QR Code Tour – Geese

A group of geese is called a gaggle. There are roughly 20 species of wild geese. Domesticated geese can live anywhere from 15 to 25 years. Geese mate for life and have strong social bonds. When a goose sees its partner in trouble or suffering its heart rate rises. A female goose lays around five eggs on average, taking 28 days for them to hatch. Geese are protective and loving parents.

Geese have visual capabilities that allow them to see finer detail at further distance than humans. They can also control their eyes separately and see in the ultraviolet spectrum as well. Geese can sleep with one eye open, shutting down part of their brain for a rest while still monitoring their surroundings. The depth of their sleep depends on how open their eye is. This acts as a deterrent to predators because they look like they are awake. Geese have the ability to follow the gaze of others which gives them all kinds of information about what’s going on. It helps them spot predators, food, or just a good time. 

Geese have touch receptors on their bills that are very sensitive. This is similar to our fingertips and palms. In the wild Geese eat mostly aquatic plants and seeds in fields. Our geese eat grass and food specially formulated for them. Wild geese can fly, however, this isn’t really an option for domesticated geese because of their large size and upright posture.

Reality of farm life outside the sanctuary 

Geese have two types of feathers: flight feathers with a hard shaft and body feathers, that are soft with a curved shaft. Geese raised for meat and fois gras will have their feathers harvested up to 4 times in their lifetimes. Geese raised for eggs endure 5 to 15 feather harvests in their lifetimes. Usually the goose is not given any food the day before their feathers are collected. This is to avoid feces getting on the feathers. Geese are held down with their heads between a workers legs. If done incorrectly can cause injury, suffocation, and even death. When feathers are removed by force or plucked they may have blood and tissue attached. This is a painful and terrifying experience for the geese. There chests are often left raw with bleeding follicles and bruised with tissue damage. Geese raised for meat will be slaughtered when they are 8 weeks old to 24 months. Geese raised for eggs will be slaughtered when their fertility wains at 4 to 5 years of age.