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Goose Habitat Maintenance and Cleaning

It’s important to ensure that you follow a regular schedule of maintenance and cleaning where your geese sleep, socialize, and swim. Not only does this protect the geese from predators, disease, and other health consequences, but it also helps protect you and other residents from health and safety threats as well. Whenever you clean up a goose’s habitat, make sure to wear proper protection like disposable gloves and potentially a particle mask if it’s particularly dusty!

Create And Maintain A Cleaning Schedule

Daily

Every day, ensure that the goose’s house is always well ventilated, as excess moisture where they sleep can cause a host of problems and attract disease. This is especially important for geese that like to go straight from a pool into their sleeping quarters! Caked or wet floor or bedding material should be removed immediately and replaced with fresh material to help keep the goose house sanitary. Ideal enclosure materials include dry straw or soft wood shavings. If you notice any holes around the goose’s house, fencing, or to your goose’s outdoor space, make sure to seal them in order to protect the flock. Outside of the goose house, make sure your geese aren’t completely caught walking around exclusively in wet mud; they need a dry place for their feet or else they risk dangerous infections. If you need to, place a board above any frequent mud pit locations so they have a dry path. Check their enclosure to ensure that there are no dangerous materials around such as loose nails or screws, or plants that are toxic to geese.

Geese require a small swimming pool or pond both for their physical and mental health. Each day, this water source should be cleaned and fresh water added into it to lower the risk of disease. Water and food areas should also be cleaned and refreshed. Some geese like to get their food wet, and you must always refresh this food to avoid moldy food consumption, which can be fatal to geese.

Nesting areas must be cleaned daily or every other day to prevent rodents from living in them and to prevent maggots from infecting any goose’s vents! If a goose crushes an egg they were nesting on, you must clean the egg remnants out of both their nesting area and thoroughly clean off their body, as the yolk can quickly attract parasites and rodents.

Weekly

If you have the resources, each week you should scrub the goose’s house from floor to ceiling while the geese are outside using a diluted bleach solution. Make sure that it is rinsed and dried before any geese re-enter the cleaned space.

Monthly

Every month, remove all bedding and nesting materials and replenish with new material. This is very important as it prevents disease from spreading and prevents mold, parasites, fungus and ammonia from building up. A clean bed prevents many foot ailments in geese! If you can expose a goose’s bed to sunlight, this will also help slow the buildup of bacteria, and makes the goose house feel more fresh to boot! When performing any goose house cleaning, be very mindful of dust. We highly recommend wearing a particle mask as inhaling dried droppings can be very harmful for humans. Try to clean up all the dust and cobwebs as best you can. Consider spreading diatomaceous earth (DE) inside the goose house to deter mites.

Extra Care Required?

If you are caring for larger geese or those with impaired mobility, you may want to perform a more thorough cleaning weekly rather than monthly as they tend to be a bit messier and their lowered mobility can contribute to higher disease susceptibility.

Bi-Annually

About every six months or so, you should perform a thorough cleaning of the entire goose house and yard. This includes bleaching and cleaning any feeders, waterers, and all surfaces of the goose house. Use a strong detergent and give it at least 30 minutes to be more effective. Warm solutions work better at cleaning than cold ones! Ensure that all surfaces are dry before reintroducing geese into their home. A fall cleaning is helpful to control mites over the wintertime. Additionally, if you’re planning on introducing a new bird into the flock, a deep cleaning can help prevent the spread of disease.

Seasonal Considerations

Special Summer Considerations

If you live in an especially heat-prone region, be mindful of a hot goose house. If you’re concerned about this, make sure that the geese have an area where they can cool down.

Special Winter Considerations

In the winter, be extra mindful of extreme cold or drafts coming into the goose house. You will likely have to increase the insulation or bedding material in the goose house to keep it warmer. geese will generally adapt to the cold if they have to stay outside so long as you provide extra food for them. If you absolutely need to, employ a safe heat source, like a small ceramic heater, but be very careful as goose houses are incredibly susceptible to fire.

Most importantly in the winter, ensure that any swimming area provided to geese doesn’t freeze over. Geese getting frozen into their ponds is a tragic but common occurrence. You can provide an aeration system into the pond or a pond heater to prevent the water from freezing, or if you have to, prevent geese from accessing an unheated pond during the freezing season. Drinking water sources will also have to be checked regularly in the wintertime to ensure they haven’t frozen over. To prevent spilling water from turning into dangerous ice in the winter, provide extra straw near water sources.

What About All This Dust?

You may notice that the goose house is a bit on the dusty side due to their bedding material or diatomaceous earth (DE). If the dust is getting excessive in the goose house, you can very lightly mist the goose house with water. Be very careful not to wet any bed or floor materials, as this can inadvertently help grow dangerous bacteria.

SOURCES:

Duck And Goose Care | Farm Sanctuary

Beginner’s Guide To Keeping Geese | Poultry Keeper (Non-Compassionate Source)

If a source includes the (Non-Compassionate Source) tag, it means that we do not endorse that particular source’s views about animals, even if some of their insights are valuable from a care perspective. See a more detailed explanation here.

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Updated on October 7, 2019

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