Two of our ganders, who are called Gilbert and Sullivan, are looking for a new home. They are brothers and inseparable so they must go together. Geese are quite easy to care for, they are very intelligent birds and as soon as they realise what you are wanting they will oblige. They don’t move quickly and they don’t fly at all, which is a pity. Whilst some geese can be a bit bolshie with strangers, they are also super sensitive birds, with a keen sense of danger and mistrust of anything they don’t know. They need grassland and grazing it forms a staple part of their diet. They also eat slugs, worms, bugs, fish, left over dog food and scraps and have a ration of corn twice a day. Our geese love their breakfast and supper dishes.A vast acreage of land isn’t essential, although given the opportunity they will wander to the other end of the field. They don’t like to be out of sight of home though. Geese need water and a pond or stream is perfect, they will wade and swim to their heart’s content. If you don’t have running water you have to provide a trough and the water must be changed frequently. Geese need to dip their beaks in water whenever they feel like it. They love to splash their feathers in water too.
At teatime they start thinking about supper and bed and wander back to the gate to be let in. They are easy to drive wherever you want them to go, just walk behind them. These two geese come to call and will follow me around, (thinking about titbits no doubt!). You can hand feed them but only with big lumps of bread or food, they are not fastidious eaters and will accidentally take your fingers too if you don’t watch out. Half a slice of bread and you’re fine. Anything smaller and you’ll get nipped.
The fox (and man) are their predators. You might think that a goose with its beak and strong wings would be able to see a fox off but that is not the case. Mr. Fox understands how to catch geese and when he has them by the neck or by their wing, it doesn’t take long for him to overpower them. There is an element of safety in numbers but it would not be safe to leave geese out overnight.
Geese have a strong beak which is lined with serrated edges, they don’t break the skin if they accidentally get you, but it can be quite a bruise. Geese can be quite companiable creatures to have around, these two ganders will come to sit with me and are fascinated by shoelaces, they’ll undo them time and time again.
Their nightime accommodation is a shed, which must be roomy, I don’t like cramping geese into a little hut. Their wingspans are large and they need space to move around and spread their wings, so the bigger the better. I put straw down for them, a feed in a dish (just as much as they’ll eat or you’ll have rats) and a bucket of water. They are settled till next morning, when I let them out they waddle off down the field straight away.
Geese have keen hearing and will make a great racket at even the slightest noise so you will always know when there is someone around. They are excellent guards and will approach a stranger with wings outspread and at full hiss! Who would tackle an angry gander?
Please get in touch with us if you can offer Gilbert and Sullivan a good home.