It’s common knowledge that animals we keep in a domestic setting usually have a very different diet from their wild counterparts. Let’s look at geese, for instance…
A flock running around on a farm or homestead is probably going to subsist mostly on pellets with some whole foods thrown in.
But much of the time, these whole foods could be close or even identical to things that wild geese could eat out in nature. Nonetheless, not everything that grows in nature is safe for geese to eat.
How about something like strawberries? Are strawberries safe for geese to eat?
Yes, strawberries are safe for geese but they should only get them periodically as a supplement or treat. Geese tend to love them, and they are nutritious, but they have too much sugar to be eaten regularly.
Not much of a surprise here if you ask me. Most birds shouldn’t be getting too much sugary food and even for waterfowl like geese excess consumption of moisture-rich foods can cause digestive upset.
Nonetheless, it is entirely possible and even good for them to get strawberries every once in a while. But there’s more you should learn on the topic before you do so, so keep reading and I will tell you more.
Do Geese Like Strawberries?
Yes, they do! I give my own geese strawberries regularly, and know several other owners that do likewise.
Geese love them, and something to remember is that berries of all kinds, strawberries included, are a type of food that they would encounter and have access to in the wild.
Are Strawberries a Healthy Food for Geese?
Yes, generally speaking, they are. Strawberries are a decent source of energy and also have a good amount of needed micronutrients that can help geese stay strong and disease-free.
Looking at the vitamin content, although they don’t stack up to other, healthier fruits there’s still a lot to like in the form of the B complex vitamins, namely B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and folate along with a huge amount of vitamin C backed up by a little bit of vitamins E and K.
Strawberries aren’t known for being a mineral-rich fruit, but they can still help in this regard too, with a surprisingly good amount of manganese followed up by lesser amounts of iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium and phosphorus.
When you look at all of these nutrients together, these berries can give geese a good shot of energy and make them happy, but more than this, they’ll help to improve metabolic stability, feathering, circulation and more.
Pretty good considering strawberries are usually thought of as a treat! Beats other kinds of true junk food, I promise you that.
Are Raw Strawberries Safe for Geese?
Yes, they are. Raw strawberries are just fine for geese, and this is the ideal way to serve them to your flock. They’re very easy for them to eat, and they also have the best possible amount of nutrition.
Are Cooked Strawberries Safe for Geese?
Yes. Cooked strawberries are likewise fine for geese, but there’s no reason to go through the trouble of cooking them prior to serving: it won’t really make the strawberries any easier to eat, and all it’ll do is it reduce the already marginal nutritional content to near zero.
Also, I must caution you to never give strawberries to your birds that have been used as an ingredient in a dessert or topped with things that geese just can’t have: I’m talking about glazes, syrups, sugar, whipped cream, chocolate and all that nonsense.
I get it: strawberries are absolutely delicious and perfect for making amazing treats like this. But all that stuff is seriously harmful to geese. Just don’t do it!
Are Strawberry Leaves Okay for Geese?
Yes, they are, and this little crown of leaves is completely safe for them to eat. Some geese might prefer them over the berry itself, since they typically eat such leafy greenery.
You can cut these little tops off of the strawberries and serve them separately, or just leave them on the berries if you’re chopping them up. It won’t affect your birds one way or the other…
Can Strawberries Hurt Geese in Any Way?
Yes, but this is highly unlikely as long as you are minding the quantity that you serve to your geese.
The problems with strawberries that might arise are nutritionally related. Strawberries aren’t nutritionally complete, and if geese eat too many of them, they’ll miss out on other more nutritious foods that they should have instead.
If this happens enough, they will start missing certain components of their diet that they must have in order to thrive.
A more practical consideration is that giving your geese too many strawberries, or any other sweet, moist food too often, is that it’s highly likely to cause significant indigestion, including diarrhea.
Diarrhea might be thought of as a gross annoyance, but if it is severe, it will dehydrate the affected bird and potentially result in electrolyte shock which can be fatal.
Then there is the matter of pesticide contamination. This is only a concern if you buy your strawberries from the grocery store or any other supplier that uses pesticides.
That said, if you are getting them from one of the usual places, you should know that strawberries are always on “Top 10 Worst” and “Dirty Dozen” lists concerning absorbed and retained pesticides.
Even thorough washing isn’t enough to remove these dangerous residues which can harm the health of your geese. Try to buy organic or grow them yourself if possible.
This is not to deter you from giving strawberries to your geese- I think you should- but you must take it upon yourself to moderate the quantity that they get weekly.
How Often Should Geese Eat Strawberries?
So how often should geese get these berries every week? I say anywhere from 2 to 3 times in small servings. This will make strawberries a wonderful supplement to their usual diet, and they will also love getting such a tasty treat so often.
However, be alert for any signs of digestive issues that might indicate bigger problems, such as runny stools.
If you have any concerns, reduce the servings or the serving size. However, in my experience, this is unlikely to happen if your geese are still getting plenty of grass and other greenery.
What’s the Best Way to Serve Strawberries to Geese?
Serving strawberries to your flock is a cinch. First thing you should do is wash the berries very thoroughly and then chop them into halves or quarters depending on the size of your birds.
Obviously bigger birds can handle bigger pieces, and potentially even whole strawberries, without issue.
Keep in mind that, while easy to eat, it isn’t out of the question that a goose could choke on a whole berry. If you have any concerns, just chop them up and make them smaller and it won’t be an issue.
Never Give Geese Strawberries if They are Rotting or Moldy
If your strawberries have started to go bad and are rotting or showing signs of mold blooms, don’t even think about giving them to your flock. Certain kinds of mold, or rather the toxins that they produce, are devastating to geese and can be deadly.
Particularly, mycotoxins which are produced by various kinds of grain and produce molds can kill a goose quickly, potentially before you could even start to render aid. If the berries are bad, trash them; don’t try to foist them upon your poor birds!
Are Strawberries Safe for Goslings, Too?
Yes, yes they are, but with a few modifications to the prescribed plan above. First things first, I recommend you let your baby geese grow up to about 5 or 6 weeks old before you start giving them sweet fruits like this. It’s just too easy for them to cause digestive problems otherwise.
But once they’re old enough to handle them, make it a point to only give them tiny amounts as a treat so they don’t ruin the rest of their diet.
Then cut up the strawberries into tiny bits so there’s no risk of them choking or suffering from crop impaction. As long as you do that, your little darlings will love getting strawberries from time to time.
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.
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