Keeping geese is quite a complex process, especially at the stage of rearing young animals, which are very sensitive to temperature and improper nutrition. In order to get a good weight gain from them, a large number of eggs and healthy offspring, it is necessary to learn how to choose the optimal conditions of maintenance, focusing on the appearance and habits of the bird.
CHOOSING THE BEST BREED
To date, more than 230 breeds have been registered in Nigeria. All of them are defined in 3 main groups relative to their industrial significance. The first group is the so-called “Chinese”. This includes a large number of breeds, the main of which are: Kuban, Gorky, Kamchatka, and others. The main task of the above-mentioned species is to lay a lot of eggs (60 or more per year). Since giving a lot of meat is not a priority task for the first group of birds, it takes a very long time to grow and often does not gain more than 3-4 kilograms.
The second group is the so-called “mixed” groups. They represent the optimal ratio of egg production and rapid mass gain. Individuals of this group grow up to 4-6 kilograms and at the same time can lay up to 50-60 eggs per year, which is a very good indicator even for some “laying hens”. As a rule, the cultivation of the second group is carried out by summer residents and Amateurs, who do not necessarily get the maximum number of eggs per year or a record meat mass, since neither the first nor the second can be achieved from group II. Large gray, Toulouse, Italian-these are the main representatives.
The third group was defined as “broilers”. In fact, the bird lays, but not much – up to 25-30 eggs per year. It grows to 7-8 kilograms, and the weight is gained very quickly. In one and a half to two months, the optimal time for selling poultry has already arrived, which meets the requirements of many farmers. Ural, Romensk, and Moscow regions represent this group.
For many years of cultivation on the territory of Nigeria, farmers have compiled a list of the best breeds, which have been very popular for decades and are industrial types. Let’s take a closer look at the most popular of them.
The name comes from the first tamed birds that were nesting on the territory of the Urals. For many years of industrial use, they have been acclimatized in all regions of the Nigerian Federation, have the highest level of cold resistance, feel confident even at -40 0C. Easily tolerate heat in summer, do not need special care, almost never get sick. They belong to the third group, they bear no more than 30 eggs per year, but quickly gain a record 6.5-7 kg (for 2-3 months of maintenance, they reach 4-5 kg). The egg weighs up to 150 grams, and in the second or third year its mass increases to 180 g.
They are obtained by crossing ordinary whites and Eastern Chinese breeds. They are characterized by a large mass (8-9 kg of geese and up to 7 kg of females), but low egg production – up to 28-35 eggs per year, belong to the third group. Kholmogory very quickly acclimatize in any conditions, be it hot summers or extremely cold winters. The females are very good hens.
They quickly gain body weight, and a month and a half is the optimal period for selling birds that already weigh up to 4kg. At the age of five months, they have about 5.5 kg, so they are very popular in the conditions of industrial cultivation. Females lay very little, up to 30 eggs per year, and this figure is even much less.
Representatives of the second group, bear up to 55-60 eggs, the maximum weight reaches 6 kg (females weigh up to 5 kg). It is difficult to grow them for meat, since they gain 3-4 kg only in 2 months. The optimal ratio of egg production and mass gain rate. The weight of one egg can be 210 grams, for which they are so popular, often sold in restaurants.
The first group is an ideal option for those who need to get a lot of eggs (up to 100-115 pieces per year under good conditions of maintenance). Individuals larger than 4-5 kg can not be found – all Kuban small, but very productive. Frost is not liked, it is necessary to keep it warm and cozy.
WE CHOOSE GOSLINGS AND PREPARE THE ROOM FOR THEM
Unlike adults, Chicks do not tolerate unfavorable conditions of keeping, often get sick, die or simply lag far behind in development. To prevent this from happening, it is necessary to choose only a good and healthy bird and provide it with the best possible conditions of keeping.
It is better to choose in certified incubators or firms with a good reputation – there is much more chance to take the right breed. However, you must adhere to the basic rules that will make your purchase successful.
- Choose only mobile and noisy individuals. At first, the Chicks should not close their beak – at the sight of a person, they make a lot of noise, move in your direction and consider the “alien” who looks into the incubator. Healthy goslings run up to the knock on the box, try to jump.
- If you take a chick by the leg, it should try to pull itself up, flap its wings, squeak and turn around. If it hangs like a sausage, then it is sick.
- The buttocks of healthy Chicks are dry, the feathers are fluffy and Golden in appearance. It is better to avoid shabby Chicks – they have a vitamin deficiency, ringworm or any other disease. It is necessary to pay attention to the tummy – the down on it should not be “slicked”, but fluffy and Golden in color. This is the first sign of a good supply of nutrients and a small chick.
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When transporting the Chicks home they need constant air access: holes are made in the cardboard box, and it is often ventilated on the street (every 20 minutes).
In order for the Chicks to not freeze anything, you must have: a room with the ability to adjust the temperature from +25 0From to +32 0C, a floor Mat made of wood, OSB, fiberboard, polypropylene (hard) or polymer materials. The main thing is insulation from the cold and disinfection. The room before “housewarming” is treated with a solution of soda 2% and make a whitewash (if it is a room in the barn). As a litter, you can still use straw, hay, but this is an unnecessary difficulty – every 5 days you will have to change the litter. For your comfort, it is better to make automatic drip drinkers, so that the Chicks do not fill everything with water and do not spray on the floor, since they are very busy and water gets on the litter.
If you use a barn for geese as a place to raise different birds, then you will need a fence inside. Its height should be at least 30 cm, since the gander is very good at jumping and clinging to the corners with its head, after which it can get out. Moreover, when they gather in groups, they can run over other individuals and jump out. Even individuals of different ages should be fenced off, so that large individuals do not suppress the Chicks.
Despite certain norms regarding the density of planting, there is a lot of debate about how many Chicks should be per 1 sq. m. Optimal, according to many farmers, are the following standards:
- Chicks from 1 to 20 days should be in the amount of no more than 30 pieces per 1 sq. m.;
- from 30 to 40 days – 8-10 pieces per 1 square meter;
- 60-70-day-old individuals – up to 4 pieces per meter. Then reduce the density of planting to 2 pieces per square meter.
Too much density is the main cause of many diseases, and also significantly complicates all operations that are performed in the chicken coop. Chicks will be poorly suited to drinking bowls and feeders, so their nutrition will be uneven, weak Chicks will lag behind in development even more.
At a high density of the” population ” of the chicken coop, it will be too wet and dirty, the stuffiness in the room increases, which very adversely affects the development of the bird. Additional ventilation must be installed. If the planting density is too low, the bird often freezes, especially if there is no way to regulate the temperature. Carefully monitor the behavior of your Pets: if they get together in groups – they are cold, you need to raise the temperature. If they sit separately and close their eyes – it is hot. Actively move and pick at the litter – the optimal temperature. If necessary (if it is not possible to raise the temperature), you can settle several goose groups together, if the territory allows – some will warm each other very well.
If you take only hatched Chicks – they will be very difficult to care for, the first 12-14 days it is necessary to provide them with a strict temperature regime. It is necessary to maintain from 27 to 30 degrees, and the heater is better to use infrared, which warms the chick deeply.
How to keep geese at two weeks of age? This strict mode is no longer required, you just need to maintain the temperature and pay attention to the behavior (described in the section above). As a rule, there is enough temperature in +23-26 degrees, and in another month you can already reduce it to +18, when the birds will have plumage and they can heat themselves, despite the weather conditions. Before that time, they will already be able to let them out on the street.
Their further development directly depends on how well you will feed the Chicks. Feed and water should be given to them from the first days – first yolks of eggs, crushed millet, crusts of white bread, semolina porridge soaked in water or sugar syrup.
Food should be given at least 6-7 times a day, it is better to feed less, but more often, so that their stomachs are not stuffed – they still have very little enzymes released and there may be problems with a large amount of food eaten at 1 time. Adding different grasses is also useful – there will be a better metabolism, it is easier for the stomach to take food and digest it.
Greens should be included in the diet from the first day of finding goslings at your home. It is best to start with green onions, dill, plantain and various herbs. It is necessary to cut the grass finely with a knife, no more than 0.5-1 centimeter in length, so that it is impossible to choke on it. Greens should not make up more than 40% of the diet of poultry, since if it is overabundant in the first days, there may be a disorder of the intestines.
After 2-3 weeks, it is already possible to feed raznotravem and replace them with almost all feed. If it is necessary to gain weight quickly, start mixing powdery feed, grain. Two-week-old Chicks can already eat root vegetables, but they also need to be crushed to the size specified above, so that they do not choke. Otherwise, it can even lead to the death of the individual.
Despite the fact that Chicks are very sensitive to food and housing conditions, the adult individual is one of the most unpretentious creatures.They can withstand severe frosts without insulation, high temperatures, slush and increased moisture, they almost never get sick. They can live anywhere and there is no need for a goose house as such. In the role of a room is an ordinary fence made of wood, reeds, wattle. Its task is simply to limit the space, preferably to protect it from drafts, so that the bird can fly normally.
With large frosts, they will be worse to lay and gain weight, so the maintenance of geese in winter is not relevant – if possible, they need to be implemented before the onset of winter. If they are breeding animals or laying hens, then they need to build a sealed room for them, so that the wind and snow do not bother them. If the poultry house is heated and has a relative dryness, then during the winter you will be able to collect another 20-30 eggs from each goose.
Food for adults can include a wide variety of products, ranging from roots and grass, and ending with wheat, seeds, and barley. They eat absolutely everything that other birds do and do not need to make a special diet. You can pour all the feed into the feeders, and they will choose for themselves the optimal portion of food for the day. In a day, a bird weighing 5-6 kg can eat up to 500 g of grain or up to 1 kg of grass.
As for the temperature of keeping an adult individual with good plumage, it can be stated with confidence – the round-the-clock temperature of -10 °C in the chicken coop is not a problem and is normally tolerated. Temporary drops are allowed, even to -28 °C. On goose health, this is not displayed, but egg production can significantly decrease in constant cold conditions. Too low a temperature in the poultry house (below -5 °C) is unacceptable, while hatching eggs – they freeze.
As for lighting, it is simply necessary for laying hens, since only in daylight does the goose begin to lay. This happens at the beginning of March or even at the end of February, if there is at least “12-hour daylight” in the goose house and the temperature is above +10 degrees. Lighting should be artificial until the 14-hour day arrives, then you can already safely let the geese out of the coop, open the Windows and let them lay quietly. Egg laying takes place, as a rule, at 9-10 am, so at 6-7 am it will be better to go in and turn on the light, so that in 3-4 hours the bird will adapt, nest, create an intimate atmosphere for itself and lay an egg.
BREEDING GEESE AND OFFSPRING SELECTION
The selection is made in mid-October. It is necessary to organize a ratio of males and females 1: 3 – this will be quite enough to create a good breeding offspring. How do I select them correctly? It’s simple. First, we choose the most aggressive and “proud” geese. We make soup from them, bake them with apples and so on – there should be no “upstarts” in the herd, otherwise the bird will fight among themselves. Then we choose the smallest females and put them on the side dish – they are not fat, the meat is delicious, nutritious.
There are some in the herd that are simply not liked, sometimes even because of the color of the plumage. Such an individual is also in the soup – why should it suffer? Thus, there remains only the “Golden mean”, without “marriage”. From it and choose males and 3 females for each. All this harem is well fed and creates comfortable conditions for mating.
DISEASES, PREVENTION AND TREATMENT
Geese almost never get sick – this is a fact. But even the toy gun on the wall fires once a year. Therefore, we will consider some diseases that occur in birds.
Cholera, or “pasteurellosis”in book form. The source of the disease can be anything, up to wet bedding and excess droppings in the room. With animals, the most dangerous are pigs – they often carry infection. Most often, the disease is acute. Appetite decreases sharply, there is a great thirst, breathing is difficult (heard from afar), body temperature increases, diarrhea appears. The death rate is 75%. Prevention: the room is treated with a solution of lime 10%, soda (2%), chlorine (2%). To treat the disease, antibiotics are used intramuscularly. It is necessary to decide on the treatment immediately, since the bird dies within 5-7 hours after the appearance of all signs.
Aspergillosis is a fungal disease that is quite common. The fungus enters the respiratory tract, where it germinates and releases toxic substances. The disease is dangerous not only for geese, but also for chickens, animals and even humans. Fungi develop in humid rooms, so it is necessary to change the bedding more often, if necessary, you can install dehumidifiers. Prevention is necessary, since it is not profitable to treat the disease – very expensive drugs, and the treatment itself lasts for several months.
Salmonellosis (also known as paratyphoid fever). Adults are not susceptible to the disease, mainly Chicks under the age of 1 month are sick. The causative agent is a Salmonella Bacillus, which enters the body through food. Simple disinfection with bleach is not always effective. The room must be treated with a solution of formalin (2%) – the most effective method to kill all bacteria – their death occurs in 1-2 minutes. A 20% slaked lime solution kills the infection in 40-50 minutes, and a 6% bleach solution kills the stick in 15 minutes.
There are about two dozen other diseases that can kill almost the entire herd in 1-2 days, but they very rarely appear and the chance of infection is no more than 1: 1000. If it happens that the bird massively begins to get sick, then you need to immediately contact a specialist who can determine the exact disease in laboratory conditions. However, if you observe the dryness and cleanliness of the litter, and periodically whiten the poultry house and process it with copper vitriol, then you will never see any diseases.