Can Geese Eat Broccoli? Is it Safe?

Concerning the diet of geese, one good rule of thumb is that you can always count on them to eat any green plants and veggies. 

collage of geese eating various foods
A collage of geese eating various foods

This is because geese tend to eat a diet that is composed mostly of plant matter. It’s not all plant matter, and strictly speaking, they are omnivores, but it is various plants and veggies make up the majority part of their diet. 

That being said, there are quite a few things out there that, surprisingly, geese don’t or won’t eat. How about something super-healthy and very green like broccoli? Do geese eat broccoli, and is it safe? 

Yes, broccoli is safe for geese to eat and highly nutritious, but it turns out that most geese don’t like it. Rather, most geese only like broccoli leaves. If your flock will eat it they can get great nutrition from it, however. 

This is really a simple matter of biological limitations concerning a goose’s distaste for broccoli: they simply are not equipped to chew and swallow this somewhat tough, woody veggie (except for the florets and certainly the leaves). 

The leaves, particularly, are extremely easy for geese to eat. Nonetheless, you can still try to incorporate broccoli into the diet of your flock. Keep reading and I’ll tell you what you need to know… 

Do Geese Like Broccoli? 

In my experience, no, not really. Or rather I should say that most geese tend to avoid eating any part of broccoli except the leaves. 

Every now and then I’ve come across an individual goose that will scrape the tips of the florets off of a head of broccoli, but this is the exception unless you take the time to specially prepare for them. 

Luckily, if you properly prepare broccoli, it’s more likely that your geese will eat it. 

Is Broccoli a Healthy Food for Geese? 

Yes, broccoli is absolutely a healthy food for geese. Broccoli is well known as an extremely healthy vegetable, one that is loaded with essential vitamins and minerals. In fact, every part of broccoli is healthy, and that includes the leaves if that is all that your geese will eat

Looking at the nutritional complement of broccoli, we see that it contains a little bit of protein and carbohydrates that can provide geese with energy but more importantly, it contains tons and tons of vitamins. 

The B complex vitamins are present in abundance, and that includes B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6 backed up by folate and some choline. Other vitamins that are well represented include vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin K. 

And the minerals are no slouch either, with plenty of iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. 

Together, this is a great assortment of vital nutrients that geese need in their diet, and they will improve every facet of their health, from healing and growth to feathering, egg production and quality, circulatory health, immune system performance, and a lot more. 

This means that broccoli provides your flock with tons of benefits in just one vegetable! The trick is getting them to eat it! Or at least eat more than the leaves… 

Is Raw Broccoli Okay for Geese? 

Yes, raw broccoli is safe for geese and ideal if you can get them to eat it. But, aside from the leaves, most won’t. 

Is Cooked Broccoli Okay for Geese? 

Yes, it is. Cooked broccoli is also safe for geese, and this can be a good way to encourage them to eat it because it makes it a little softer and more appetizing. However, it’s a trade-off: when you cook broccoli, it significantly reduces the vitamin and mineral content.  

Are Broccoli Florets Safe for Geese? 

Yes, they are. The florets are completely safe for geese, but I rarely encounter any that enjoy them and seek them out. You’ll have to figure out other ways to get your birds to eat them, usually. 

Are Broccoli Leaves Safe for Geese? 

Yes, broccoli leaves are totally safe for geese. In fact, this is the one part of the plant that most geese seem to eat eagerly and happily. The leaves are highly nutritious, as detailed above, but if this is the only part that your flock will eat, they are leaving a lot of nutrition on the table. 

Are Broccoli Stems Safe for Geese? 

Yes. Broccoli stalks are safe for geese to consume but they’re just too tough for them to deal with unless you take the time to chop them up into small pieces. Preferably, you’ll incorporate them into other foods to disguise them. 

Can Broccoli Hurt Geese in Any Way? 

No, assuming that your geese are still getting a well-rounded and nutritious diet and they don’t try to choke down a piece of the stalk that is too large for them. That might result in the chunk lodging in their throat or in their crop. 

How Often Should Geese Eat Broccoli? 

If you can get your flock to eat broccoli, I would recommend giving them about two servings per week alongside other things that they typically need in their diet. 

Broccoli is very nutritious and has many benefits, as mentioned, but it isn’t nutritionally complete and if they get too much it can cause imbalances which will lead to health problems. 

Assuming your birds like it, treat broccoli as a beneficial and periodic supplement rather than a constant part of their diet. 

What’s the Best Way to Serve Broccoli to Geese? 

You’ll have to experiment if you want to entice your flock to eat every bit of broccoli. As always, remove the leaves and make sure they eat those first; you can at least depend on that much. After that, it is down to chance and preparation. 

For starters, try to get them to eat only the florets. You can improve the chances of them doing so by cutting them up into tiny pieces that are easy for geese to swallow. 

If they still don’t seem interested, try lightly steaming them to soften them up just a little bit and make them more aromatic. 

If that still doesn’t work, you can mince the broccoli and mix it in with other foods that they will eat. This is a good way to give them a good boost of nutrition without letting fussy eaters derail feeding time. 

Think of it like hiding your dog’s pill in a piece of cheese: Sometimes we have to disguise the “medicine.” 

Never Give Geese Broccoli if it is Rotting or Moldy 

Another thing to be aware of is that you should never give your geese any broccoli that has gotten old and moldy. They will seemingly eat just about anything, but if you give them food that is spoiled or contaminated it can make them sick or potentially kill them. 

My rule of thumb is that I will not feed my geese anything that I wouldn’t eat myself. So, if I’ve got some old broccoli that I’m going to throw away because it has started to decay inside the fridge, I just throw it right on in the trash, not out to my birds. 

Is Broccoli Safe for Goslings, Too? 

Yes, broccoli is nominally safe for goslings but I seriously doubt that they will eat any part of broccoli except the leaves or a handful of florets if you shave just the buds off. Also, be especially cautious that you don’t give them any chunks of the stalk that they might choke on.

On the other hand, if your goslings for whatever reason seem to like broccoli you can definitely feed it to them once they are a little bit older, around 5 weeks of age. They will get good nutrition from it so long as they have a well-rounded diet. Just don’t overdo it!

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