Saturday, July 21, 2012

Raising Poultry: Embden Geese

All of my birds are fully feathered now, and I decided I would highlight one every once and a while to teach my readers a little bit about the birds that I own and my experience with raising them.

The Embden Geese are by far my favorite bird that we bought this year, so I chose to highlight them first! I had gotten a new camera for Mother's Day, so I was able to document their growth pretty regularly with photos. In order to keep this post from getting too long, I've selected just a few for your viewing pleasure!
5/1 - Embden Goslings the day we brought them home!

5/2 - I had them outside in a pen enjoying the grass and nice weather.

5/3 - Into the water they go!
5/18 - Growing like a weed.
5/22 - Geese are natural grazers and boy do mine LOVE their grass!
6/5 - Feathers covering about 50% of their body
7/12 - Fully feathered!

Since the day we brought them home, I have been feeding all of my waterfowl Purina Flock Raiser. The geese and ducks also have access to pasture grass. Here and there I try feeding different veggies, they all seemed to enjoy head lettuce that I let them sample from the garden. On days where they aren't allowed to graze on grass, they require more grain, but when I let them out to graze they eat considerable less grain at night. When the geese were small I would keep grain in front of them 24/7, however, as they got larger I changed to twice a day, and now their main diet is pasture with grain only at night. The main reason why I chose to feed grain at night, was to entice them to stay close to home and go back into their pen at night. This method worked really well and at times they are waiting at the pen before I even get out to feed!

I personally LOVE the sound of all my birds, but I thoroughly enjoy my honking geese! When young, the geese made a cheeping noise, but now they are full on honkers. They are very smart and know me by sight as well as by my voice. I think they even know what I sound like when I come out of the house because they will start honking even before I open the porch door. For the most part they are only vocal when they see me with food, someone approaches them, or a car pulls in the drive, otherwise they are quiet around the farm.

Most people think geese are mean tempered birds that will hiss and chase people. My Embden geese are complete opposite, unless you are a cat, they don't seem to like the barn cats too much. They are very curious and friendly birds, mine will nibble on my clothing while I fill their water buckets and I can stroke their necks and backs while they drink. They will also follow me around if I call and scatter back down to the barn if I scold them. I would have to say that the Embden geese by far have the most personality of the flock.

These geese love to jump in the water for a swim. I keep several containers of water around so that they have access to swimming water. They don't seem to want to stay in all day, they just like to jump in for a quick cool down and then back to grazing they go. They are also much less messy with their water than the ducks.

The Embden Geese seem to really hardy when it comes to hot weather as well. We have had temperatures 110*F+ and they seem to have no problems with it at all. They do pant and require more water, but are very good at finding shade and just lay around until temperature drop in the evenings. Since we just got them in May, I don't have any personal experience with them in cold conditions, but I imagine they will do just fine as well.

I hope you enjoyed my introduction to Embden Geese! These are great farm and family birds and I would encourage anyone interested in getting a goose, to choose an Embden!

Have a GREAT Day dear followers!


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