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Permaculture Techniques - Useful Animals in a Permaculture System


We started with two geese, Ozzy and Lemming, brother and sister. Later we added a family of five. Now we have 20! They munch on the grass and turn refuge from the local supermarket into compost fodder for us. On a large allotment like ours they are perfect for grass control, but would be unsuitable in a suburban area because of their noise and smell. We don't find them any more offensive than dogs in both departments - two or three urban geese should be acceptable but try convincing your neighbours or local council!

Goslings are delightful to hold - much softer than ducklings though they don't have quite the same cute characteristics and humorous antics. Geese make great pets, especially when raised from young. Once you've overcome your fear it's easy to learn how to catch and hold them. Like lizards they tend to play 'dead', or to be exact, become passive until they get the chance to get away. They always preen themselves after being held as if the wash the human touch off! A bite from a goose can hurt though once again, compared to dogs, geese are fairly harmless. They are all bark and little bite! The worst thing that has happened to us while handling geese is getting pooped on - that really stinks!

They make excellent watch dogs - they'll bark at anything (except eagles flying overhead - you won't hear a peep out of them then!).

We will never eat our geese.

Harvest: Geese can be aggressive and care needs to be taken when harvesting eggs or catching for slaughter.
Treatment: Eggs are easily stored preferably under refrigeration. If slaughtering then suitable area required as for chickens and ducks.
Use: Eggs, meat, feathers, manure, grass control, watch "dogs".

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care for earth,
care for people,
return surplus,
reduce consumption

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Copyright © Beverley Paine 2002-14. Article from this website may be downloaded, reproduced, and distributed without permission as long as each copy includes this entire notice along with citation information (i.e., name of the periodical in which it originally appeared, date of publication, and author's name). Permission must be obtained from the author in order to reprint this article in a published work or to offer it for sale in any form. Please visit Bungala Ridge Permaculture Gardens for more original content by Beverley Paine.