There are many people who are interested in raising geese in their own backyards. Goose meat is very healthy and delicious and so are the eggs. Of course because the geese are raised right in front of your eyes you can be sure that they are organic. There are two ways to start your own little geese raising operation, you can either get geese chicks or you could get fertile eggs and hatch them.
Raising Backyard Geese: Starting Your Own Gaggle of Geese
First, you need to choose a goose breed. Then, you need fertile goose eggs. Buying baby geese is a slightly easier approach but getting the goose eggs and hatching them is very fulfilling. So to get you started, the first thing you will need is an incubator. There are two varieties available in the market. The commercial models are forced air incubators and they come with additional features like an automatic turner. But if you are new to geese raising I recommend that you start with a still air incubator. Even though it is not as big as the forced air model it is quite cost effective. You will also need a hatching thermometer. Once you have the supplies ready you can shop for the eggs. The eggs should be fertile, not more than 4 days old and have no abnormality in terms of size or shape.
Raising Backyard Geese: Brooding Baby Geese
The next step is to switch on the incubator two days before you place the fertile goose eggs in it. Don’t forget to follow the incubator instructions manual. With the hatching thermometer you will be able to get the right temperature. In this case, we need 99.5F. Mark your eggs so that you can turn them easily. The eggs should not take more than 30 days to hatch. Once the eggs hatch leave the goslings in the incubator till they are dry and then shift them to the brooder.
The brooder can be a small sheltered area of your backyard or garage. You can use a heat lamp for light as well as heat .The power of the bulb depends on the number of goslings you intend to house. The area should be ventilated and should have absorbent litter material on the floor. You can use chopped straw, wood shavings or peat moss. Just remember to keep it free from mold by turning it frequently and adding dry material at regular intervals. The temperature in the brooder should be around 90F when you first put the goslings inside. After a week you can lower it to 70F.
Raising Backyard Geese: Raising Adult Geese
Once the goslings are in the brooder you can start feeding the geese a diet of pelted or crumbled chick starter. After a week you can gradually introduce a succulent pasture and let the geese forage. They will be adept foragers by the time they are 5-6 weeks old. It is imperative to always keep a water holder around such as a pan or trough which is deep enough to accommodate the bill and the head.
So as you can see it is not all that difficult to raise geese in your own backyard. With a little bit of practice you will have them ready just in time for the holiday season.