Raising Ducklings and Goslings


raising ducks and geese

Mixing Geese and Ducks for Safety


I've seen a lot of talk about general behavior of geese and ducks recently so I thought I'd put in how I manage the local flock here.

We have a lot of predators here in my rural location on the central California coast. I put together groups of compatible ducks and either a male goose or a male/female goose pair. These groups socialize and sleep together in home built rugged crates designed to keep most predators out. During the day these groups generally forage and bath together. The geese are the group managers - they keep ducks from straying too far away from the relative safety of our house area and scare off small predators such as domestic cats and small children. Of course this time of year (breeding season) they will try to keep all humans away.

The geese provide a great service - I had one young group (all hatched Christmas weekend) without goose protection and lost one last week to a hungry feral cat. I was worried they were too young to be around the goose - silly me. I put a goose in their area the next day and we've had no problems since. He has encouraged the young ones to explore the ponds and the fenced in area under his watchful eyes.

The other large benefit of ducks and geese was reinforced last weekend when I was forced to cut down the 2 foot tall growth of weeds in the dog run with the weed whacker, while all the areas patrolled by ducks and geese were automatically trimmed to 1 to 2 inches and well fertilized.

Anyway, on to the toy story: My drakes love to rummage through the pile of weeds and they select one and bring it over and dunk it in their water bowl. I went out the other day and they had filled their whole bowl! The girls on the other side of the pen (for their own safety from the boys) just like to rummage through and eat bugs. I'm thinking I may have to get some toys for the boys at least.

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