Canadian Geese

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Ardie/WI, May 18, 2005.

  1. Ardie/WI

    Ardie/WI Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Last year, a pair of geese decided that our pond, which is kept wild, was a nice place to raise a family! :) We left them alone as we do with the wild ducks.
    This year, we have two pair and a total of 6 goslings. We've done nothing to encourage or discourage them.

    My questions are: Do you think that one pair is the ones from last year? Do they return to the same nesting areas? Is it possible that the second pair are the goslings born last year?

    As I've said, we leave it wild, but there is one area where we could possibly feed them next year. I thought of brush hogging a small area in the Fall and putting out corn next Spring. I realize that the deer also will come there as they're everywhere else. I'd guess that there would be a mess but I don't plan on sitting down there and bothering them. I just thought a bit of corn would help them out. What else should I consider putting out there?

    Any answers and thoughts??
     
  2. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    The same group of geese come back to this area year after year with increases in their numbers. On the ponds in the back, there are nests on tops of some of the beaver lodges. I am not sure if it's the same pair as last year or their offspring.
    Every morning I am seeing a mated pair grazing in the new growth of grass that was burned off earlier this spring. Also they like hanging around where the basement drains down the hill where it's wet and a lusher growth.

    I wouldn't need to feed them around here. If you have wild ponds and they are sticking around, then obviously they are finding the feed they need which is mostly pasture.
     

  3. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    I wouldn't feed them corn or other grains. They don't need it and it would attract rodents which eat eggs and goslings and the rodents will attract coyotes and foxes which eat eggs and goslings. Anyhow, they must like the pond as is to return this year.
     
  4. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    FYI, they are not called "Canadian Geese," they are called "Canada Geese."
     
  5. Snakeoil

    Snakeoil Well-Known Member

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    Cabin Fever is correct.
     
  6. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We have a pair of Canada Geese that nest on one of our ponds every year. Last year something got into the nest so no goslings. This year they hatched out six! We believe it is the same pair that returns every year.

    They seem to do just fine without us having to put out corn or other feed. If there wasn't a natural abundance of food they wouldn't return.
     
  7. indypartridge

    indypartridge Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes to all your questions. And as moonwolf notes, they will increase in numbers. Around here they are considered pests, but they are "protected migratory waterfoul" (deliberate misspelling) so you have to be careful dealing with them. My company had to have the state Dept Natural Resources come out last year to help get rid of geese that had nested next our building and were attacking people trying to get into the building. Not to mention the parking lot and sidewalks covered in goose poop. Closer to my home, the geese are displacing the native wildlife. At a home I had several years ago, my pond and area around it become so full of angry geese and so fouled with goose poop you couldn't go near it.
     
  8. Philbee

    Philbee Well-Known Member

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    Well, I can't answer wether geese return to the same nest site each year, but I will advise you not to feed them. When my 2 year old grandson was staying here we had a lone goose come onto our place one day. We have a lot of Canada geese around here but they don't usually visit us, so we gave it some cracked corn. The next day it came back and the baby fed it again. The next day he came with around 50 of his nearest and dearest ! We stopped feeding but it still took several days before they quit showing up. They made a huge mess of the yard.
     
  9. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Don't feed them corn. If they should get shot, there's something in the corn that helps to release the lead. I think that's the gist of it. I remember some years ago the DNR telling people not to feed corn because of the problem of embedded shot.
     
  10. blufford

    blufford Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If these Canada Geese are Canadian, don't feed them corn. They prefer doughnuts and beer.
     
  11. GRHE

    GRHE Mountain Ogre

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    Geese are grass eaters and do not need corn, it is like candy for them and they will be fat geese. If they came back they have plenty of food and don't need help. If you do want to help them out, during the summer clear up brush and make sure there is plenty of grasses available next spring. This is likely the same pair as last year. Geese mate for life, and Canadas (or Canadians as they are still commonly called in many areas) can live as mated pairs for more than 30 years provided they survive predation on hunters. Typically wild Canadas will not nest until 3-5 years old, so the birds you have this year are unlikely to be the offspring of those last year. If they find a place they like, that seems safe to them, and has adequate food available, they and/or their offspring will return either every year, or alternate years dependent on where you are located and where they chose to mate as some will alternate between Northern and Southern nesting sites. We had a young pair take up a nest in the wetlands on our farm last year, with the male having a distinct eye color pattern. This spring, there have been five; clearly the same pair with three yearlings, and one of the yearlings has the same pattern around the eye!

    When I was growing up in Northern Indiana they were relatively rare sights except during migrations. Now that hunting for them has largely fallen out of favor their populations have exploded and now they are considered pests because the mess up lawns and golf courses and will protect their hatchlings with a vengeance. In some nesting areas they have become a very real hazard at airports with organized efforts being made to collect eggs to try to help control the population explosion (it takes either brave or foolish people to volunteer as egg collectors in wild Canada nesting fields :)). They are also an incredible intelligent animal, not your typical birdbrain, and are considered to be one of the few animals that understand and morn death. When one loses a mate they will often stay in the area calling it for up to a year when they may join back up with migrating birds to seek a new mate, or may never mate again. Older birds that lose their mates have been know to simply commit suicide in fits of depression.
     
  12. Rouen

    Rouen Well-Known Member

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    another reason not to feed them is humanized geese like humanized bears can be dangerous.
     
  13. CODIACRCMP

    CODIACRCMP Well-Known Member

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    Donuts and beer? I think donuts are for cops and i'm pretty sure there's some americans that like beer, I do not.
     
  14. Ardie/WI

    Ardie/WI Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I was wrong! There are six adult geese on the pond today! Oy vey! All around us and the pond is farm land so they should find plenty of grass.
     
  15. sullen

    sullen Question Answerer

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    Spoken like a true Cnadaian! My Newfie dh would agree with you! :haha:
     
  16. CODIACRCMP

    CODIACRCMP Well-Known Member

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    I forgot to add one more thing..... we like fish and snow...... In the summer we wished it was nice a cool. Then in the winter we wish for summer.... I prefer fall.... still warm enough just for a t-shirt, hardly any rain, and no snow.

    Danny
     
  17. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I can't figure out how "migratory waterfoul" (thanks for the preferred spelling, indypartridge) can be considered migratory when they hang around here all year long. With all the manicured golf courses and subdivisions, Canada Geese are a staple of life in the Chicago 'Burbs.

    Nasty, mean, pooping machines, that's what they are. We've spent many a beer-soaked night contemplating impossible ways to dispatch the darned things... Goose Golf... Migratory Menace Mangle (this involves cars and baskets)... But that's all just fantasy. Nothing we can do to them, and really, we wouldn't anyway because we don't want to get busted.

    Do wonder how they taste, though... ;)

    Pony!
     
  18. trixiwick

    trixiwick bunny slave

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    We have the same situation. If you want to give them a treat, cut the grass. Our geese are happiest when they can go around and eat grass clippings. It's easier than pulling grass out from the ground, I guess.