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Meet Our Resident Geese
Posted on Nov 8th, 2015

The Roman Tufted Goose is a small ornamental breed of domestic goose, and it's development can be dated back to over 2000 years ago in the Danube River Valley. To the ancient Romans, the goose was a revered animal associated with Juno, the goddess of light, marriage, and childbirth.  Roman literature tells the story of how these sacred geese saved the city with their warning cries when the Gauls were about to attack.  True to its name, white Roman Tufted Geese are identified by the small tuft of feathers on top of their head. In Europe they are bred as a utility goose breed for their fast growth and small meaty carcass, but in North America they are revered more as an ornamental breed for their tufts.

Roman Geese are a prolific breed; they are pleasant and friendly but can tend to be quite noisy and "talkative" when they become excited. This breed makes an excellent backyard bird because of their love for bugs. Their superb foraging abilities make an excellent ecological option for pest control in the yard or garden, and their alertness and willingness to "sound the alarm" also make this goose an excellent sentinel to ward off other potential threats to your yard and garden.
The Roman goose is a small breed, weighing 10-12 pounds and can live over 20 years.  White plumage is typical but some may develop small amounts of gray or buff color, blue eyes, red-orange legs, with a pinkish bill sporting a white tip.  They are a moderate egg-layer, and breeders can expect 25-35 white eggs per year.  In Europe, Roman geese are utility birds, bred for a rapid maturing, small, meaty carcass.  In North America, many strains are largely ornamental, bred for a distinguishing crest, or tuft.  They are alert and make good watchdogs.

What to feed:
* Note: Any food fed to them should be in manageable size for swallowing. Foods should be as natural as possible, unprocessed without harmful additives.
*  Particularly in the winter months when grasses or other plant vegetation is scarce, greens such as dark green lettuce, spinach, chopped/shredded carrots, celery and alfalfa sprouts and other vegetables and greens make a great supplement. Note that lettuce may be an acquired taste. Any vegetables need to be cut up into small pieces. Remember, birds don't have teeth!
*  Other foods to feed: Healthy popcorn (without artificial coloring and flavorings); corn / cracked corn; whole wheat GRAIN (not processed, not bread - natural state grain); whole oats; brown rice, lentils, split peas and smallish seeds
*  Equally loved and cherished are peelings from our own food preparations for dinner, such as broccoli, potatoes, green beans, cabbage -- GENTLY steamed (only enough to warm up - NEVER cook and NEVER use the microwave to warm up) and feed warm (not hot) to swans who will especially appreciate that when it's cold outside
*  Geese consume a wide variety of plant material, including grass, leaves, roots, etc.  They may also feed on aquatic plant material and waste grain left in plowed fields, as well as mollusks, crustaceans and even small fish.  Many of them such as the Roman Tufted Geese also eat bugs, which makes them an excellent choice for those wishing to control insect populations in the backyard.
What NOT to feed:
*  Anything that is NOT healthy for us: sugary, starchy, fatty foods, junk food, fast food
*  Bread, chips, cakes, cookies, and cereal, etc - as these foods can cause digestive and serious other health problems
*  Cooked and processed foods