Heritage Livestock: Geese

The next installment on heritage breeds with reference to TLC (The Livestock Conservancy). This post is in regards to heritage breed geese. Currently, four breeds are listed as “critical,” another three as “threatened,” and an additional four are on the watch list.

Geese can benefit the homestead in various ways: the common uses are for meat and eggs, they also provide an “alarm system” and protection from predators. That protection is often attributed to their commonly aggressive and territorial personalities. Geese are often recommended for the more experienced of fowl-keepers, but if they are raised from hatchlings and handled frequently, they can form bonds with people and be a great homestead addition!

Critical
  • Cotton Patch – bred for meat and also their innate “weeding” ability, used originally to weed cotton patches in the south, originated in South Eastern US, lays large white eggs, docile and active, light to medium sized, also provides a good source of grease (rendering fat)
  • Roman – bred for meat, as a watchdog, and for ornamental uses due to their feathered “crown,” originated in Italy, can be aggressive, small breed, lays large white eggs, produce a plump roasting bird
  • Shetland – originated in Shetland Islands of Great Britain, bred for their meat and weeding abilities, lay large white eggs however are not consistent layers, coloration is sex-linked
  • Steinbacher – bred for meat, lays large white eggs, medium to large sized bird, very aggressive
threatened
  • Pilgrim – bred for meat, lays large eggs, thought to have come to America with the pilgrims, sex-linked colorations, calm and personable, medium sized, good foragers
  • Pomeranian – bred for meat, lays large eggs, large breed, can be aggressive, developed in Germany, noisy – good watch birds
  • Sebastopol – ornamental & meat breed, lays large white eggs, medium sized, “feather boa” style of feathers, developed in South Eastern Europe

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