I have nostalgic recollections of geese. A long time in the past, on our 5-acre farm in the San Joaquin valley, we ordered two African Gray goslings from a hatchery. When the drawer was opened, the initial human they saw was me! I became their mother.

Those people two geese would stick to me everywhere you go, even when they matured. The big gander could be fierce but would again off when I arrived into the pen. (I did have to “rescue” a couple individuals.)

The geese ended up huge and really stunning. They held our lawn mowed and gave us great eggs the two for having and for Easter egg hunts! The expression on children’s faces when they arrived upon a colored goose egg was priceless.

We also lifted “weeder” geese, all white with blue eyes. These produced brief do the job of weeds in the backyard and were not very as scary as the massive Africans.

  1. Thomas Lanini, Extension Weed Ecologist at the College of California, talks about working with geese in the back garden as not a frequent method of weed control, but they have been utilized with trees, vines, and some once-a-year crops this kind of as cotton and strawberries. Geese can management Bermudagrass in organic orchards. The use of geese is a widespread subject matter on homesteader sites.

Recent Grasp Gardener columns have talked about finish-of-year backyard chores.  Using geese to thoroughly clean up your gardens at the conclusion of the season can reduce your manual labor and you do not have to worry about them ingesting younger, tender, juicy greens as they may for the duration of the top of the time.

There are benefits to making use of geese:  they do not compact soil, they will perform 7 times a 7 days and they course of action weeds into nitrogen fertilizer. I uncover them to be partaking creatures. They are good watchdogs, producing a racket when predators and people today occur all-around.  And, they deliver eggs – extremely massive, dense eggs.

Geese need an enclosure, security from the warmth, and security from predators this sort of as pet dogs. They can very easily be herded into a pen and will discover to go there at night time. Normally, they just need to have a person to close the gate driving them. They will need a drinking water resource for ingesting (but if specified a tub or pond, they will be swiming instead than taking in your weeds).

A single or two geese will suffice for an average measurement property. A fence can maintain them in the spot you want to be weeded (or out of an spot, as very well). They prefer grasses but will consume practically anything if hungry. Youthful geese make the most effective weeders because, like most youth, they are hungry and growing. They are also not as distracted by sexual activity and preventing.  Goslings need to have some security from the factors, but by 6 months or much less, they are ready and ready to start off weeding.  (Keep an eye on them at the beginning to make guaranteed they are eating what you want them to take in.)

Geese demand some each day servicing watering, feeding, relocating, and fencing, furthermore they make a significant quantity of ‘fertilizer.’ But, they are gorgeous and faithful. And once again, big coloured goose eggs will make a huge splash at any egg hunt!

Nancy Bliss is a University of California Cooperative Extension Learn Gardener of Tuolumne County.

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