Geese: Sustainable Weed Control

Thinking of going green? Today we have a great way to go green and cut back on pesticide use. This great new weed control method is Geese! The US National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service has found a way for geese to be used as pest control for weeds. Depending on what type of weed you have, geese can be used as an alternative type of weed management.

Geese are particularly affective in asparagus patches according to the US National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service. To see if geese are a fit for you, first you need to identify the type of weeds you have. Geese can keep down all types of grasses, but they avoid weeds like golden rod. Also if you have quackgrass, the geese could make it worse. They only eat the tops of the plant, so the roots stay. This encourages growth, so make sure to consider that when deciding if geese are a good fit for you. The geese also tend to seek young grasses. So if you have more mature weeds, it's best to hand pick them first.

Fencing for geese requires a fairly management-intensive grazing set-up to be most effective in weeding. If you turn them out on a large area for an extended period of time, they will likely trample small shoots as they emerge with their big feet and begin to feed on non-weeds. Geese do best when allowed to graze in a small enclosed area with temporary fencing. This prevents them from wandering off and consuming your crops. It is recommended to watch them to make sure they are not eating your crops.

In regards to feeding, you want to feed a ratio of about 20 per cent grain and 80 per cent from grass. If you feed your geese too much grain, they will not be motivated to forage and eat the weeds. Additionally, geese are most active foragers before spring. During breeding season, they will sit on their nest most of the time and eat very little while incubating.

Ideally, you want to get your geese as young goslings. This will allow you to 'imprint' them, which will be helpful in keeping them easy to handle and move. Domestic geese are poor flyers, unlike their wild cousins, and while they way get a few feet off the ground. They may see wild geese flying over and get excited and flap their wings, but you don't have to worry about them taking off to join them.

Imprinting should begin as soon as you receive your geese. This is accomplished by being the only person they see for about their first week of life. This also means you should be the only person who feeds and waters them. Keeping young goslings in a brooder will help you accomplish this, which will happen in about five to seven days.

Geese can be a great and fun alternative method for reducing weeds! Go green with geese today!

For more information, keep reading at the Poultry Site!



related topics: weeds, gardening, geese, green

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