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bodger

Turkeys or geese?

Now that we haven't got any horses, we  keep our pigs in much larger enclosures than before. This benefits the pigs and also helps to keep our land used and under control but we still have quite an area that's  not being used. As I see it, if I'm not to let the grass run riot, then I have two choices, either turkeys or geese. I can see the up and the down sides of keeping  both birds, which would you be tempted to go for and why?
Rena

We had geese before getting turkeys, they do a good job on the grass, bugs. We also enjoyed their eggs. However, I didn't really care for how messy they were, all the escavating they did. I wouldn't have them again for that reason alone. (... With already having pigs... That shouldn't be much of a problem for you though )

We currently have turkeys, they don't seem to be as messy, also do a great job eating the grass down and bugs as well. I enjoy my turkeys the most and have a Tom who is so personable.  Turkey eggs are also very good. Tom can be pretty noisy when strangers come around... (... Course, so can the geese).

With you having pigs already, I wouldn't think the mess of geese would be a big deal. They do clean ground area quite thoroughly. I would also guess you to have a better market for them than the turkeys, if you decided to add them into your selling adventures.
welshboy

Muscovies graze as well .
olde9856

Turkeys are good flyers! They need high fencing for traditional breeds, modern double breasters aren't so bad.
Geese do make an awful mess but are better for controlling grass
Dave C

I was going to do geese this year but my plans have gone t1ts up

The game dealer who said he would take upto 50 live birds from me
Is now only wanting them if I process

So I'm back to square 1


But will be reading this with interest  
Gareth

What is currently being raised locally?

Trying to compete with someone who is already established is just going to be nothing more than a tiring, frustrating and possibly expensive up hill struggle.

If you have someone within 15 miles doing turkeys, then go for the geese and vice versa.

One of the local butcher's on Norwich market has a really good reputation for Geese.

Whole oven ready Goose; crowns, halves and quarters, joints and pieces (even bags of ready to cook marinaded pieces), Eggs and grease.

He is asking 2.20 to 3.00 (dependent upon size) each for the eggs.

He is selling loose pieces of Goose fat trimmings for 2p per gram (25g/50p min). Prepared, rendered and filtered Goose Grease is priced at 15.00/kg and is sold in 200g jars at 3.00 each.

Also available to order are (same) wing feathers trios for fletching arrows for archers, Quills for calligraphy, and larger feathers for fashion items, and no-doubt he has the down and other feathers either for sale or already sold.
hughesy

I can sell all the goose eggs I can get on my market stall for 1.50 each. We've got Embdens. I don't feed them just let them forage. They're no trouble at all and don't make a mess unless they're confined to a small area. I've never considered doing them for meat way too much hassle.
bodger

Never thought of that Graham and as you say it makes life a lot easier not having to pluck and dress them but then again, it kind of defeats the reason for having them. I'll have to think about that one.
Dave C

How many eggs do you average hughesy ?
bodger

Those Chinese geese are said to lay over a hundred but I think that the eggs might be a fair bit smaller than most of the other breeds.
perlogalism

Any reason why you can't keep both? I know Chickens and Turkeys aren't a good idea but haven't heard anything about Geese....

BTW, we stopped free ranging the Turkeys because of the damage they did and the fact that I got fed up with getting them down from rooftops!  
Rena

perlogalism wrote:
BTW, we stopped free ranging the Turkeys because of the damage they did and the fact that I got fed up with getting them down from rooftops!


Wow ! Am I spoiled!! My turkeys hang out at ground level, with chickens, and have never had problems with any kind of illnesses (since early 2000), never destroy anything (in fact, they do way less damage than chickens, imo). I am indeed quite spoiled!
perlogalism

Spoiled indeed. Because they can fly so well, they got in the veg garden and decimated it. The dog got too scared to go outdoors because they mugged it and the final straw was when they all decided to roost on the roof of the car. You know how big Turkeys claws are.....  
Rena

perlogalism wrote:
Spoiled indeed. Because they can fly so well, they got in the veg garden and decimated it. The dog got too scared to go outdoors because they mugged it and the final straw was when they all decided to roost on the roof of the car. You know how big Turkeys claws are.....


Whoa. You've had some crazy wild turkey dudes! My Tom is almost 9 years old, weighs roughly 45-50 lbs (he ain't flyin anywhere! ) and my henny is roughly 20 lbs. We feed a soaked grain mix of: rolled barley, whole oats, whole wheat, and they are completely free range. The baby raised last year did like to roost on top of one coop... And made it messy... He lives out on the ranch now .

Eta: I'm not adverse to clipping wings if need be, either though.
hughesy

Dave C wrote:
How many eggs do you average hughesy ?

We've got 14 altogether 9 geese and 5 ganders. I've never taken all the eggs usually letting them sit about mid to end of april. They lay every other day from mid feruary till mid to end of april but I suppose they might keep going a bit longer if I kept taking the eggs. That works out at about three dozen eggs per goose. They laid in the autumn last year too which was a proper bonus. This year I plan to cull out any male goslings and just keep the ladies so we can have more eggs next year.
hughesy

bodger wrote:
Those Chinese geese are said to lay over a hundred but I think that the eggs might be a fair bit smaller than most of the other breeds.

I don't think I could get the same price for smaller eggs. It's the size that sells them. And the fantastic eating experience of course!
bodger

One of the problems I'd face with geese, would be keeping them off my apple trees but I do have a few rolls of old electric netting.
Dave C

Will they strip the bark ?
bodger

If the trees are fairly young and they can get their beaks around them, then almost certainly.
hughesy

They will nibble at any new shoots they can reach but like you say only really bother young trees.
bodger

I like these really old orchards that I sometimes go to, where they actually run cows and sheep in amongst the trees. Maybe in another twenty years my orchards might be that well developed, who knows ?

When I went to see Chris Ashton to buy some ducks a few years ago, they'd got a few pairs of these about.

http://www.livestockconservancy.o...dex.php/heritage/internal/african

I don't know if its the breed in general, or whether it was how Chris treated them but they were the friendliest and most human tolerant geese that I've ever come across and I do fancy having some at some time.
welshboy

bodger wrote:
I like these really old orchards that I sometimes go to, where they actually run cows and sheep in amongst the trees. Maybe in another twenty years my orchards might be that well developed, who knows ?

When I went to see Chris Ashton to buy some ducks a few years ago, they'd got a few pairs of these about.

http://www.livestockconservancy.o...dex.php/heritage/internal/african

I don't know if its the breed in general, or whether it was how Chris treated them but they were the friendliest and most human tolerant geese that I've ever come across and I do fancy having some at some time.


Looking atthe pic I would say that Goose has a x of Toulose. As I recall the African has a more brown look than grey  and the stance in the pic is Toulose rather than the more athletic look of the African - but my memory may be playing tricks.
Rena

I agree with the thought the bird in the link has a cross in it. Will also say that I loved my African goose ('Grace'). Her temperament was amazing. The Drake we had was quite aggressive and we didn't keep him for very long.  My thoughts are that they are worth a try, would recommend you acquire while still goslings so they will imprint to you. (Great choice btw )

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