Updated September 21, 2020
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 creating difficult or uncomfortable living situations for other residents!
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 confrontational geese or ganders may require extra care around smaller ducks, and reciprocally, a more confrontational male duck (drake) may be more difficult to keep around female geese. If they absolutely do not get along, more confrontational birds may require their own living space 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 living spaces, 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 who 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 living space, 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 living space, 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 who 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, and socially, geese don’t tend to mind mind being around these species. The main concerns to consider with cohabitation are accidental trampling underfoot (especially if the goose has a mobility-affecting disability) and the dangers of letting geese graze with mammalian residents who have been treated with chemical dewormers or medication, which can be 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. If you choose to house geese with mammalian residents, you will need to give special consideration to overnight accommodations. Geese must be secured in predator-proof housing overnight, but it may not be advisable for the mammals they are living with to be closed in with them. You do not want to create a situation where a sleeping goose is injured by a mammal they cannot get away from. In general, it is safest to give the geese a safe space to sleep away from their mammalian friends.
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 living spaces. 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 in sanctuaries, 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.
For these reasons, we do not recommend housing birds with pigs, especially feral pigs or piglets.
While non-territorial adult domestic pigs could technically share outdoor space with geese, provided that all species have their specific needs taken care of (like providing a clean swimming area for the geese), you must be aware that harm could very well occur in this cohabitation model, even if the residents seem to get along. If you do decide to keep pigs with geese, you must 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 living space 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 who 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 goslings who could be targeted as a meal by certain cats. It’s unlikely that a cat would target a mature goose, but 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!
Geese And Wildlife
Depending on their set-up, sanctuary geese could be coming into contact with wild animals who also call the sanctuary grounds home. While some species may pose no risk to your goose residents, others could cause serious harm.
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, rats, raccoons, weasels, bobcats, skunks, opossums, snakes, hawks, owls, bears, and snapping turtles. The best defense is a properly secured outdoor living space and predator-proof indoor living space. 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!
Though other species of wildlife may not pose the same type of threat as a predator, there are still a few important things to consider. Wild birds (including wild waterfowl) and rodents can carry and transmit diseases to sanctuary birds, so it’s important to keep their living space generally secured from them and clean of droppings if at all possible. Additionally, rats can kill or cause mortal injury to a goose by chewing on them, especially as they sleep, and can cause significant damage to living spaces, especially if they gain access to electrical wire or insulation. Some wildlife could create breaches in an otherwise secured space by chewing holes in structures or digging under fencing, which could give predators easy access to the flock. Be sure to consider the wildlife in your area when constructing living spaces and be sure to check for breaches regularly. For more information on compassionate wildlife strategies, check out our resource here!
Do Ducks, Geese, And Chickens Get Along? | My Pet Chicken (Non-Compassionate Source)
Keeping The Peace In A Mixed-Species Flock (Non-Compassionate Source)