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How Geese Get Along With Other Species

If you’re caring for geese with limited space, you may be wondering how they get along with other species of animals. Because individual animals each have their own unique personalities, preferences, and histories of trauma, this resource may not apply universally to all geese and the other species they interact with, but it should provide a good starting point in regards to how well a goose will get along with other animals.

Geese And Other Geese

Typically a goose will cohabitate just fine with other geese. Geese prefer to hang out in groups in most cases, and will immediately establish a pecking order to decide who rules the flock. Sometimes certain geese may be more confrontational and require their own space with a respected friend or two permanently away from more docile geese, especially if you’re caring for multiple male geese (ganders). Make sure to monitor geese frequently to make sure there aren’t any bullies getting too dangerous!

Geese And Ducks

Geese and ducks can get along quite well, and typically make excellent companions with one another. Since both are waterfowl, both have many care needs in common. The only thing to consider are individual personalities; more bossy geese or ganders may require extra care around smaller ducks in case they are more territorial, and reciprocally, a bossier male duck (drake) may be more difficult to keep around female geese. If they absolutely do not get along, bossier birds may require their own habitat or a safe place for more docile birds to be left alone.

Geese And Chickens Or Turkeys

Although socially, geese and chickens or turkeys can get along in common areas, there are a few things to consider when it comes to keeping them together:

  • Goslings and both young chickens and turkeys require different food types- chick growth food typically includes medicine that goslings can overdose on
  • Geese require a water source specifically to swim in separate from drinking water- chickens and turkeys can drown in these sources
  • If geese and chickens or turkeys get into a spat, it can be quite dangerous for all parties involved; geese have powerful wings and can bite painfully, and turkeys and chickens have sharp beaks
  • Because they have a penis, ganders that are inclined towards mating should be closely watched or not kept with female chickens or turkeys. If ganders try to mate with these species, they can cause dangerous prolapse situations
  • Male turkeys could potentially cause serious injury if they attempt to mate with waterfowl

If you’re keeping geese and smaller birds in a common area, it’s important to give the smaller birds an area to escape to free of the geese, perhaps with a chicken-sized entryway, and if you are caring for large breed chickens or turkeys and geese in the same area, you must ensure that the large breed birds cannot have access to the other birds’ free choice food.

Geese And Sanctuary Mammals

Geese tend to get along just fine with other mammals that you might typically find in a sanctuary environment, including horses, donkeys, cows, goats, sheep, and llamas. Most individuals of these species won’t bother each other, geese have been known to keep predators away from pastures, and socially geese don’t tend to mind mind being around these species. The main concerns to consider with cohabitation are accidental trampling underfoot (if the goose has a mobility-affecting disability) and the dangers of letting geese graze with mammalian residents that have been treated with chemical dewormers or medication, which can dangerous for geese to be around or accidentally ingest. It’s also important to ensure that other residents don’t ingest the goose’s droppings, which can cause serious health complications.

Geese And Donkeys

With geese and donkeys, how they do together is entirely dependent on the personalities at play. Some donkeys get along quite well with sanctuary birds like geese. Others, especially those rescued from abusive or neglectful situations, may be more territorial and defensive around all species, including geese. Some geese may be too territorial to live with donkeys in some areas. Always closely monitor the pasture and make a careful introduction between donkeys and geese, keeping in mind the possibility that they may need to live separately.

Geese And Pigs

There have been reports of birds being killed in a sanctuary environment by pigs. These incidents occurred between chickens and younger pigs who were apparently trying to play with the birds, feral pigs sharing space with birds at a sanctuary, as well as (rarely), individual adult domestic pigs with strong territorial impulses. It does not appear that adult domestic pigs are commonly known to intentionally cause bird deaths, but you should always exercise caution where possible when it comes to protecting resident lives and be mindful of the potential consequences of species cohabitation.

That being said, non-territorial adult domestic pigs should have no trouble sharing an outdoor space with geese, provided that all species have their specific needs taken care of (like providing a clean swimming area for the geese), but some individual personalities may clash too much to keep the species together. If you do keep pigs with geese, ensure that there is plenty of space to avoid any situations where a bird (especially a mobility impaired resident) might get caught underfoot from a pig. Pigs are also (quite reasonably) particular eaters who will try not to eat pasture or food that has been defecated on by another animal, including geese, so if you’re going to keep pigs and geese together, it would be preferable to find a solution to keeping the pig’s areas clean! 

Geese And Dogs

As a general rule, it’s not a good idea to let dogs interact with any animal at a farmed animal sanctuary. As the species in your care are prey animals, there is a high chance that there will be a negative reaction, either from the dog or the resident, and it is never worth risking an animal’s safety when there is any possibility to avoid conflict.

With dogs and geese, it very much depends on the individuals. Whereas some properly socialized dogs won’t bother geese, others may be prone to chase or even try to eat geese, even after very long periods of mutual respect. More confrontational geese might chase or even attack dogs they’re uncomfortable with. Use your judgement and closely monitor any dog that you’d like to share common space with geese, giving ample space for both species to get away from one another.

Geese And Cats

Properly introduced cats and geese typically don’t bother each other as geese are larger than cats. One area of concern, though, are chicks and much smaller geese, which could be targeted as a meal by certain cats. Other cats may be more daring and try to attack even confrontational geese. Reciprocally, a confrontational goose might attack the cat unprompted. As with dogs, closely monitor initial reactions to see if they can safely share space, providing ample space for both to escape one another!

Predators Of Geese

Certain wild animal species are especially dangerous to geese and will eat them if given the chance. This includes stray dogs, coyotes, wolves, foxes, raccoons, weasels, bobcats, skunks, opossums, snakes, hawks, owls, and bears. The best defense is a properly secured outdoor area and hole-free indoor habitat. This includes predator netting (chicken wire will not keep a predator out, only a goose in!), fencing that cannot be dug under, predator-secure latches, and vigilance!

Geese And Other Small Animals

Small birds and rodents aren’t typically going to be a problem for geese socially, but both can carry and transmit diseases to birds (and rodents who are highly motivated by a lack of food have been known to chew on sleeping geese), so it’s important to keep their habitat generally secured from them and clean of droppings if at all possible.

SOURCES:

Predator Management For Small Poultry Flocks | Extension

Do Ducks, Geese, And Chickens Get Along? | My Pet Chicken (Non-Compassionate Source)

Keeping The Peace In A Mixed-Species Flock (Non-Compassionate Source)

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 August 5, 2019

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