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Sheep and geese

 
                  
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Is it possible to keep sheep and geese together. I have 2/3 of an acre big orchard with plum trees. (Supposedly the sheep wont damage the trees; Will they?) how many sheep and geese can keep in that kind of space?

Thanks Owl
 
Sue Miller
Posts: 47
Location: NE Oregon
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I keep Buff geese with my goat and they do fine though the geese are aggressive toward the goat when he gets too close. Mostly they co-exist. I don't know if sheep will damage your trees, a goat will for sure. I found out too that geese will bark saplings and will break small branches if they can reach them. Anything they can get ahold of they will work over vigorously. If you are shopping for a breed of geese I highly recommend Buffs. They are very friendly toward people.
Sue
 
Marissa Little
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How big are the trees?  Sheep are partway between grazers and browsers so they will eat leaves/bark/etc, especially if there is no other food source.  And depending on the breed, they may PREFER leaves.  We have some heritage breeds that love nothing more than to strip yaupons and cat briar before touching grass.

 
Emil Spoerri
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you can protect the trees from goats or sheep (as long as they are big enough trees), by wrapping them loosely with metal wire. You just have to loosen the wire up every once in a while or the tree will grow into the wire and/or get girdled.

I think geese and sheep aren't the best combo because they both eat grass right to the ground and eat similar food. I would go with sheep and ducks as the ducks eat snails which carry sheep parasites. Muscovies will also eat biting flies and maggots and ticks.
 
                  
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The trees are in their 6th year but they are quite short i ques that was my fathers pruning style. I chose geese over ducks because I think ducks would need more water and here we don't really have much of it so.. and I have a lot of grass in the orchard. I need it to be gone and still get some profit in a way.
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Emilespecies mentions muscovies. I recommend them. They graze and need no more water than anything else.
Important for me is that muscovies are quiet and passive (but if you want burglar alarms, geese are for you..)
 
Emil Spoerri
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I think it's fair to have a kiddy pool for the muscovies.

They need to have water deep enough to wash their beaks. They also love to wash themselves in water and they love to dabble like crazy in puddles.

They spend most of their time out of water but they are definitely amphibious.

I think they are better at breeding out of water than geese are.

Muscovies should really have some kind of marshy or swampy area in the realm of the ideal.

Where do you live? you could also try guinea pigs or tortoises haha!
 
Brian Bales
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I've got Pilgrim geese and they live quight well with my goats. I also have a developing food forest that I let them run in from time to time. The trees are still a bit young but as long as there is pleanty of grass the geese dont pick on them much. Geese are a traditional orchard bird and I believe sheep have been used to graze orchards for a long time. Only issue is the age of the trees. Saplings wont survive long against hungry geese and sheep but established trees should fare ok.
 
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