What value can geese add to a small homestead or farm?
- Geese are quick growing and can produce a large bird for the table.
- Geese are vegetarians and love grass and clover.
- Carcass quality is improved with some additional feed according to Dave Holderread, but geese can be raise will little additional feed.
- Geese produce more than meat for the table. Their livers are the primary ingredient in foie gras, down can fill a pillow or provide insulation for winter mittens, quills are valued by historic reenactors, and goosefat, with its high smoke point, makes beautiful oven fried potatoes.
- Geese are excellent guardians. When traveling along a bike path I once saw a goose in a freshly bedded pen next to the door of a rural homestead. As we rode by the dooryard, the goose "honked" our presence--a perfect alarm.
- With their large feet, flocking behavior and vegetarian diet, geese are an excellent livestock choice for small places that want to start and benefit from small-scale mob grazing.
2016 is not the first time we have tried raising geese. With some changes in management, I hoped to overcome some of the challenges I faced when raising these affable barn yard creatures in the past..