Our geese LOVE tomatoes and all other garden veggies. When they see me come from the garden they start screaming in goose speak: “Come over here and give us the @$#! food”. Yes, my geese swear at me. A lot. At least I think they do. I’ve never before had any animal scream as loudly when they think treats are on the line.
During tomato season we would bring handfuls of the lesser loved tomatoes and throw them into the pen. They would fall over each other while shoveling them into their beaks with tomato juice squirting out everywhere. After the cold weather nuked the plants I pulled up a cherry tomato plant, cage and all, and set it in the goose pen for them. One of the brazen red hens, who doesn’t care a fig what the geese think about her, tried to join in on the feast. The geese don’t like sharing their snacks so she was chased out of their pen in a hurry.
Back when we were thinning the corn we would bring the stalks over to them; they would slurp the leaves down like spaghetti.
When Lee brewed up two batches of beer last month, we gave them some of the spent grain. Despite it’s similarity to their feed ration, they formed a circle around the dubious pile of barley and swore at it for several minutes. I’m not the only one they heap abuse upon you see. Whenever you put a treat in their pen (except tomatoes) they stand around it with their necks outstretched and scream at the food in goose speak until it is so berated it must surely be safe to eat. I find it hilarious.
Back when we first got the geese we fed them in their range shelter. They would trip over the lower board sometimes so we started feeding them outside. Now they just trip over their food bowl when they aren’t looking where they are going. With the rainy season here I am going to have to start feeding them inside again. For the longest time they wouldn’t sleep in the goose hut but lately I’ve been finding droppings there. I think they wait until we go to bed and then sneak inside. Although I’m not entirely sure that they sleep at all. Some nights we go out the back door at 1AM to walk the dogs, and from the darkness a barrage of honking goose expletives rains down upon us.
We’ve only had one scare with them and that was related to the chicken netting. A few weeks after we got them Lee found one of the geese sprawled out with it’s neck caught. Thankfully, he found it in time and cut it loose. The goose seemed fine after a few minutes but it made us very paranoid for weeks thereafter. The geese still stick their necks though the netting to snag a stray tomato or warn off the chickens. They also chew on it a bit while they are waiting for me to bring them their morning feed.
Sometimes they chew on the barn instead. I had no idea that geese have the horse tendency to crib. Granted, our barn has so much dry rot along the bottom edge that you could sneeze and pieces would fall off. The geese have ripped off dinner plate-size chunks of plywood and dragged the pieces around their pen. Along with the fence and barn chewing, they like to drill boreholes near their waterer and eat the dirt from around the posts which hold up the chicken netting. They are kind of like a lovable gaggle of misfits that like throwing Molotov cocktails, cow tipping, drinking beer, and swearing like sailors. Have I mentioned that I like my geese better than my chickens? Crazy isn’t it. 🙂