If there’s one thing I’ve noticed in my years on Earth it is that people, for whatever reason, cannot resist giving people food to animals.
It rarely fails that there’s some yahoo at a zoo tossing Flamin’ Hot Cheetos to one of the monkeys, or people letting their dog take a big bite out of their fried chicken.
The same goes for our livestock on our homesteads, even for geese! Never mind the fact they have a pretty specialized diet; maybe they would like a bite of whatever we are having for lunch…
Geese can actually eat a lot of whole foods that you and I eat, but they really shouldn’t eat any processed foods. But what about something like French fries that are just made from potatoes? Can geese have French fries, and are they safe?
No, French fries are not safe for geese! They have way too many calories to be safe for geese and the extreme salt and oil content will prove to be a digestive disaster that can make them very sick.
I’ll put it to you this way: there are no fried foods that are good for animals. All are especially bad for birds, including geese. I understand the notion, that because French fries are basically just potatoes they might somehow be more wholesome.
But it isn’t so. If you give them to your geese you are setting the stage for serious health problems. I’ll tell you more about all of it below.
Do Geese Like French Fries?
I’m not really sure, though I suppose they like them well enough to try them because I’ve seen plenty of geese eat a tossed fry or two from their owners.
The fact that they will eat them readily enough is an even better reason to avoid giving them french fries in the first place: A bad food that your flock will reliably avoid is rarely problematic, but one that they will eagerly eat is highly troubling.
Are French Fries a Healthy Food for Geese?
Absolutely not, in any way, shape, form or fashion. French fries are nothing short of a nutritional and health disaster for geese, containing as they do too much of several things that geese should avoid.
For starters, french fries are extremely calorie-dense, having way too many calories for geese. I know, you can make a great case that people shouldn’t eat them either, but they typically don’t make us deathly ill like they will geese.
At the very best, French fries are going to cause geese to get a seriously upset digestive tract, suffer from diarrhea and gain weight if they somehow manage to keep eating them. There are simply no conditions where taking in this many calories is healthy for your birds.
Two other major factors to consider are that French fries are totally overloaded with bad oils and also with tons of salt. Both are very bad for geese in any quantities that could reasonably be expected in fries or any fried food.
Yes, these birds need salt just like all other animals, but the amount in French fries is going to lead to acute health problems very quickly. I’ll tell you more about those in the next section, but suffice it to say, that having some can be fatal.
And the oil that they contain, as mentioned, will seriously disrupt the gut flora of geese or cause crop and gizzard problems which will prevent them from properly digesting other, healthier foods.
The oil alone can cause serious diarrhea for your birds and that will, in turn, cause dehydration and increase the chances of illnesses spreading throughout the flock. Not good at all!
Can French Fries Hurt Geese?
Yes, French fries can absolutely hurt your geese. And let me count the ways!
The salt content of French fries can easily lead to high blood pressure or sodium poisoning, the latter of which can cause seizures and, and in pronounced cases, death.
The oil and starch in the French fries are both capable of causing severe diarrhea. Diarrhea which can result in acute dehydration and subsequent electrolyte shock, which can again easily claim the life of a goose.
Either ingredient can also lead to such problems as sour crop, which will prevent them from even swallowing other foods.
And then you’ve got the sheer amount of calories that your geese are going to be eating! High-calorie foods will lead to pronounced weight gain and eventually obesity with a whole host of other health problems, and it can also result in devastating diseases like fatty liver syndrome.
Truly, there is no end to the trouble that french fries can cause for your flock. You should never, under any circumstances, feed your geese french fries.
Can Geese Eat French Fries Every Now and Then?
No, you really shouldn’t. Though a bite or two of a single french fry is unlikely to cause serious harm to geese, there is nothing about them that makes them a good option for food. Just don’t do it.
What’s the Safest Way to Serve French Fries to Geese?
Okay, so I guess after reading through this tale of terror concerning how bad French fries are, you are undeterred and absolutely intent on feeding them to your geese. How should you do it?
In this case, you can make a safe batch of home-cooked oven fries, made from plain, julienne-cut potatoes. Geese can handle a little bit of starch in their diet, and without all the salt and oil, these “fries” won’t upset their digestive tract.
To make them, all you need to do is cut up the potatoes and then pop them in the oven on a baking sheet at about 425°F for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Let them cool and then let your flock have at them.
But don’t overdo it, because geese still don’t need that many starchy carbs in their diet.
Never Give Geese French Fries if They Rotted
It should go without saying, but it is possible to make a bad situation even worse: if you’ve got any old French fries or old potatoes that have started to rot and spoil, or are showing signs of mold, don’t give those to your geese under any conditions.
Many kinds of mold and the toxins they produce are very harmful to birds in general and geese particularly, and they can still contract all kinds of foodborne illnesses from nasty food. Don’t treat your precious birds like garbage disposals…
Are French Fries Safe for Goslings, Too?
No! The end. French fries are bad enough for adult geese, but even worse for poor little baby geese.
Goslings are delicate at this early stage of life, but more than that, they have strict nutritional requirements concerning calories, vitamins, and minerals they need to develop.
If they don’t get them, or if they’re getting the wrong foods and not enough of the right ones, serious health issues are inevitable and death is a possibility.
Really, don’t give goslings French fries for any reason…
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.