We are American Buff Geese and we are on the Livestock Conservancy list of Critically Endangered Heritage Breeds.
We don’t cost very much to keep and can fit very nicely in a back yard with a baby pool. If you’d like to help save our breed by adopting one or two of our babies when we have them, that would be so great! If you can’t have one of our baby goslings for your very own, would you consider sponsoring us?
An American Buff Goose weighs between 8-9 pounds at maturity, is an active forager and excellent layer with typical egg production at about 190-240 large white eggs annually. Their lifespan is generally 9-12 years.
What do you feed them and what do they naturally eat?
Special waterfowl pellets are available but regular chicken laying pellets are fine for geese. However, geese need more niacin than chickens do, so adding brewer’s yeast to their feed in a 5% ratio is recommended. Geese grow extremely fast and the niacin helps their bones develop correctly.
Feed should be set out in wide tubs or containers that can’t be tipped over. A grown goose will eat 4-6 ounces of feed per day so we try to measure out the correct amount, but that amount varies by time of year (they eat more in the winter, less in the summer when weeds and bugs are more readily available). Water should always be provided near the feed. Leftover feed at the end of day should be discarded if it has gotten wet. Geese also enjoy fresh peas or corn kernels, cucumber pieces, watermelon and cut tomatoes. Grit (coarse sand or dirt) should always be provided to geese to assist in grinding the food. Once your geese reach laying age (generally around 6 months), crushed oyster shell or eggshell should be provided in a separate container free-choice so each goose can eat what she needs for strong eggshells.
What kind of environment do they need to live as a pet?
Geese can do well as a backyard pet if they have a habitat that is created just for them. Elements of their habitat design include a pond, good substrates, and protection from the sun, wind, rain, and predators. For a couple of ducks an in ground pond that is well filtered and easy to drain for daily cleaning is a good option. It is best to surround the pool with gravel to prevent the geese from making the area too muddy. Their yard space will need to have grass areas, a sandy area, and logs to perch on. They will need a night house that will protect them from predators. Straw can be used for bedding in their night house but must be replaced regularly and any time it gets wet.
What health concerns should you know about if you own an American Buff Goose?
Geese are generally healthy and hardy. They don’t need vaccinations or annual shots and don’t need preventative worming. They aren’t quite as susceptible to external parasites (such as ticks, lice and mites) as chickens since they spend so much time in the water which drowns any parasites that might be present.
Annual Cost for each American Buff Goose is about $100 if there are no veterinary issues or emergencies.