At Carr Farm we hatch some of our own geese from our breeding flock and also buy in some goslings in May from a local hatchery, and are up to a week old when they first arrive. The goslings are specially bred for the table which produce fine table birds.
The first few weeks are spent in our barn under heat and away from predators on deep shavings bedding and fed a starter crumb, we introduce grass cuttings at the end of the first week which the goslings love. At 3 to 4 weeks the goslings move out onto the pasture with shelter provided for inclement weather, as until fully feathered the goslings are be vulnerable to rain and cold. The goslings grow quickly and once fully feathered are moved onto permanent pastures with shade and splashing baths. To protect them from foxes we keep them shut in at night. We feed them locally grown grains to supplement their grazing.
All our geese are fed on GMfree feed without medication or growth promoters.
Geese are creatures of habit they like to stay in their hatching groups and become attached to their handler. They can be easily startled so we try to create a calm environment and always talk to them when opening up their barn each morning. The time spent establishing contact and handling them at a young age is well rewarded as they become a tame flock and can be calmly moved from paddock to barn by following their handler. When the days shorten we introduce them to the radio in their barn in the evening – the classical radio stations and talk shows induce a calm environment helping the geese to settle in their groups at night.
A happy goose is allowed to socialise within its flock, roam freely during the day and grow at its natural pace on a grass based diet.
See our welfare page for more information about how we care for our livestock and if you are interested in finding out more about trying a tasty Goose for Christmas see our produce pages or visit the shop.