved the Roman Empire. One night they were attached slow and quietly. Even the dogs slept as the enemy came in. However, the geese woke up and alarmed the dogs and people and the attach was foiled.
HOUSE GEESE AS PETS
It sounds like a fun thing to do, have a goose in a diaper in your home (or chicken or duck or turkey) and it is becoming more and more popular. But when you bring a goose or chicken or duck into the home there is a lot that one
should ask themselves. Like a parrot, geese live long lives. It is quite a commitment to the bird. It is not fair to the animal to live it's first year or first few months in your home with you making a fuss over it and they stick it outdoors with other animals that might not like for it. You should ask yourself if you are ready for the mess, the smell, the diapers (they are not cheap even when cut in half) as well as sharing your bathtub with a big bird that will shake the water everywhere. Do you have a place for the mess when they eat? Do other members of your household think a big goose, a roosting and flying chicken or a swimming duck is a good idea? Are you ready to train a goose that it is not allowed to pull stuff off your desk and table and.....? It is just like getting a cat or a dog or a hamster, be prepared and set up for the animal and remember you are making a commitment.
However! And you knew this part was coming....geese can and do make fun and smart house pets if you take the time to care for them and train them. A goose can and will come to their names, they will follow you and can learn to walk on a leash, they can also be taught simple tasks and tricks (see our trick page) as well as sleep with the person in bed (don't do this without a correct fitting diaper on your goose (yeeeek!). You can also teach your goose to ride in your car or in a cart. Some folks have even taught their geese to pull carts and wagons (no loads, just for fun).
Diapers and Diaper Holders For Your Goose
If you are going to have a house goose, you need at least, at least, one diaper holder harness. It is a good idea to start your goose right away in a diaper holder harness so that they are very used to it as they grow. It will keep your house and lap clean as well as your furniture. You will of course not keep your goose in a Diaper Holder 24/7, but when it is out and about in your home or visiting, it will need to be sanitary.
Diaper Holder Harnesses can and probably are, made in many different ways all with one thing in common. They fit so that they are snug on the bird and will hold a diaper or liner of some sort.
PLEASE VISIT OUR ABOUT BIRD DIAPERS page if you are interested in keeping a bird in your home that will need to wear a diaper.
Goose Diapers that are GREEN
I used cloth diapers for my three human sons. Not only are throw away diapers expensive, they ruin the environment! I could get on my "High Horse" right now and tell you how discussed I get with the TV commercials of actors and actresses telling us all to use better light bulb and to turn off the water while we brush our teeth....and that is important but five will get you ten each and everyone of them are using disposable diapers on their babies and disposable sanitary pads for all the females of that age in their homes. If everyone in the world would stop using these types disposable items, we would not only have less trash piles up....but think about what is wrapped up in that plastic then thrown out!
So, since I do not use those products for people I sure wasn't going to for my goose for life. I did use 1/2 pantie liner in the baby gosling diapers....still working on that one. I have designed pulling and driving harnesses for dogs and goats, I have designed clothing for pet rats, hamsters, gerbils and even mice....so I started trying to figure out how to make a diaper holder harness that I could design a cloth diaper that would stay in place and also hold a piece of newspaper folded so that I could easily lift out the poop and use the cloth diaper, before washing it, as long as possible. I use them for my own HouseBirds and they have been/are working well.
The pink curling on with the webbing is caused by the elastic sewn in for sizing. She is growing so quickly this will allow the diaper holder to fit a bit longer.
These are two designs that I came up with that are working for us. You can see more in our On Line Store. These diaper holders will grow with Eden, our pet house goose pictured here, for a while. It has elastic at the shoulder and seems to work well. We got a kick out of her when we first put it on her...she was unbalanced. She has been wearing a very light weight polar fleece diaper holder and this new idea has several layers of fabric with two layers, on sewn into the diaper holder, the other in the diaper of waterproof fabric. The cloth diaper has two layers of cotton print of over polar fleece and is wrapped/sewn into the waterproof fabric. Eden only took a few moments to gain her barrings and run around and do all the normal things she does!
I am, after product testing here and in TN (a good friend with a house goose) offering the same type of Diaper Holders/Harnesses for sale in our on line store as we use for our own HouseBirds. This is my own design I like to use the fun fabrics and lace, they look so cute in the fancier stuff.
These photos are pretty self explanatory. The "cloth diaper" is lined with folded newspaper, then slipped in to the diaper holder and held in place with velco front and back.
If your goose is a housegoose and it does not go outside to swim in a pool or a pond, then your goose needs a bath at least four times a week. Fill up your bathtub about 8 inches, just so that the goose can actually dangle it's feet and swim a bit. Keep the water tepid, not hot, not cold, just room temperature. Let the goose splash around and play for a while and yes, you will have to clean the tub, the floor, the walls, but aaaawwww, look, your goose is having sooooo much fun and getting clean.
After the goose comes out of the tub, you might want to let the goose stay in the tub as the tub drains, let the goose alone to clean and preen. The goose, after the bath, will shake off and preen. If you leave the goose in the tub as the water drains, it will keep some, most, of the shaking mess in the tub area. Some people leave their geese in the tub til the geese are dried off naturally.
After you geese is clean and dry, you can diaper it.
In nicer weather your goose will love a small pool or pond outdoors where it can go out and play in the water in the sun.
Setting Up Your Goose's Eating Area
This photo was taken after Eden, our own housegoose, had finished eating. I could have taken the photo before the goose came to make the mess...but I think you need to know the truth of what a housegoose will be like to own.
Your goose will need a spot to eat and where food and water is always available. And yes, geese are a mess when they eat and drink. There are many things a person can do to make the mess easier to contain and to clean up. If you kitchen is carpeted you might want to feed your house goose in a bathroom or mud room or even the laundry room. Use an area where the walls can easily be wiped down or cover your walls with plastic of some sort. You can and some people do, cut a plastic storage tub so that the goose can reach into it and keep some of the mess contained. We like the cardboard boxes we pick up in town from places that are throwing them out. We use them for Eden and then use them in the awful mud here in NW SD where the mud is really dinosaur poop. The boxes break down in the soil and give the soil a bit of "body". You can also use the cardboard in your garden area.
House geese need heavy flat bottomed food and water containers. A heavy crock is a good idea. Because gees need to dunk their nostrils in the water and many like their heads in, use a crock deep enough for the goose to get down in. A large or giant dog breed crock bowl would work well.
Keep the area clean....yes, it will be a job you will be doing often.
Geese do not sleep as much as a dog or a cat and they will need to be entertained, or....they might get into things that they should not. Geese love toys made with rubber bands. I loop several together then add a piece of polar fleece folded in half and tied to the last rubber band in the row I have hooked together. You can then loop these to a chair, or table or other area for the goose to play with for hours.
I bought a cute little child's rubbery toy called a "Light Up Googly Worm". It is about 10" long with a ball that lights up when the toy is moved and changes colors as it rolls on the inside. It has stretchy "prickles" all over it and the whole thing stretches out. It has a little loop on the top I put a ribbon through and tied to the table my husband's computer is on. We work at home so my husband is usually at his desk. Eden LOVES this new toy and I paid $3 for it.
Our housegoose Eden not only loves to play with the squeaky dog toys, although she does not squeak them, but also our long haired dog's hair. Deron always talks to the two of them about how Raya the dog is getting her hair done by the best little goose hairdresser around.
You can use your imagination and find items in the human baby section as well as make fun things for your goose to play with. Just make sure, of course, they do not have sharp sides or loose parts, and that it would be a fun thing for a goose.
Bird Dust and Molted Feathers
Have you ever owned a Parakeet or other caged bird before? Then you know what Bird Dust is. If not, it is bird dander. With a bigger bird such as a goose, you will have bird dust. When your bird molts you will also have feathers falling everywhere. All this is normal, some people will find it untidy.
Keeping a goose in the house dose not require too much education, but you do want to make it safe for both you and the goose. You also want to make sure they are cared for correctly, kept clean, fed correctly, and that they too are having a bit of fun.
Geese live long lives when cared for correctly so you are making a commitment when you buy those darling little goslings. Like any bird, they do have a smell and they can not help the fact that when they poop, it is a large mess and stinks. Geese are not clean eaters either....well? Birds usually are not. Then you will also have to deal with molting, when their feathers fall out, sort of like a dog shedding. When you own any bird, any type at all, you learn about "bird dander". It is just what it sounds like, dander, or dry skin that comes off when they shake.
Geese can make good, loving and faithful pets if treated a cared for properly. They will also make a good guardian animal too. Some people, that are not afraid of dogs are afraid of geese.
Please. If you decide to buy and own an indoor goose or outdoor geese, please do read up and do your research on them. Geese, like any animal, deserves the best care you can provide. Their needs are usually minimal, but should be met. There are a few medications you should always have on hand for your geese. Correct Goose Feeds are easy to find on the market. Please buy a few care books and or do some Internet reading before acquiring your house goose or outdoor geese.
Geese Visiting Schools, Libraries and Old Folks Homes and or Hospitals
That's right, Therapy Geese. If your goose is tame and wears a diaper, especially if it is friendly, people would love to see them come and visit. If you are wondering how to get started taking your goose to these places, call or email them. Tell them you have a house goose that is friendly that wears a diaper and you would like to share the goose with others with visits. You can also stop by and talk to these places and if you want, take your clean, fresh diapered goose with you.
When visiting schools you may want to give a talk about geese and their care. Talk about what it takes to own a housegoose. Take an extra clean diaper holder with you as well as a clean feeding crock so that they can see what you are telling them in your talk. Be sure to kids in the schools that taking care of a goose is like having a baby that needs much care...not quite as easy as the popular TV show (now off the air) makes it look.
If you goose can do a trick or a task or come to it's name, show them. Everyone loves this sort of thing.
We Took Eden For A Little Trip
We took Eden to town with us and snapped a few photos at the Belle Fourche Chambers of Commerce and Center of the Nation. It is also the towns water station and we happen to need the water. In just a short time, a few days really, look how much Eden has grown, you can really see it in how the diaper holder I made for her/oh please God let it be a her, fits.
We now have a HouseGoose named Dinah Soar. You can see the photos of her and places she goes on our website www.MyPetGoose.com
Please also visit our website all about HouseGeese called HouseGoose.com
There are several breeds and cross breeds of geese. A person should read up on the breed they are attracted to and make sure it will fit your life style. Some geese are better for meat, some are more broody (motherly) and some need special types of weather. Just like dogs, each breed of geese are different then another. Some folks buy their geese for looks, others for their temperament, and some for the benefits they produce. If you only want a few geese you will have to buy what the Feed Store has in for the Spring, or order from them that breed you are hoping to get.
American Buff Geese were developed in North America. They are descendants of the wild Gray Lag goose, which is native to Europe and Northern Asia. They are a member of the Standards Medium Weight Class and have the same shape as typical European style geese. The surface plumage of the adults is an attractive fawn-apricot with a creamy white edging on each feather of the back, flanks and tail. The flighty and secondary feathers of the wings are brownish-buff. Standard weights at maturity are males-18 lbs. and females-14 lbs.
~~Brown African Geese are large, have a knob on the head and the same unique gray color pattern of the Brown Chinese. For many years, because of the similarity of color patterns, Brown Africans and Brown Chinese have been sold as the same breed. Toulouse goslings have a "U" at the top of the bill while Africans and Chinese have an arch. Standard weights at maturity are males-16 lbs. and females-14 lbs.
Brown Chinese Geese are an elegant, attractive, ornamental, gray variety that has become very popular for the farm goose flock. They are highly efficient foragers and maintain normal growth on a minimum amount of commercial feed. Many times they have been confused with African Geese, which are larger, and have a body carriage that is not as upright. The Toulouse paragraph has information for separating Toulouse goslings from African and Chinese goslings. Standard weights at maturity are males-10 lbs. and females-8 lbs.
Canada Geese are often kept for their stately and serene beauty. They are comfortable on land and on the water eating grass and pond weeds. The Maxima Strain of Canada geese weigh 9-13 pounds. Many people have said that their Canada geese are the best pets they have had - very calm, curious and friendly.
They are strong fliers and may look for greener pastures or join migrating geese unless you prevent their flight. This can be done by clipping the flight feathers in one wing annually or putting a "lid" on your flight cage.
Canada geese will pair up by year two and will start producing eggs in their third or fourth year. They are very defensive of their nest and people and pets need to be kept away during this time. They do make excellent parents and should raise a brood every year.
A keeper may need to get a permit from the US Fish and Game in their area. You can go to our Fish and Game Office page to find your nearest office. Otherwise you can be fined for having them.
~~Embden Geese, because of their fast growth rate, large size and white feathers, Embden are the most common goose used for commercial meat production. Their feet and beak are orange but their eyes are a distinct blue. Due to their large size and breeding, they are a strong breed. At hatching time you can be quite accurate in sexing the day old goslings by looking at their coloration as the gray down in the males is lighter than in the females. As adults, however, both sexes are pure white and the only way you can determine the sex is the males are normally larger, more pompous and proud in their carriage and shriller in their voices (as with other goose breeds).
Originally bred in Germany to be tall, rangy, large geese, the Embden was refined a bit more in England to be a more compact shaped goose. Either way, Embden are the largest geese, along with the Large Dewlap Toulouse. In our experience they also produce the largest eggs for those interested in decorating eggs. The first Embden geese were imported in America in 1820 and initially called "Bremens". Their owner, James Sisso, reported these geese "lay in February and set and hatch with more certainty than the common barnyard goose, will weigh nearly, and in some case, quite twice the weight, have double the quantity of feathers, never fly, and are all of a beautiful snowy whiteness."
The Embden geese are very common-and for good reason. They are large, hardy,lay good quantities of eggs.
Gray Saddleback Pomeranian originated in Germany. They are descendants of Geesethe Eastern branch of the Wild Gray Lag goose family. The plumage is predominantly white with the head, upper neck, shoulders, back and flanks being brownish-gray. Each colored feather of the back and flanks is edged with near-white. An adult gander may be expected to weigh about 15 pounds while a female goose will weigh about 13 pounds.
Pilgrim Geese were developed in the state of Iowa in the early 20th Century by Oscar Grow, a respected waterfowl breeder and writer. He was the first to standardize these auto-sexing geese by breeding them along set specifications. They are a member of the Standards Medium Weight Class and are the only breed of domestic geese that can be separated by gender, both as goslings and mature birds. The males are primarily white with traces of gray in the body, wings and tail while the females have a gray plumage pattern similar to Toulouse, except they are one or two shades lighter. Standard weights at maturity are males-14 lbs. and females-13 lbs.
~~Toulouse Geese, sometimes called "Big Gray Geese", are very popular. This breed of goose was developed in Haute Garonne, France where the city of Toulouse is the region's center. They were first exported to England in the 1840s and America in the early 1850s.
The advantage of the darker feathers is the adult birds appear neater and cleaner than a white goose if it is muddy or late in the season. Specially bred strains of Toulouse are still used in France for the production of goose foie gras, the force fed liver that is revered by chefs world wide for its smooth texture and taste.
Many people first think of Toulouse when geese are mentioned. They are fairly common, lay a good number of fertile eggs and are a sturdy, durable breed. Standard weights at maturity are males-20 lbs. and females-16 lbs.
The Large Dewlap Toulouse was developed from the common Toulouse goose in the 1850's in England for exhibition/show purposes. Its unique characteristics are the large dewlap of skin hanging below their beak, a deep keel hanging from their breast and two lobes in their full paunch. These breed/strain will grow for three years.
They are a very calm breed and it is said males do not fight. Though fertility can sometimes be a problem with this breed. If you do show your Large Dewlap Toulouse you will want to get them as heavy as possible. But for the breeding season you want to keep them trim with very little extra fat on them.
French Toulouse are not an exhibition Toulouse, they are a utility goose that are very hardy and are grown commercially in France. They are fast growers and make a nice table goose in the fall. Some are hatched with tufts and are then called Tufted Toulouse.
~~~Tufted Roman Geese have small body size and unusual head adornment. The totally pure white plumage is hard, tight and glossy. They have pinkish to reddish-orange bills that have white beans and blue eyes that are prominent and alert. Their orange to pinkish-orange, fine boned shanks are moderately short. They make excellent pets, as they are quiet, gentle and the smallest of all domesticated geese that are derivatives of the Gray lag. Standard weights at maturity are ganders-10 to 12 lbs. and females-9 to 10 lbs.
This breed of geese was credited for saving the Capitol at Rome during the siege by the Gauls in the fourth century BC. During the night, the assailants climbed to the summit, hoping to take it by surprise. The dogs slept but not the geese. The honking of the geese awakened Marcus Manlius and the intruders were repelled.
Sebastopol are probably our most unique appearing goose. You would think that a bird such as this would have been bred fairly recently but actually they have been around for hundreds of years. Their origin is thought to be from the countries surrounding the Black Sea, Hungary and the Balkans. It was known early on in England as Danubian and the Spanish and Italians referred to the breed as Danubio due to importations from the lower Danube river area. How they got the name Sebastopol is a mystery other than some of the first birds may have been imported from the port of Sebastopol.
The correct colored Sebastopol is pure white. Young birds may start with a few gray feathers but gradually lose them until they are pure white at about 20 weeks after their final set of feathers. Sebastopol can stay lovely year round if you provide a mud free environment with at least a bucket of water for washing. As their feathers do not lay flat, their feathers do not insulate them as well as other breeds. Wind easily fluffs their feathers and any heat held by the feather is quickly lost. So in very cold weather they will spend more time inside than other breeds.
Fertility seems to be a problem with most Sebastopols, along with lower than normal egg production. Fertility is adequate early in the season (and they do seem to come into production earlier than most breeds) but quickly drops off.
Tufted Buff Goose was developed by the late Ruth Book of Book Farms in Granby, Missouri. She crossed the Roman Tufted with the Buff and continued rebreeding the progeny until she had a buff colored goose intermediate in size and had a distinct tuft of feathers on its head.
There is a picture of a Tufted Buff in Storey Publishing's new book "Pocketful of Poultry" which has pictures of over 100 breeds of poultry.
They are a hardy breed with good egg production and fertility. The advantage of crossing two distinct breeds to create a new one is that you are producing birds with true hybrid vigor because of their diverse genetic background. They are also a pleasant breed with a charming personality.
~~~White Chinese Goose originates in China from the wild Asiatic Swan goose. The most distinguishing feature of the Chinese and African geese is their raised knob. The knob is soft skin and not scaly, it is warm to the touch.
White Chinese are the most prolific egg laying geese and it is not unusual to have them lay in the fall or winter.
The earliest record of Chinese geese in American is in the correspondence of George Washington. It discloses that in 1788 he received from Governor Morris two Chinese pigs and with them "a pair of white Chinese geese, which are really the foolishest geese I ever beheld; for they choose all times for setting but in the Spring and one of them is even now (November) actually engaged in that business." In 1850 Mr. Nolan wrote "It is a beautiful variety , next in size to the African and approaches nearest to the swan of any other goose. It is snow white, knobbed on the beak with orange legs, and truly ornamental on a sheet of water." The Brown Chinese goose is smaller than the white with identical coloring to the African goose.
Chinese geese, like Africans, are a more talkative breed of geese. Due to this characteristic, they are the best breed if you want to be alerted to intruders or other strange occurrences.
Chinese geese, due to their smaller size and agility, may be the best for weeding purposes, they love to eat grass. They have been used commercially to rid cotton orchards, mint and other crops of grasses. If you want them to eat broad leaf weeds, you will need to train them by supplying them cuttings of the targeted weed starting at one week of age until you let them out. Otherwise they will eat the grass and leave the broad leaf plants unless they become very hungry.
~~Indicates breeds we own ourselves.
(more to come)
IDENTIFYING BREEDS OF GOSLINGS
One night I put Johannasbird, the African, in with my three Toulouse goslings. Then I looked at them and thought "OH NO!. I was afraid I would not be able to tell them apart. But looking at them closely you can sure tell them apart.
The African has a larger eye, a different neck, and a different body style then the Toulouse does. Also a different head shape and the beak sits just a little bit different on the head. In this photo the Africa is on the left and the Toulouse on the right. Know your gosling breeds and how they look before you mix your breeds when they are little guys.
GEESE ITEMS FOR SALE IN OUR ON LINE STORE
We do sell a few items for Geese, Chicken and or Ducks. We are offering a few collectibles, Goose Diaper Holders, cute Hats, and will be adding much more as the designs come to me. We will have duck and chicken diaper holders as soon as we product or produck test them here first.
We have Goose Diaper Holders in several sizes and many fun prints. Please visit our online store.
Once a person falls in love with geese, items start coming into your home that are shaped like them. You take more notice of wild geese flying and nesting. Geese toys and or other goose items catch and hold your eye.
PLEASE VISIT OUR OTHER GOOSE SITES FOR MORE INFORMATION