Geese are angry landlocked sailors

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. 🙂

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10 Responses to Geese are angry landlocked sailors

  1. Rachel says:

    Thank you for the giggles! Loved reading about the silly geese.

  2. Snowbrush says:

    You reminded me that my parents once had some ducks. I hand dug a small pond, and they dug holes in the levy. Without your post, I don’t know if I would have ever remembered them again.

  3. ..I dislike animals that are not appreciative let alone destructive..remind them that they could have been fois gras! If they are teens maybe they are just full of angst..I recommend 40cc of the Clash.

    • robin says:

      Teen angst is such a… turbulent time. One minute they are out there dressing in black and bleating out little depressed sounds, and the next they are squeal honking and flapping their wings at the sexy Canadian geese that fly over.

  4. Sheila Z says:

    Wait until next spring and they will turn aggressive. Something to do with nesting season and hormones. After several weeks of biting the hand that feeds them they suddenly quit trying to chase you and bruise you with painful wing slaps and nasty pinches with their bills. I loved having geese, never had to mow the lawn, just moved the electric fence around and they keep the grass looking like a golf course.

    • robin says:

      I’m not looking forward to spring time. We would like to have some gosling so I am going to try and trade a male for a different male. The biggest goose I think is male and he is the bravest. There is a lot of posturing but none have tried to eat me yet.

  5. Abbey says:

    I had geese growing up, they were just pets (my mom was always bring home odd idea’s for pets) . I fell in love with geese because of them, as a home schooled kid I would spend most of my day outside, a good portion devoted to singing to the geese (they love it if you make music for them, flute is another favorite it seems), holding them until they fell asleep in my arms, jumping through sprinklers with them in the summer, and running with them until short flight was induced and much honking. They are surprisingly personable (but all animals are if given a chance) but they do require TIME to keep relations good. The boys get mighty full of themselves come spring and are absolute hellions to deal with, especially if you have more than one to keep an eye on. Baseball sized bruises were the norm for me as I was the only 10 year old in my family able to handle them! But if you spend time with them every day they “tolerate” you. I had a Sebastipole that was good as a dog, followed me everywhere, went swimming with me, didn’t care a lick about staying with the flock and would wander off on her own.
    Your post made me laugh, thank you. I miss these birds, they are funny and never ceased to bring a smile to my face. Anything that takes itself so seriously, has its own obvious language, and acts rediculous is totally worth having around. Now that I find myself with property again I have been thinking of getting Runners for eggs and a few geese for meat, but I have never plucked fowl and hear it is tricky? Do you raise yours for meat and if so, have you tried plucking yet? Just wondering if it is worth it, some people complain to high heaven about it. 🙂

    • robin says:

      We are raising them for meat eventually. We would actually like to get a different male (these four are related) come spring and have some goslings. It would be really handy if we had two males so we could try eating one to see if we like how goose tastes. We have no experience in plucking anything other than chickens at the moment. I’ve heard plucking geese and ducks are a little harder.

      If the geese start attacking me come spring I have a feeling Lee may get the feeding job for a few weeks. I bruise so easy that anything minor looks major on me. lol.

      Those Sebastipole geese are really fancy looking. I secretly wanted some but was able to sell Lee easier on the meatiness and friendliness of the Toulouse goose. I try to convince Lee on all sorts of animals but his practical side wins out. I’m never going to get a turtle because they live so long you have to get people lined up to take it in after you die. Similarly, I’ve never even broached the subject of an elephant I’ve been dying to have since there is no way he would go for the feed bill. hehehee

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