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Old 05-07-2020, 03:51 PM
 
5,776 posts, read 5,038,024 times
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Yes, I love watching them, ONE couple, raising ONE brood around a lake or pond. But for the past 40 years, we've had a plague of Canada geese, fouling our waters and our park grounds with their feces. Golf courses employ specially trained border collies to run and chase them off of the golf courses day in, day out. Of course, the border collies are thrilled with this job - they were born to run all day after flocks of sheep, so why not run after an enormous flock of Canada geese? But the parks can't afford to do this, so their ponds and grounds are turned into enormous fields of Canada geese walking through guano.

Well, it looks as if the predator/prey balance is finally evening out. Maybe it's the owls, maybe it's the red tailed hawks. But finally, something is eating the goslings. Perhaps someday seeing a Canada goose will become like seeing a mallard duck - one couple, raising one brood, to a pond, instead of flocks of scores and hundreds of them befouling our parks and ponds.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/06/s...gtype=Homepage
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Old 05-07-2020, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,919 posts, read 21,898,104 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parentologist View Post
But the parks can't afford to do this, so their ponds and grounds are turned into enormous fields of Canada geese walking through guano.....
I too enjoy geese. But a cheaper way of controlling the population would be to get volunteers to addle the eggs. Coaing the eggs with corn oil and retruning them to the nest is supposed to stop the development.

However, I don't know how the volunteer is supposed to prevent being attacked by an angry goose. Do they leave the nest long enogh to allow a human to approach?
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Old 05-07-2020, 08:10 PM
 
Location: on the wind
12,928 posts, read 6,444,509 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenage1 View Post
I too enjoy geese. But a cheaper way of controlling the population would be to get volunteers to addle the eggs. Coaing the eggs with corn oil and retruning them to the nest is supposed to stop the development.

However, I don't know how the volunteer is supposed to prevent being attacked by an angry goose. Do they leave the nest long enogh to allow a human to approach?
Depends on the geese. Some races of the Canada goose are more aggressive than others and they tend to defend a nest more vigorously the farther in to incubation the clutch has gotten. Really, what bodily harm is a goose going to cause? Wing buffets? A bite? Wear sturdy clothing. A lot of their behavior is bluff. A couple of suggestions. Divide and conquer...one person draws the fire while the other addles the eggs.

Some other tips and information about addling:

https://www.humanesociety.org/sites/...g-protocol.pdf
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Old 05-08-2020, 01:26 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
26,151 posts, read 34,638,046 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parnassia View Post
........ Really, what bodily harm is a goose going to cause? Wing buffets? A bite? .........

I haven't had problems with Canada Geese, but a domestic goose can really hurt you. The edge of the bill is serrated and cuts like a knife. They can give you a nasty cut. They are powerful beasts and if they smack you with the leading edge of a wing, it really hurts. If they peck at you with the end of the bill, it really hurts.



They probably aren't going to kill you, but they can cause too much pain to ignore while you mess with their eggs. They could damage your face. A wing blow is strong enough to break your nose.



However, none of my geese were the least bit concerned about me handling their eggs and I know the parks department volunteers were oiling eggs and there was nothing in the news about them being attacked by the geese. Canada geese in parks are so accustomed to being around people that they are very close to being tamed. They see people as a food source and not as a threat.
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Old 05-08-2020, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Ocala, FL
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I used to own a farm and had the standard White Geese. I was never intimidated by them, but my mom was and she would get chased and bitten. I would gently grab them by the neck to prevent from getting bitten and just pick them up by the body when they first started to chase me. They were more afraid of me then I ever was of them.

No geese were harmed in this story. Just had to add that disclaimer.
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Old 05-09-2020, 02:44 PM
 
Location: In the heights
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These little buddies are edible, so why not just eat some to control the population?
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Old 05-09-2020, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Erie, PA
3,594 posts, read 1,885,815 times
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We have a local golf course that had a massive goose problem about 4 years ago and used border collies to chase the geese off. This got expensive and despite the dogs' best efforts, the geese still crapped all over the place since the dogs couldn't be in every place all of the time.

The golf course installed a couple of very large nesting platforms at a height of 85 feet in hopes of attracting some raptors.

The golf course still has a few geese but now has a pair of bald eagles that catch plenty of geese and goslings. They can often be seen catching fish in the lake but definitely don't mind catching geese. The presence of the eagles has led to a much larger reduction in the goose population.
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Old 05-10-2020, 02:44 PM
 
Location: on the wind
12,928 posts, read 6,444,509 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
I haven't had problems with Canada Geese, but a domestic goose can really hurt you. The edge of the bill is serrated and cuts like a knife. They can give you a nasty cut. They are powerful beasts and if they smack you with the leading edge of a wing, it really hurts. If they peck at you with the end of the bill, it really hurts.



They probably aren't going to kill you, but they can cause too much pain to ignore while you mess with their eggs. They could damage your face. A wing blow is strong enough to break your nose.
Oh I know, believe me. I have trapped, banded, hazed, and tagged a lot of geese. Sometimes the biggest ones fold soonest. Once got chased into the Sprague River in front of a bunch of summer camp kids by an enraged domestic goose (named Pancake for some mysterious reason). What made it doubly humiliating was that I was the camp's naturalist/biology coach. I vowed never to be intimidated by domestic fowl again. The next time that goose thought about trying its little stunt I called its bluff. Stood my ground as it cautiously walked up, grabbed it by the neck, pinned its wings to its sides, gave it a good shake and bawling out. The only thing damaged was its dignity. It never bothered me again.

Last edited by Parnassia; 05-10-2020 at 02:57 PM..
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Old 05-14-2020, 03:58 PM
 
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Well, this is an interesting topic, as I and my dogs run one of those goose-chasing businesses.

According to our state fish and game department, the Canada geese who are here, in our state, are not descended from wild Canada geese, but from Canada geese that were raised and kept by hunters, as decoy birds. When live decoys became illegal, they released their decoy birds into the wild. Personally, I'm a bit skeptical of this, but it could be. I do find it easy to imagine that one could domesticate these Canada geese. They are very controllable, and they are very habit-driven.

I guarantee, given a bit of time, that the dogs are 100% effective at convincing the geese they are not welcome. If you know of somewhere that used dogs and they still had geese, I guarantee it was because of one of two reasons. Either they used the wrong dogs, or the location quit requesting (or paying for) dog visits. For most of my clients, the expense is not that great. But it IS a maintenance effort. I had one client who would only pay per visit. Well, whether it takes us 2 visits, or two weeks of visits, when the geese are gone, it was still our doing, so I charge by the season only. They were too cheap to do that, so they are no longer a client. And, last I heard, they had geese.

As for the "wrong" dogs, I've talked to golf course groundskeepers who had dogs, but still had geese. I am convinced it was because the dogs were not aggressive enough about chasing the geese. In some cases, I KNOW this was the case. After my dogs have moved geese off a location a few times, the geese often get very "light", and will abandon the field when any neighborhood poodle comes walking by. And, at some locations, it can be very helpful if you are willing to continue the chase on the water. It depends on the location.

However, it is a maintenance effort. All my clients know to call me if they see geese, and we come right out. For choice feeding grounds, the geese will come check them out a few times a year. So long as we greet them shortly after, they will stay away. For less prime sites, the geese may stay away a couple of years after they've been successfully moved off.

Getting the geese trained to stay away is not a one-day effort. It takes a little time to do the initial training. Usually a bit less than two weeks, in my experience. Although I did have one town where it took over two months, but there we were dealing with multiple flocks, multiple sites, and over two hundred geese in total. They remain the exception. Then I have to come out a few more times during the year.
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:45 PM
 
Location: Olympia area (for now)
2,196 posts, read 945,107 times
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Geese are generally only aggressive during the breeding season. Picking up an aggressive goose and carrying them around sometimes works. Every evening I herd my aggressive African geese to their pen. I use a wisk broom or long branch to wave around at them and it works. They don’t know what it is, but they respect it. I can’t do yard work unarmed, Gus, my largest male, frequently tries to sneak up and bite.

Wearing protective clothes will save you from a painful bite, also not backing down. Geese raised by people tend to show no fear. With wild geese, they’ll have more fear of people and you can use that to your advantage. Geese do respect dogs, my little five pound Yorkie will chase them every chance she gets and they always take off running.
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