Over the years, poultry farming has grown in popularity in Nigeria. While people are more familiar with the raising of broilers and layers, there are other types of poultry farming. One that is gradually becoming more popular is geese farming.
Geese are quite similar to ducks as they hail from the same family. However, you don’t raise them in a similar fashion. The question that begs an answer is how do you start geese farming in Nigeria? Continue reading this post to find out.
Before we dive into how to start geese farming in Nigeria, let’s first introduce you to these birds as they are not so familiar. As mentioned earlier, geese and ducks come from the same family. However, geese are slightly larger than most ducks in size.
These birds are recognized the world over for their protein. You can get protein from geese through their meat and eggs. Another part of this bird that presents high economic value is the feathers. You can use the feathers to make upholstery, bedding, and clothing. Geese are also highly beneficial for weed control on farms.
Geese are blessed with sharp vision and an excellent memory. Because of this, they can be deployed as security birds. They tend to make a lot of noise when they notice intruders. That being said, here are a few quick facts about geese that you should know:
Geese thrive on both land and water.
They have a raucous voice and excellent vision that helps them ward off predators and raise alarm upon sighting intruders.
Geese can live up to 30 years if properly managed.
They mate between September and October.
These birds stick to a single partner all their lives. However, they seek another partner when their mate dies.
One of the biggest challenges with raising geese is that they make noise a lot. Because of this, raising them in residential areas may not be advisable. Also, you should note that geese are quite aggressive and may hurt children. As such, keep kids away from locations where you are raising your geese.
How to Start Geese Farming in Nigeria
How do you start geese farming in Nigeria? This part of this post will introduce you to a few steps you should take. Check them out below:
This is the first and one of the most important steps when you want to start geese farming. You need to figure out the breed that you will raise. Geese are split into different categories based on their sizes. These categories include heavy, medium, and light.
The light geese breed can be traced to China. This geese breed is great for security because it makes a lot of noise. It is also perfect for egg production as it can lay up to 80 eggs every year. As one would expect, the heavy breed is perfect for meat production because of its large mass. This breed doesn’t produce as many eggs as the light geese breed.
Two of the most popular geese breeds that are reared in Nigeria are the American Buff and Heavy Embden. Both are great for meat production because of their large sizes. The Heavy Embden is particularly popular because it is quite adaptable to the tropics. This breed has a light blue color and glossy feathers.
Novice geese farmers are advised to launch their farms with Roman breeds or Roman Tufted breeds. These geese are white and easy to raise. You can begin your farm with about 10 of these geese in a ratio of 1:5 for the gender. By this ratio, you will have 2 males and 8 females, which is perfect for a small geese farm.
One of the biggest benefits of Roman breeds or Roman Tufted breeds is their all-around ability. These birds are great for both meat and egg purposes. Each female can lay as many as 60 eggs per year, so with 8 females, you can get up to 480 eggs yearly. Here are some of the qualities you should look out for in a geese breed that you need for commercial purposes:
Rapid growth rate.
The number of eggs they are likely to produce.
Quality of eggs.
Resistance to disease and infection.
Another very important aspect of starting a geese farm in Nigeria is housing. You should have a pen that is quite spacious so that they can move around easily. Also, the pen should be protected from harsh weather and have a pool of water since geese love to swim.
As mentioned earlier, geese scarcely need any supervision to thrive. Once you set the conditions right, they will do just fine by themselves. Don’t make their pen too complicated. Instead, you can use a floor or open house system for your birds. All they need is a safe place that has a lot of ventilation and sufficient breeding space.
For warmth and convenience, spread wood shavings across the floor. Avoid using straw or hay bedding as it could affect them adversely. Ensure that you have a pond section as the birds prefer to mate on water. This way, you can rest assured that the birds will produce high-quality eggs.
The final part of our discussion is providing food for your geese. Geese are omnivores, but they prefer to consume grass. This means that you don’t have to spend so much money on buying feed for your geese. Simply plant some feed crops or grasses that your birds can eat.
Other food items that geese eat include snails as well as different kinds of insects. Geese also eat a mix of pellets and wheat. If you are serving this meal, then you should serve a bowl of water alongside. This is very necessary as it aids digestion.
Ensure that you feed your geese healthy food portions daily. Doing this ensures that they produce very high-quality meat and eggs. Make sure that you clean their pen frequently to rid it of waste feed and water. This way, you protect your birds from diseases and infections.
That’s it for how to start geese farming in Nigeria. Do you have any questions? Kindly drop them in the comments section below.