Rearing Geese

By Jabo
@jaboUK (50691)
United Kingdom
November 28, 2017 1:54pm CST
When I was a young wife with two small children, I chose to stay at home with them, rather than go out to work. Consequently, money was a bit tight, so one year we decided to raise our own geese for the Christmas table. So, with five friends we bought 6 young goslings. The deal was that my husband and I would look after them, as we were the ones with the land, and our friends would buy the necessary food. Now let me tell you that geese are evil creatures - they hissed at and frightened the children, they honked at all hours of the day and night, and they even pecked a hole in our conservatory door. On top of all that, they didn't even get fat. Looking back, we probably should have kept them cooped up instead of giving them loads of space to run around in, but I've always thought that any creature should be as free as possible. Anyway, they repaid us by remaining relatively scrawny, and after we'd paid someone to do the deed (to kill and pluck them), we found we'd hardly saved any money at all. They didn't even taste good, though this could have been because while I was eating, I was seeing them alive in my mind's eye. I've always been like that, as though I eat meat, fish and fowl, I don't want any reminders that they were once living creatures. That's why I never have fish in those restaurants where you can see them swimming around in tanks, and choose which one you want - no thank you. So our venture into geese-keeping was never repeated. We go the conventional route and settle for shop-bought turkey now. Have you had any frustrating experiences when trying to save money? Photo from Pixabay
45 people like this
42 responses
@much2say (35427)
• United States
28 Nov
Because it is likely I would think of an animal I'm taking care of as a pet rather than something to eventually eat, I couldn't do it . Growing indoor herbs frustrate me. There are some herbs I would just love to have on hand in the kitchen . . . just to take a snip of when I'm cooking - I only need a little. Most of the store herbs come in too big of a bunch for me . . . so I figured growing them would be cheaper as I wouldn't need too much of it at a time, and it wouldn't be wasteful. Well, I get a couple uses, and then the plants shrivel and die . . . I can't tell you how many little herb plants/pots I've bought that did not survive . . . in fact I've lost 2 thyme plants recently.
5 people like this
@jaboUK (50691)
• United Kingdom
28 Nov
Fortunately, these were too nasty to be deemed pets, but I still didn't enjoy eating them. Oh dear - regarding the herbs, you'd think they would be easy to keep alive.
2 people like this
@much2say (35427)
• United States
28 Nov
@jaboUK I guess even nasty geese can still be familiar faces - maybe they weren't nice, but you'd definitely get to know and remember them with their strong personalities. Herbs - I seem to find it easy to not keep them alive !
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (81674)
• United States
28 Nov
When we first started out and when our son was little, we tried to save money by doing home repairs all by ourselves. The results of our DIY work often did not turn out well at all. If we had had YouTube videos back then, we just may have found quite a few videos to help us fix things ourselves. My husband was installing French doors between the kitchen and the family room, but he broke the ceiling fan due to hitting it with the ladder during the install process. The doors were always a bit "off" too.
4 people like this
• Germany
28 Nov
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (50691)
• United Kingdom
28 Nov
@Corbin5 Oh my, that sounds like a catalogue of disasters.
3 people like this
@Corbin5 (81674)
• United States
28 Nov
@jaboUK We hire pros now. And, those male geese sure to hiss at Molly and me if we are in a park and get too close in the spring when the goslings are brand new. I bet they could really give a painful bite.
2 people like this
@m_audrey6788 (11601)
• Germany
28 Nov
I understand the feeling of being frustrated of trying to save but still ended nothing
4 people like this
@jaboUK (50691)
• United Kingdom
28 Nov
@m_audrey6788 Well, we did learn from the experience - don't try anything like that again!
2 people like this
• Germany
28 Nov
@jaboUK Yes. Thanks for telling me this
1 person likes this
@allknowing (55773)
• India
29 Nov
Rearing and then eating them could bring out the kind of reaction you had. The only frustration I can think of is when the shares I bought did not go up.
4 people like this
@jaboUK (50691)
• United Kingdom
29 Nov
@allknowing Oh yes, that's annoying about the shares - I always seem to buy them at the wrong time.
4 people like this
@xFiacre (10490)
• Ireland
28 Nov
@jabouk just being married is very frustrating when you're trying to save money!
4 people like this
@jaboUK (50691)
• United Kingdom
29 Nov
@xFiacre Trust you to come up with a quip like that
2 people like this
@JudyEv (101028)
• Bunbury, Australia
28 Nov
Our worst experience with home-grown meat was fattening a runt pig. We didn't even give him a name and tried not to be friends but he was loved a scratch and was very sociable. We did save money but it nearly broke our hearts.
4 people like this
@jaboUK (50691)
• United Kingdom
28 Nov
@JudyEv I can imagine that, especially if he was friendly. At least I never got to like the geese.
4 people like this
@DianneN (59484)
• United States
28 Nov
My father's words of wisdom, out of many, were to never scrimp when it comes to food. i used to go with my father to buy chickens for dinner way back when you could choose any live one you fancied. I could never look at them. Our new daughter-in-law became a vegan five months ago. She sent me a link regarding how awful the treatment of animals is and how unhealthy. Since I do love my meat, fish, shellfish, and poultry, I didn't open the link.
3 people like this
@jaboUK (50691)
• United Kingdom
28 Nov
@DianneN Lol - I have that head-in-the-sand attitude too
1 person likes this
@Fleura (6218)
• United Kingdom
29 Nov
@jaboUK @DianneN If the way animals are farmed bothers you, don't just look the other way - make choices and support farmers who raise free-range meat for example.
2 people like this
@DianneN (59484)
• United States
29 Nov
@Fleura That I do!
1 person likes this
@jstory07 (58285)
• Roseburg, Oregon
29 Nov
My parents taised rabbits once but could not kill them to eat. So that was the end of that.
3 people like this
@jaboUK (50691)
• United Kingdom
29 Nov
@jstory07 So they learned the lesson, same as me.
2 people like this
@jstory07 (58285)
• Roseburg, Oregon
29 Nov
@jaboUK Yes they did.
2 people like this
@BelleStarr (32032)
• Portland, Connecticut
28 Nov
I had to laugh because one policy that I always adhere to is that I will not eat any animal that I have seen alive, I don't pick my lobster, no way. lol
3 people like this
@jaboUK (50691)
• United Kingdom
28 Nov
@BelleStarr That's something I've always adhered too as well - I don't know what I was thinking of when I agreed to rear the geese.
3 people like this
@LadyDuck (121968)
• Switzerland
29 Nov
I agree that geese are evil creatures, they scared me when I was a kid, ducks are small and a lot more friendly. I would have been unable to eat the goose. I cannot eat animals that I have seen alive, my stomach refuses the food and I feel sad and frustrated.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (50691)
• United Kingdom
29 Nov
@LadyDuck I ate the goose just because I didn't want to spoil the dinner for others, but I didn't enjoy it.
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (121968)
• Switzerland
29 Nov
@jaboUK I understand very well, I remember when my grandmother served the rabbit stew and I had seen the rabbits when they were babies. I did not enjoy the food at all.
2 people like this
@shaggin (26901)
• United States
28 Nov
I do not eat meat but I can completely understand why you do not want to know what you eat like picking out your own fish to be killed and cooked for you at the restaurant. Did you raise the geese from birth or get them when they were a little older?
2 people like this
@jaboUK (50691)
• United Kingdom
28 Nov
We got them when they were a few weeks old - they looked quite cute then, but soon turned nasty.
2 people like this
@shaggin (26901)
• United States
28 Nov
@jaboUK I wondered if they were older when you got them so never grew fond of you but if you had them from a few weeks old they were just plain mean.
1 person likes this
@Fleura (6218)
• United Kingdom
29 Nov
Well it was certainly an interesting experience and probably a good life lesson for the children. As you say the large commercial producers benefit from economies of scale as well as, often, lower welfare standards.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (50691)
• United Kingdom
1 Dec
@Fleura Yes, it taught the children that not all creatures are nice .
1 person likes this
@valmnz (13162)
• New Zealand
28 Nov
My husband and a friend shot some wild turkey once and they were a bit tough! I guess you have to really know what you're doing.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (50691)
• United Kingdom
28 Nov
@valmnz Yes, knowing what you are doing is aklways a help!
2 people like this
@responsiveme (14414)
• India
4 Dec
Me too Long long back my father bought two hens and they were put in the court yard tied up with a string , to be eaten the next day. Within the night they were named Blackie and Brownie by us kids and my parents had to build a henhouse for them were they stayed on for years and laid eggs and had chickens instead of going into the cooking pot. We cried and cried and the water power saved their lives. PS...Are you all in Spain now?
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (50691)
• United Kingdom
5 Dec
@responsiveme Blackie and Brownie were very lucky chickens.. Yes we're in Spain, have been here 2 weeks now, with another 2 weeks to go
1 person likes this
• India
6 Dec
@jaboUK soak in the sand...And the sea...I love the seaside ..Must be because it is so far away from where I live
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@jaboUK (50691)
• United Kingdom
6 Dec
@responsiveme I suppose that people who live near the sea take it for granted.
1 person likes this
@Shiva49 (9637)
• Singapore
30 Nov
Being a vegetarian all my life I do not face this issue of thinking that the food I was eating was alive a while ago. However, one friend told me even plants have life! I was rather fortunate that I earned more than my needs and so saving was a natural accretion though not much to have a blast - siva
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (50691)
• United Kingdom
1 Dec
@Shiva49 Were you a vegetarian even as a child Siva?
1 person likes this
@Shiva49 (9637)
• Singapore
2 Dec
@jaboUK Yes, I am right from birth. In tropical Asia it is not difficult to subsist on vegetarian food and is easily available - siva
1 person likes this
@ridingbet (37922)
• Philippines
30 Nov
i think geese are seldom here in the city. usually, ducks are kept in small pens, but i have not seen a house with geese in their yards.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (50691)
• United Kingdom
30 Nov
@ridingbet We lived in a rural village at the time I'm talking about, so it wasn't unusual fro pepople to keep livestock on their land.
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@ridingbet (37922)
• Philippines
30 Nov
@jaboUK i mean here in my place. i haven't seen a house with geese in their backyard.
1 person likes this
• Eugene, Oregon
29 Nov
I never raised geese or chickens, though Anne grew up with chickens and an orange grove. She is far more thrifty than I. I have never saved well.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (50691)
• United Kingdom
30 Nov
@JamesHxstatic Chickens and an orange grove sound idyllic.
1 person likes this
• Eugene, Oregon
30 Nov
@jaboUK The orange grove was great. Keeping the chicken coop clean was not so much fun, even though there were only six or eight chickens.
1 person likes this
@nanette64 (13788)
• Fairfield, Texas
29 Nov
I know what you mean about a critter being in your minds eye when eating @jaboUK . I definitely won't do the Lobster thing if seen swimming. I do have to say though that when me and (you know who) had the Organic Farm, the chickens we had were strictly for egg laying. The eggs sold so fast (as they were Jumbo), that the chickens could hardly keep up. You guys might have made more money by having a veggie garden. Seeds are cheap and the bounty is excellent.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (50691)
• United Kingdom
30 Nov
@nanette64 I bet those eggs from your chickens tasted good
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@nanette64 (13788)
• Fairfield, Texas
30 Nov
@jaboUK O yeah, they were delish.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (115058)
• Boise, Idaho
29 Nov
This reminds me of the movie I was watching again the other night. Friendly Persuasion with Gary Cooper and Dorothy McGuire. Such a good film about a family of Quakers during the time of the Civil War. Some Union soldiers come to their farm and one soldier is going to eat the pet goose. He has it in his arms. Dorothy's character picks up the broom on the porch and beats the soldier with it explaining that this goose is a pet. When Gary Cooper's character learns of this he is appalled since she is the one that is usually spouting the Quaker gospel all the time which includes not harming another person. It's a cute movie.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (50691)
• United Kingdom
29 Nov
@celticeagle Sounds a fun movie. Dorothy's goose was nicer than mine!
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (115058)
• Boise, Idaho
29 Nov
@jaboUK ......It is a cute movie.
1 person likes this
@YrNemo (8593)
28 Nov
Only six geese? I remembered seeing someone with a small block of land, perhaps 15 m x 30 m (I was only a little child at the time, everything seemed to look big back then), but she has a flock of about 20 or 30. They were worse than evil, they chased after anyone who dared pass that high and fancy gate/fence (that family was very wealthy I heard). My sister, who was a friend of the owner's daughter, was chased and 'bitten' on the bum once or twice. Strange, I remembered those awful geese as giant, white and with a very long neck. The ones I saw on youtube were so like white ducks (small). Could my childhood memory distort things that bad?
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (50691)
• United Kingdom
29 Nov
@YrNemo We only wanted six - one each for everyone. I think our memories can get distorted - for instance I remember it being sunny all the time. I don't think so - this was England! But I think you've remembered right about the geese being evil
1 person likes this
@YrNemo (8593)
29 Nov
@jaboUK Until this day, my sister still hates geese with a certain intensity, while I end up having a healthy respect for those pretty but loud creatures! (They are really loud, I don't know how that family could 'farm' geese like that in their yard.)
1 person likes this