When taking care of a living thing, be it an animal or another human, one of the most essential things to consider is food.
What type of foods can they eat? What is dangerous to them? What are they allergic to? All of these are common questions caregivers ask themselves.
However, a not-so-common question would be ‘what does my pet like to eat?’ Feeding your animal what they love to eat and not just any random food, is a great way of improving their appetite, increasing their daily food consumption as they would naturally eat more, and thereby increasing their nutrient intake.
Geese are peculiar animals that are known to have their own needs and taste. Their dietary needs are quite similar to that of ducks, but they are not the same.
Geese are relatively cheap to feed as what they love to eat is quite common and easily accessible.
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7 Fruits and Vegetables Geese Love to Eat
1. Apples: These are known to be an absolute favourite of these birds. Apples are a great source of energy and they also provide the necessary nutrients for geese.
However, it is not advisable to give your pet whole apples to munch on as they can be difficult for them to chew. Instead, chop the apples into sizable bits and pieces for easy consumption.
Ensure you remove the apple seeds to prevent choking.
2. Bananas are also very popular with geese. They are very nutritious and high in vitamin C and fiber. They are also soft to chew, which makes them safe.
Bananas may lack seeds which can cause choking. Bananas should be given in moderation to your geese to prevent digestive troubles.
3. Lettuce Greens: If you let your geese into your vegetable farm, you will have a firsthand view of how much geese love lettuce.
Lettuce greens are ideal vegetables for your pets. These leafy vegetables are highly nutritious with lots of vitamins. Always chop lettuce leaves into tiny bits to make it easy for your pets to consume them.
4. Grapes: grapes are loved by geese and contain high amounts of beneficial vitamin C. Ensure you feed only fully ripened grapes as unripened grapes are high in acidic content which can cause harm to your goose’s digestive system.
5. Carrots: Carrots are great sources of vitamin C for your geese. They look very inviting to them and are very nutritious.
Due to the strong nature of carrots, they are best cooked mildly to enable your geese to eat them properly. Chop carrots into bits and pieces and boil over medium heat until partly cooked before serving your pet.
6. Watermelon: The high water content in watermelon makes it the perfect treat for your geese especially in the summer as it helps to prevent dehydration. They are also low in calories and high in fiber.
A slice of watermelon on a hot summer day is very enjoyable and nutritious for your pet.
7. Strawberries: These berries are also high on the list of a goose’s favorite fruit.
Strawberries are rich in vitamins and also high in calories. They should not be given as a staple diet.
Fruits, in general, are treats and they should make up only a part of the diet and not all of it. Therefore, it is imperative you have a balanced diet, mixed with varieties of nutrients for your pet.
Other Things You Can Feed your Geese
It is important for your bird to have a well-balanced diet as this provides all the necessary nutrients needed and also helps fight diseases.
An unbalanced diet in geese can lead to a condition known as angel wings. Angel wing is a deformity where the wings of the birds are bent outwards and upwards and it occurs when there is a deficiency in protein or carbohydrate, especially in young geese.
Below is a list of other beneficial foods to balance their diet with:
Grass: Domestic grasses constitute the main diet of geese. They feed on any grass they come across in their wandering process, even in the ponds. The nutrients in grasses vary according to the type of grasses available, the length, and the season.
Grasses are great sources of carbohydrates and other nutrients and are readily available except during the winter. So, it is best you store up grasses to feed your birds for the winter.
Wheat: Wheat is an ideal replacement for grasses. It is a great source of carbohydrates and it provides adequate energy. Cut or grind your wheat into sizable bits and serve it to your bird. The wheat can also be added to the water where your bird usually paddles.
Grains and Seeds: These have a special place in the heart of geese. Like most birds, they love pecking away at grains or seeds.
There are varieties of grains that geese can consume. They include but are not limited to oats, nuts, corn, sunflower seeds, etc.
Grains can be used as treats to supplement the diet of geese if their primary feed is pasture. You can crack or crush corn or seeds before feeding them to your bird.
Roots: Unlike some other birds, geese are fond of roots. They have been known to eat most root vegetables they come across. They also have a preference for the roots of smaller trees or plants, probably due to the ease of consumption.
Insects: Geese are primarily herbivores and their main meals are of plants or grains.
However, geese are known to also eat insects such as grasshoppers, termites, crickets, moths, etc. Feeding your bird insects is a great way to increase the protein intake of your pets.
Insects should not be used as main diets but as nutrient supplements. The insects can be served fresh, and your geese will also get fresh insects from their pond or pasture, or they can be dried.
Dandelions: A little different from greens and vegetables, dandelions are flowers that are loved by geese. They show excitement when they see a portion of dandelions set in front of them.
Geese can reduce a field of these flowers to just stems and leaves in a short while. These flowers can serve as a healthy treat for your birds.
Human and Pet Food: Geese also enjoy eating food that humans or animals consume. Foods such as rice, porridge, cake, cereal, and pet food such as dog kibble are enjoyed by geese.
These foods are safe for them, but should be given in little quantities and should not replace their main diet.
Things to Avoid Feeding Your Geese
Some foods contain toxins that are harmful to your bird. Consumption of these foods can cause serious health challenges and sometimes lead to death.
Below are some foods to avoid giving your geese due to the toxins in them:
- White potatoes
- Processed human food
Also, avoid feeding your geese foods that have mold on them. Mold is toxic and can cause serious damage to the kidneys, muscles, liver, and general body organs.
Geese are generally amazing pets to keep, they are friendly and playful, and they are not overly expensive to cater for.
Always chop whole fruits and vegetables into smaller bits for easy chewing and also to prevent choking. Having a well-balanced diet will go a long way to maintain the health of your pet.
Geese usually have a very healthy appetite, but the best way to improve the appetite of your bird is to feed them what they love to eat.