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Watch geese: they'll protect your property as well as a dog ... and they have advantages!

If you are interested in living home security systems, consider geese as an alternative to dogs.

I recommend hatching the eggs yourself so the goslings imprint on humans. That way your "security system" won't see you as a threat and attack you!

I obtained my gander from a local school... they'd hatched him and didn't know what to do with this gosling. Of course, the extension agent had my name as a crazy woman who kept all sorts of critters... so, enter Jemima. The teacher told us he'd been sexed and was female. Oh well...

Now as a two year old gander, Jemima considers the yard his territory and vigorously defends it. If you've ever seen a 40 pound goose coming at you - neck extended, hissing like a steam engine - you know just how formidable they can be! Jemima once successfully defended his ducks against a fox. He grabbed hold and beat it with his wings. Even though my chicken house sits on the edge of a 100 acre woods, we have almost no critter predation.

Another thing is their honk. It sounds rather like an air horn. No one can sneak up to a house or barn when it is patrolled by geese.

Friends who visit always insist Jemima be locked up before getting out of the car - once bitten they don't want to chance it again. A goose bite will leave a colorful bruise and hurt like the devil, but unlike a dog attack, usually doesn't break the skin or do permanent damage.

Unfortunately geese, as with dogs, generally just work keeping honest people honest. Geese are just as easy to kill, probably easier. Just grab that head as the goose comes toward you and twist; although, if 10 geese were running at you... So if someone really was intent on mischief they could kill your geese or your dog and do it anyway. But as watch animals, geese do a good job protecting your property and your flock of fowls.

And then, if you should get tired of your geese, for whatever reason, they taste awfully good.
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Author:Rodham, Aleta
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Date:Sep 1, 1993
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