Geese in orchard

I was wondering if anyone keeps geese in their orchards to keep grasses down? I was considering putting geese inside my orchard with electric netting. Anyone do this?

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Geese are used in some vinyards to keep bugs down. My Dad used to claim that geese would even root out Johnson grass. So maybe?

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they do a pretty good job. they leave everything you grow alone. they can be noisy but if it doesnt bother you go for it. if you dont have a water source for them id get a kiddy pool and dump / clean it every couple days just so they can keep their feathers cleaned. thats what i did. try to get all females if you can. males can get aggressive and bite. they make great watch dogs too. good luck.

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Will they keep squirrels & other birds away? I’ve heard they can be pretty territorial.

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Make sure all the trees are tall enough that most of the canopy is out of the geese’ reach. They will pluck and eat the swelling buds within reach so if the trees are very young they can get damaged.

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Also electric netting will be inadequate unless you also have a fully secure and covered night pen for them. Without it you’ll wake up to dead geese from time to time.

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I cage all my young trees with 48“ hardware mesh. I would have a secure enclosure for them, but would surround orchard with electric netting.

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if you have a male they would as they are protective of the female. but females arent. they do make a racket when something / one comes in the yard. the locan Canadian geese will come and interact with them occasionally.

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they are really tough. mine would lay outside at -20. only going in if it got colder than that. theyy dont touch anything in the orchard/ garden. occasionally nibble on greens but if you have good grass, they much prefer that.

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I used to think that too until I caught them in the act.

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what did they eat? they nibbled on lettuce/ beet greens once in awhile but didnt touch anything else. i leave my lawn weedy with plenty of dandelion. they really love that and clover.

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I’ve personally watched geese eat new growth off of figs, blueberries, horseradish, goumi and hibiscus. I’m sure my list would be longer if I had given them greater access to other species. They weren’t starving or bored either as they had lots of space to roam along with abundant grass as well as supplemental grain feed.

I’m not talking a little nibble here and there either. I mean they would eat it to the point I thought the plants were just late breaking dormancy until I caught them in the act and realized that every bit of new growth was being systematically removed.

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Geese are really, really, really messy.

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I hope I didn’t come across as discouraging about keeping geese. I actually love them and find them very good mowers. It’s just important to understand that many plants below a certain height will need protecting.

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yep. very good at fertilizing but crap everywhere. in a bigger area not as bad.

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I currently own Muscovy ducks and chickens(Jersey Giant, Australorp and barred rock). I really like Toulouse and Embden geese, and I’ve heard good things about pilgrim geese, which give me the look of a mixed flock of the other two, with the males being white and females gray.

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I have Pilgrim geese. We do have trunk protection for young trees. I like geese but my husband doesn’t. They can be messy when we let them run free. It is very unusual for us to lose a free range adult goose. Presently they are behind electric netting. If I keep putting them back in they stop getting out in my experience. I do not have wings clipped. I really think the ducks are better for the orchard. They like bugs and fruit left on the ground. I keep Appleyard ducks but like Welsh Harlequins as well. Eventually had to decide on a single variety. Of course we also have sweetgrass turkeys and various types of chickens.

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I’ve had geese for 4 or 5 years now. I like them alot, but it takes the right ones. This is the second batch, the first were very destructive. They would eat the wood siding off my house and girdled some trees that weren’t protected high enough up. The ones i have now are well behaved and not agressive towards me or the other birds at all. The other night they were protecting the ducks from a fox, fox is gone now, but i was impressed with what I saw. I think a cyote is the only thing here that could kill them or a stray dog i suppose. They will keep your grass down depending on the size of your orchard and number of geese, i use to fence them and they did a great job mowing but now with several acres to roam it would take 100 geese. Btw geese dont eat bugs as some have said, ducks or about any other barnyard bird will just not geese.

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Years ago I had a strawberry patch , may be 1/8 acre.
I got some geese to help weed it. They helped , I think ,Prefered to eat the weeds as opposed to strawberry leafs . As long as there were defined Rows for them to walk down. Kept dry feed at one end , water at the other .they would walk back and forth, seemed to work for a while .
Had some white Chinese ones, they were just too LOUD !
Gave them away .
Then got Toulouse geese , MUCH quieter . Calmer ,Gentle birds.
I started a small apple tree nursery in part of that field .
One day I watched a Toulouse rip the bark right off a apple seedling as big as my thumb .! there was plenty of other things to eat there.
That was the end of geese here. !

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