Can You Keep Geese with Chickens?
Geese and chickens get along pretty nicely, and it’s possible to keep these two birds together. You, however, have to cater to these birds’ different needs for them to live together. Geese and chickens will coexist peacefully once these birds establish a pecking order.
You also need to ensure your chickens and geese have ample space to ensure the two bird species don’t fight over living space. However, there are potential problems poultry keepers encounter while keeping chickens and geese together. For example, these birds may fight each other over space and food.
Do Geese and Chickens Get Along?
Yes, chickens and geese get along like other fowls can get along without issues. Chickens and geese will live happily, especially if the two bird species grow up together starting from infancy years. Geese and chickens can get along, although on conditions.
First, these birds can only coexist if they have sufficient food and space. However, there will be ongoing conflicts while keeping chickens and geese together in confined spaces. Furthermore, there will be frequent conflicts if you fail to provide your birds with ample food.
Some geese and chickens can be quite territorial, making it impossible for geese and chickens to get along as a flock. Geese are way larger than chickens and sometimes bully chickens, especially smaller chickens.
Furthermore, some roosters can bully smaller geese in the flock since they might perceive such smaller geese as threats. Nonetheless, you can make it possible for geese and chickens to get along with each other if you separate the territorial birds from the flock.
Benefits of Keeping Geese with Chickens
Keeping geese and chickens is a fun way of raising a mixed flock. Poultry keepers can leap many benefits from keeping chickens with geese. These are among the benefits you can get from keeping chickens with geese.
Geese Will Protect The Chickens From Predators
Geese make excellent guard dogs. Keeping these birds with chickens can protect them from predators because chickens won’t defend themselves from any predators. Male geese are more dedicated to protecting their flocks regardless of the bird species in the flocks. It’s therefore great to keep geese with chickens, particularly if baby chicks need protection from predators.
Geese and Chickens are Good Layers
A mixed flock of geese and chickens will provide you with an endless supply of eggs because these birds are excellent layers. Geese lay bigger eggs than chickens, and their eggs also taste nice. Chickens also lay many eggs yearly compared to geese; therefore, you won’t miss an egg or two on your table when keeping chickens with geese.
Both Chickens and Geese are Excellent Weeders
Because geese and chickens are active foragers, they are the best choice of domestic birds to keep for weed control. Your backyard mixed flock will glean plenty of food from your garden, which will help keep weeds and insects in your garden at bay.
Chickens and geese can be especially good at controlling weeds and grass in empty spaces, which helps discourage vegetation overgrowths.
Geese and Chickens are Endlessly Entertaining
Geese and chickens are fun birds to raise together, especially when they live happily. They will walk around cheerfully, keeping you and your family entertained. Geese and chickens are also loyal, making worthwhile companions for people susceptible to loneliness.
Geese and Chickens Are Easy Keepers
You don’t need lots of money to keep chickens with geese. Both can forage for food in your garden or eat an almost similar diet. Chickens are equally hardy as geese, and the possibility of chickens carrying diseases while living with geese is quite low.
Potential Problems with Keeping Geese with Chickens
Keeping geese with chickens can be fun for poultry keepers seeking a mixed flock. Although chickens and geese get along, there are potential problems with keeping geese and chickens. These are some potential problems poultry keepers are likely to encounter while keeping chickens and geese.
Male Geese Pose a Threat to Female Chickens
Unlike chickens, male geese have real sexual organs. Male geese can mate with hens when living together. A male goose and a hen mating can be problematic since ganders (male geese) can leave hens with prolapsed vents after mating, inflicting serious injuries that can lead to death. Ensure you keep female geese and chickens if you want to raise geese and chickens together.
Keeping Geese and Chickens Can Make the Coop Messy
Like ducks, geese enjoy splashing, playing, and bathing in water. On the contrary, chickens like to keep dry throughout. The problem with keeping geese is that you must have water for your birds to bathe and splash. Ultimately, this will make the coop messy over time, especially if you have more geese than chickens in your flock.
A messy coop may not be a big issue on hot summer days because there will be enough heat to dry out the mess. However, it can be a problem in the cold winter because your chickens’ feathers will be extremely wet. Avoid mixing messy geese with chickens to ensure the latter doesn’t suffer from the mess in the coop.
Furthermore, have a swimming area for your geese away from your chickens. Alternatively, it would help if you only allowed geese to use the swimming area on warmer days. Otherwise, be ready to clean the mess in the coop if you let the geese access the swimming area all the time.
Changing Seasons Can Lead to Unexpected Behavioral Changes
Geese exhibit behavioral changes in different seasons, which can affect your chickens if you are keeping geese and chickens together. For instance, geese are more aggressive during early summer and spring. As a result, geese may kill your chickens because of aggression. It’s helpful to avoid adding new chickens to the flock during early summer and spring when the geese are most aggressive.
Constant Coop Fights
Coop fights are evident when keeping geese and chickens, especially when these birds are new to each other. The biggest casualties from coop fights are chickens since they aren’t strong and large enough to confront the geese. There are many incidents when geese have fought chickens to death following coop fights.
Geese and Chickens Have Different Dietary Needs
Although they are all birds, geese and chickens have different nutritional needs, making it challenging to keep these birds together. Chickens and geese also require different feed formulations in various phases of their development. Chickens and ducks can consume the same foods, but you need to introduce specific foods to meet their varying nutritional needs. It would help if you also separated specific groups of chickens and geese at a time to ensure such groups meet their particular dietary requirements.
Requirements for Keeping Chickens and Geese Together
Poultry enthusiasts can keep chickens with geese. After all, these birds can get along nicely without conflicts. However, you should meet some requirements for keeping these birds together before raising a mixed flock. Some of the conditions you should meet while keeping chickens with geese include-
- Plenty of room– It’s impossible to raise chickens with geese if you keep these birds in constrained spaces. Inadequate spaces translate to constant fights between chickens and geese. Plenty of living room is thus mandatory to ensure your birds don’t end up fighting in the long run. Moreover, allow ample spaces for the smaller birds to get a safe place to live away from the adults if they require one.
- Feeding needs– because chickens and geese have different feeding needs, you must ensure you meet these needs while keeping geese with chickens. For instance, geese need plenty of protein to help them grow and mature fast. The feed you provide to your mixed flock must have sufficient protein to ensure every goose in your flock has ample protein in their diet.
- Have fewer geese males in your flock-Male geese can mate with hens when there are few female geese in the flock. The problem with having too many male geese and fewer female geese is that the males turn to chickens when they don’t find suitable mates. Hens will suffer in such an incidence because mating with male geese will ruin their vents.
- Living conditions– Whether you are keeping geese and chickens indoors or outdoors, there are living conditions you have to provide to the flock to ensure the members coexist peacefully. For instance, the coop should have a swimming area for the geese because these birds like spending time in the water. The coop should also have perches for the chickens because chickens, unlike geese, like resting and roosting on perches. Furthermore, the geese have nice bedding in the coop because they like resting on the ground rather than on perches, unlike chickens. Ensure the living conditions favor the geese and chickens in your mixed flock.
You can keep chickens with geese like it’s possible to keep chickens with ducks. However, ensure you give your mixed flock everything it requires to coexist peacefully. For instance, provide plenty of living room for your geese and chickens to stop the occurrence of coop fights.
Besides having ample space for your birds, ensure you meet their varying nutritional requirements to raise a healthy flock.