Geese are more like grazing animals than any other type of poultry. Their beak and tongue are well-equipped for grazing. They will feed and graze frequently on grass, even at night, as they digest their food quickly. Because of this they can be messy if confined to a small area.
Geese are hardy animals, rarely getting any diseases. The most common problem to come across with geese is leg injuries.
All geese love water and it is preferable to have a dam or pond for them to swim in. If you don't have these, kiddie pool's are also suitable however it isn't the same for your goose.
Not only do geese make great mini lawnmowers, they are also excellent snake deterrents. Geese have a natural instinct to kill snakes and will "whip" them if they find them to break their spines.
In our experience we have definitely found our snake numbers to be virtually non-existent when we have geese. Nowadays we keep geese with some of our livestock to prevent snake bites. We did try once not having any house geese and within months we had snakes again. As soon as we had geese back in the house yard we didn't see a snake again nor were we finding snake skins laying about.
Geese can become quite attached to you, especially if hand raised. They also make excellent watch dogs, letting you know when someone or something is around. Geese have a bad reputation for attacking people however we have had many different breeds of geese and have had little problem. Obviously there is always an exception though!
All geese are seasonal layers with egg laying commencing in Spring each year. Geese will usually begin laying in August or September with incubation lasting 28 to 34 days and will hatch out one batch of eggs each breeding season. As geese are only seasonal layers, goslings are only available during Spring of each year and goslings of any breed generally sell out fast!
Geese typically form a breeding pair and will mate for life unless they are separated where they can't see or hear each other. They can also pair up with other animals or even a person and won't breed unless you get rid of the person or animal or the goose moves to another home away from the attachment where they can't see or hear them!
Some males will breed with another female when his first mate is sitting on eggs essentially having a "mistress" while his first mate is busy then ditching the mistress when his first mate is finished sitting.
Geese have many benefits and make wonderful pets when purchased as goslings!
Dewlapped Toulouse Geese originated in France and are the largest breed of
geese. Males (gander) can weigh up to 12kg whilst females
(goose) can weigh up to 9kg. They are known for their large
size and their dewlaps , which is the loose skin that hangs beneath
their beaks. The dewlap generally doesn't start developing
until after 12 months of age. Dewlapped Toulouse aren't fully
grown until 3 - 4 years of age.
Dewlapped Toulouse geese are usually grey in colour with buff being more uncommon. They are the gentle giants of the geese world and are normally placid and quite compared to other breeds of geese.
Don't mistake Dewlapped Toulouse Geese for the common Toulouse Geese which are more often referred to as farmyard geese. Common Toulouse Geese (Farmyard Geese), are similar in colouring to the grey Dewlapped Toulouse HOWEVER they are no where near as big and do not have dewlaps.
Dewlapped Toulouse can lay up to 35 eggs during breeding season and will usually go broody after laying a clutch of 10 - 15 eggs. They can be difficult to breed but do make excellent mother's. They can be clumsy with their eggs due to their massive size.
Dewlapped Toulouse are slow growing geese and tend not to venture too far due to their size and weight. They are best kept in areas which are relatively flat and it is also wise to ensure they are not scared or chased as they can be prone to leg injuries.
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