Tag Archives: Home and Garden

Wall of death

Partially covered by shop trays, the body of a goose which was killed when it flew into the wall of The Sands apartments. Photo by Andrew Higgins 130408a    21/01/2013

More than 500 people have now signed petition forms demanding action to end Scarborough’s North Baywall of deathgeese carnage.

However, action has yet to be taken despite the building’s owner claiming in February that a solution was set to be brought in last month.

It follows a consultation with a leading ornithologist.

Since the launch of our Save the Geese campaign at the beginning of the year, petition forms have flooded in calling for urgent measures to prevent any more birds from slamming into the side of The Sands development.

Slips have been handed to the building’s managers, Escape 2 The Sands, which has handed them on to the owners, Benchmark, based in Stafford.

A spokesman for the management agent said: “Everything has been given to Benchmark, we are just waiting for a decision. The ball is in their court.

“They are concerned and they are looking at various options but haven’t made a decision yet which route to go down but they are getting professional advice.”

Canadian geese have been slamming into the pale-coloured end wall of The Sands apartments for more than three years, mistaking it for sky.

The birds break their necks and slump to the ground, leaving the blank end wall of Kepwick House peppered with large indentations.

Advertisements

When Geese Attack!

goose4

In spring, there always seems to be lots of love in the air, as the natural world settles into the breeding season. For parenting creatures, danger lurks around every corner as predators sniff out the presence of tasty young prey. Defensive instincts are now at their height for all things in the middle of breeding, and for those people unlucky enough to fall foul of them, this is especially true of geese.

Goose attacks on humans have caused serious physical injury, such as broken bones, head injuries, and emotional distress, many occurring when the person tried to avoid an attack and tripped. When fed by people, geese lose their natural fear which often leads to more violent attacks during the spring nesting season, because they will begin nesting closer to areas that people frequent.

goose5The breeding instinct is among the strongest drives of animal behaviour. Geese usually start choosing mates and selecting a territory for nesting in late February to early March. The females lay eggs March to mid-May, and incubation begins as soon as all eggs are laid. The gander has the job, during the nesting season, of defending the female, the nesting territory and the eggs. If any intruder enters the territory, the gander will usually give a warning call before chasing it away. Some geese can be very aggressive and will only stop their attack when the intruder has left or the goose’s life is threatened.

Geese have excellent vision and seem to pay very close attention to the eyes and body language of humans and other animals. Coming across an aggressive goose can pass peacefully if you maintain direct eye contact while facing your body directly towards the attacking goose. Never turn your back or shoulders away, and never close or squint your eyes.

goose1If the goose approaches you aggressively, hissing or spreading its wings, you should slowly back away watching carefully for obstacles you could trip over. DO NOT, EVER yell, kick, or act hostile in any way. At the same time, never cower, hide your face, turn your back, or run. Over aggression may cause the female to join in, creating an even more aggressive attack from the male. If one flies up towards your face, then duck or move away at a 90 degree angle to the direction of flight, but be sure to keep facing the attacking goose.
goose2

Remember that, scary as such an attack might seem to you, it really is a case of the birds doing what comes naturally. If you have kids that seem threatened somehow, you would risk life and limb to defend them. It is exactly the same for those geese when they set upon you, and though you may have no idea how close the nest is, rest assured it will be close by.

goose3

In reality, the number of people suffering anything more than minor injuries each year is very small, but the trauma and indignity of such a savage onslaught by a normally harmless bird stays with the victim forever. The geese DO NOT want you to forget, so if you really want to avoid their anger, steer well clear of them in springtime.

Source: http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/news-savage-attacks-breeding-geese#5wIviIeLTCHJWGmr.99

Keeping Geese – Getting Started

So far we’ve been concentrating on everything to do with keeping chickens, but if you’re after a bird that is full of charm, character and can guard your house like a dog, then geese are the answer!  These wonderful creatures also make great pets and in the coming articles we’re going to look at everything you need to know about keeping them successfully.

Did you know?

Did you know that geese can live to be more than 20 years old, so is certainly something to consider when deciding on keeping them.  They are also sociable animals and like to have each others company, so you should be thinking of getting more than just one!

What do you need to start?

Just like keeping all types of poultry, geese need space to roam.  Geese are by nature, a free ranging breed, and need space to move around, so a large garden for a smallish flock is ideal.

Housing Your Geese

Just like any other pet, your geese need a safe, sheltered spot that they can retreat to at night and when they want some relief or protection from the sun, wind or rain.  A stable, shed or small building will provide suitable housing. If purpose-built, the house does not need to be huge, but should be at least 6ft high and 4ft at the back and give each goose at least a square meter of floor space.  An area of 8ft x 6ft will comfortably house 4-6 geese. A good wide door should be provided and most of the front should be wire mesh. The house should face away from the prevailing winter wind. A higher roof makes cleaning easier, as does a concrete or wooden floor. Sections partitioned off will encourage your geese to make their nests in a secure place, as well as preventing them from stealing each other’s eggs when sitting. Make sure the house is well ventilated and dry and that the floor is covered with a dry material such as sawdust or wood shavings, which you replace when necessary.  Straw makes the best bedding and needs to be changed regularly.

Feeding Geese

As geese eat grass and the insects that live in the grass, you’ll find that the small areas of you garden the geese graze will become messy and bare, and the geese will need to be moved onto a new grassy patch as time goes on.  Make sure the grass is kept relatively short; less than 4 inches high.  But grass isn’t their only food source and you’ll have to make sure they get the protein, vitamins and minerals they need in their diet too.  You can supplement the grass with a mixture of wheat and pellets, given dry in a bowl.  Geese will also happily eat vegetables such as cauliflower trimmings, carrots and potatoes, but you need make sure that these are more of a treat, rather than a staple part of the diet.  Like any bird, they will also need grit in their diet and you can provide this by supplying a dish containing coarse sand or mixed poultry grit.

Water

Of course water is vital!  If you have a pond (it must be clean) it will supply the geese with a consistent and fresh source of water.  Geese are a type of waterfowl, so will want to be able to play in water, doing things such as preening and dipping their heads.  Of course even if you don’t have one, they will need fresh water every day, which can be provided with special water hoppers.  How about a child’s paddling pool?  You’ll find the geese, like most waterfowl, are rather messy creatures, so will have to empty, scrub, and refill the water containers and tidy up their enclosure on a daily basis.

Don’t Forget to Check With Council

Finally, don’t forget to give your local council a call before you bring any geese home to see if there are any limits or restrictions on how many geese you can keep.  There are more likely to be restrictions in urban areas.