Geese are becoming increasingly popular as domestic birds right alongside chickens. But whether they are kept for meat, eggs or both you need to know that geese have a unique diet compared to chickens.
Whereas chickens are widely ranging omnivores, geese are much more predisposed to being herbivores, though they are not strictly herbivores.
Domestic geese can have a wide variety of fruits and veggies in their diet, but they can’t have just anything. Giving them the wrong items could be harmful to their health. How about bananas? Can geese eat bananas safely?
Yes, bananas are safe for geese to eat but with caution. Bananas are too sugary and moist for them to eat all the time and can easily lead to digestive upset if they have too many.
Bananas, generally speaking, are a safe treat for them but that is exactly what they are: a treat. You should never be a mainstay of a goose’s diet, but there’s no reason they cannot enjoy them from time to time either.
You don’t need to be afraid of serving bananas to your flock, but you do need to have a plan. Keep reading, and I’ll tell you everything that a good goose owner should know…
Do Geese Like Bananas?
Yes, most geese do like bananas in my experience. They are soft, sweet, fragrant, and very easy for them to eat. But I warn you, never let your geese “free-eat” from a large quantity of bananas; always portion out the servings for them! You’ll find out why as we go along…
Are Bananas a Healthy Food for Geese?
Sort of. Bananas are indeed healthy for geese but only on a limited basis as a supplement or a healthy snack.
Bananas contain a great variety of vitamins and minerals which can benefit your birds: bananas contain a good assortment of B vitamins, including vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6 along with a decent amount of vitamin C.
Bananas also contain a good amount of potassium, manganese and magnesium which is supplemented with iron, phosphorus and zinc.
And they are a wonderful source of energy, too, but bananas are just too sugary for geese to eat regularly. Between the sugar content and the moisture of bananas, this can cause digestive upset for geese or even lead to issues with their crop.
I don’t say this to scare you: bananas are unlikely to harm your flock in any way so long as you only give them occasionally and in small quantities, as a treat. If that sounds like something you’d want to do for your birds, keep reading because there’s more you need to know.
Are Raw Bananas Safe for Geese?
Yes, raw bananas are safe for geese, and this is the best way to give them to your birds. Raw bananas are easy for them to eat and also have the best possible amount of nutrients.
Are Cooked Bananas Safe for Geese?
Yes, they are safe. However, I recommend you don’t waste time cooking them. This will significantly deplete the nutritional content of the banana and won’t really make it any easier for your geese to eat.
Are Green Bananas Safe for Geese?
Yes! And even better than safe: not only are green bananas safe for geese but they are a superior option for them. How so?
Simply put, green bananas don’t have as much sugar as fully ripened ones, and they also contain additional antioxidants which normally disappear as the bananas ripen and turn yellow.
They also have somewhat less moisture and are firmer overall compared to ripe ones, meaning they will pass through a goose’s crop more easily.
If you’re going to give your flock bananas, I highly recommend that you give them unripe green ones!
Can Geese Have Dried or Dehydrated Bananas?
Practically speaking, yes, but I don’t recommend it. Dehydrated bananas are invariably quite hard, and even though geese and other birds can break down hard foods in their gizzard, there’s a significantly increased risk of fragments getting caught in their throat or crop.
Then there is the matter of dehydrated banana pieces having significantly more sugar than the same size raw piece. This means it’s much easier to go overboard with the portion and give your geese too much sugar. This in turn can cause problems. Don’t do it.
Can Geese Eat Banana Peels?
Yes, but it isn’t a great idea. If you care enough to chop up a banana peel into tiny bites, your geese could swallow it and digest it. However, they’re almost bankrupt nutritionally speaking, and in my observations, most geese really don’t care for them. Don’t waste your time.
Can Bananas Hurt Geese in Any Way?
Yes, but only one of these is a significant practical concern as long as you aren’t overfeeding them. Giving your geese too many bananas can lead to sour crop, significant indigestion, weight gain, and other problems associated with excess sugar or carbs in their diet.
The other problem is associated with pesticide residues on store-bought bananas. Bananas are heavily treated at all phases of growth and production with pesticides, and peeling the banana is not always sufficient to eliminate these residues from the fruit.
Because birds, including geese, are so sensitive to toxic chemicals, I highly recommend you only get them organic bananas or buy them from trusted suppliers that don’t use them.
How Often Should Geese Eat Bananas?
Bananas are only to be a rare treat for your geese, no more than one small serving or perhaps two weekly. Even though they have the vitamins and minerals they need, the sugar content of bananas makes them a no-go as a regular part of their menu.
Don’t overdo it!
The Best Way to Serve Bananas to Geese
It doesn’t get much easier than this: Peel the bananas, preferably green ones if you will recall, and then cut them into medallions or smaller chunks that your geese can easily swallow.
An alternative method of preparation is to mash the banana and then mix it in with other dry foods that they like.
Never Give Them Bananas if they Are Rotting or Moldy
Just a reminder, you should never give your geese any produce that isn’t fit to eat. Specifically, don’t give them old and nasty, moldy, or rotting bananas. There are all sorts of foodborne germs that can severely hurt the health of your geese, many from molds in particular.
If you care about them, only give them high-quality food. Just because they are basically wild birds does not mean they can eat bad food without consequence!
Are Bananas Safe for Goslings, Too?
Yes, but with significant reservations. Goslings grow quickly and are very delicate, and they have specific nutritional requirements if they are going to develop properly and without problems.
If you want your goslings to stay healthy, bananas should only be a rare, and I mean rare, treat until they are fully grown…
Sugary, moist foods like bananas are notorious for causing digestive upset in baby geese, and even something as innocuous as diarrhea might have fatal consequences.
Because of that, I highly recommend that you let your goslings reach around 5 or 6 weeks of age before they get a tiny bit of banana as a fun treat. Even then, keep an eye on them and make sure there are no adverse effects.
Remember, too, that goslings are disproportionately vulnerable to crop problems, and bananas can cause crop problems more easily than most foods.
Tom has built and remodeled homes, generated his own electricity, grown his own food and more, all in quest of remaining as independent of society as possible. Now he shares his experiences and hard-earned lessons with readers around the country.
Find out more about the team here.