Around the Farmyard
Many modern farmers have the assumption that geese are aggressive, noisy, and
“not for their farm.” Plenty of us have
memories of a farm we visited as a child
where a feisty gander chased us or a protective mother goose left us with a black
and blue spot. But geese do not have to
be intimidating or hostile; in fact, they
can be some of the most attentive farm
animal friends you can ask for. Not only
that, they are one of the most useful and
versatile birds you can add to your farm.
USES FOR GEESE
Geese were once a staple of Americana,
and no rural farmhouse was complete
without a goose or two honking in
the driveway. That’s because geese can
provide a farmer with so many different
Weeding: Unlike chickens and ducks,
geese are vegetarian birds. Their diet
consists mostly of fresh grass and other
greens, with some crumble provided by
the farmer giving them some extra pro-
teins. Because of their leafy food needs,
they are always foraging for more greens.
It is easy for a farmer to turn this natural
instinct into something useful.
Twenty to forty geese can keep the grass
of an acre in check without the farmer
having to use pesticides or go to the
backbreaking work of hand weeding.
Geese should not be used for weeding
in a vegetable garden, since they cannot
differentiate between which leaves to
eat and which to leave. They are perfect
for larger crops, however, and especially
effective at weeding vineyards, around
bushes, and through berry patches.
An Introduction to