A Farm Girl’s Guide To Feeding Geese A Balanced Diet
by contributing author Ann Accetta- Scott, A Farm Girl In The Making
Wondering what to feed geese? Learn about selecting the best goose feed option and the appropriate protein level required. Also, feeding geese treats is not necessary, however, healthy treats are beneficial to their diet. Discovering what geese eat will keep your flock healthy for years to come.
Much like feeding chickens, it is important to feed geese a balanced diet. Their overall health and egg production depend on what they are being fed and how much.
In addition to selecting the appropriate feed, there are necessities that must be offered. Grit and calcium must be available at all times and offered as a free choice option.
Whole Grain Feed
The most natural, and healthiest, option to provide your flock is a whole grain feed. This type of feed consists of grains and other beneficial ingredients such as wheat, barley, and peas. In addition to whole grain ingredients, look for a feed which also offers byproducts from flax seeds, sea kelp, B12, folic acid, and other necessary vitamins and minerals.
Feed Options | Age | Rations
Based on the age of the geese the crude protein will vary. Keep in mind, geese grow much quicker than chickens, and the crude protein level is much higher than what is offered to chickens.
|Naturally free Organic Starter||up to 3 weeks||22% – 22.5%|
|Naturally free Organic Grower||3 weeks to first egg||17.5% – 19%|
|Naturally free Organic Layer||egg-laying months||15% – 16%|
Because geese are seasonal layers the crude protein level can be decreased once the laying season ends. However, it is not necessary. There are a few goose feed options available, and what to feed geese is truly based on preference. Though it should be noted, not all feeds are equal. For this reason, we offer an organic whole grain feed option for our flocks.
Our poultry team consisting of geese, ducks, chickens, turkeys, and guineas consume a whole grain diet. And depending on how busy we are the feed is offered dry, soaked, or fermented.
Fresh grass or greens contributes to a large percent of a goose’s daily feed ration. In addition to consuming fresh grass or greens daily, a mature goose requires 2 cups of high-grade feed per day. This can be offered dry or as mentioned, fermented.
Supplementing With Grit & Calcium
Grit and calcium must be provided when raising waterfowl and other poultry. Both serve a vital purpose and are needed to ensure your geese (and other poultry) remain healthy. The digestive system of geese is pretty complex.
Geese do not have teeth to chew their food, instead, it is quickly ingested and stored in the crop. From the crop, the items consumed heads to the gizzard. It is within the gizzard that the food is broken down and becomes digestible. However, the gizzard needs help breaking down food matter, and for that reason, grit must be consumed. Grit is available in many forms, small rocks, oyster shells, and even in the form of sand. Grit is offered free choice, the goose will consume it as needed.
Geese are excellent foragers and when allowed, most of their diet will come from consuming grass and wild vegetation. What geese eat is very similar to what ducks consume, however, it is a much larger quantity. Because of this, make sure treats are given in moderation.
- Grubs and mealworms
- Black oil sunflower seeds
- Sprouted grains or fodders
- Dandelions, plantain, chickweed
- Garden discards
- Grass (free-range) or grass clippings
- Grapes and many fruit options
- Frozen peas, corn, carrots
- Cooked rice, pasta, potatoes
- Earthworms and slugs
These are just a few highlights from Ann’s complete article on feeding geese. For the whole story on feeding your geese a complete and balanced diet, fermenting, and herbal options, follow this link to A Farm Girl In The Making.
Celebrating 10 years, Scratch and Peck Feeds thoughtfully sources nutritious whole grains and beneficial ingredients from trusted North American farmers. We produce Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, soy-free premium animal feeds, supplements, and treats for chickens, ducks, turkeys, goats, sheep, and pigs.
Certified Organic | Non-GMO Project Verified | Soy-Free | Premium Animal Feeds