On my recent tour of the Permaculture Visions property at Mount Kembla, I saw lots of great ideas for gardening and property design. This is part of a series to share them.
This post is about the geese that patrol the garden, and the straw yard where they live when not out on patrol.
They’re not easy to make out, but right in the center of this photo are the geese. They patrol much of the acre of gardens, but are excluded from sensitive areas by chicken wire. The geese eat mainly grass, but also provide pest control and clean up fallen fruit.
Here’s a closer look at some of the geese. While ducks and chickens are very useful in the garden, they are susceptible to attack by dogs and foxes. Geese, being a bit larger and louder, deter dogs and cats and help protect the other poultry during the day. They still need to be locked up at night, though. I’ve read from other web sites that geese are good watchdogs as well, noisily warning you when strangers enter your property. They’re probably a little scary to any intruder not familiar with them, too!
When they’re not out patrolling the yard, the geese live in this straw yard. They have shelter, water, and feed, as well as a bit of green pick to browse on. The fruit trees drop food on them too.
The straw yard is divided into two halves by a fence, and the geese can be let into either side. While the geese are on one side, the other side is rested. It can be sown with grain or green manure, and once it is going well the geese are allowed in and the other side of the yard is shut off. This gives them regular access to greenery in their run, while also allowing the ground to recover after heavy grazing and not turn into the typical chook run moonscape.
Have you ever kept geese? What tips do you have to share?