What Do Geese Eat?

Wikipedia tells us:

These birds feed mainly on plant material. When feeding in water, they submerge their heads and necks to reach aquatic plants, sometimes tipping forward like a dabbling duck. Flocks of these birds often feed on leftover cultivated grains in fields, especially during migration or in winter. They also eat some insects, molluscs and crustaceans.

Why I was curious:
I always see 30-50 of these birds in a field on my way to work every day and they seem to just be pecking in the grass. I can’t fathom what there is for them to eat there. I’d say insects but they appear to be continually eating and there can’t be that many insects. So my best guess so far is that they’re just eating grass. Perhaps I’ll never know.

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What readers are saying:

This is by far the best and most complete book on the goose. It covers all breeds in depth and the deailed info on hatching geese it the best info to be found anywhere. This book is so complete that you do not even need any others.
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I found this book incredibly helpful for background and as a reference as I started raising geese this year. The author gives detailed information on the history of the goose, the different breeds and how to raise them, and most importantly to me, how to incubate and hatch goose eggs. If you are interested in keeping geese on a large or small scale, this book will be helpful.
Padraic MacLeish (NY, USA)

For people that want to know about geese, this is the book to get. It has excellent pictures and the terminolgy used is easy to understand .
Heidi Allison (Australia)

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[tags]canada goose,geese,eating grass[/tags]

12 Responses to “What Do Geese Eat?”

  1. Geese maily eat grass. You mentioned the geese look like they seem to be pecking in the grass. They’re grazing on the grass. Geese love to eat grass. When one thinks about it, one realizes that grass is the most important plant on earth. Geese will eat a little grain and then go back to grazing on the grass. I don’t know if it will come through, but I included the URL for my poultry genetics site.


  2. andreas says:

    my geese dont eat grass and dont eat corn do you khnow whey ? so what should i give to them if poss can you get back to me as soon as you can

    yours sincirely andreas

  3. Andreas, I’d just try feeding them different things. Even try bread as a last resort. Otherwise maybe they are sick, and you should take them to a vet.

  4. patti says:

    I have “adopted” an infant white Chinese goose. I plan on letting it go on the lake in my backyard. He has no other siblings or geese to simulate, only ducks. Will he stay there or someday fly away. I have been feeding him game/poultry food from my local feed store. Will he be able to forage for food on his own and what types of foods will he rely on.

  5. Larry says:

    I just had an area hydroseeded for grass and there are a lot of geese pecking away at the site now and then.
    Am I losing all my grass seed?

  6. Nancy says:

    We have a domestic goose at my new place of employment. It has been most likely raised on cat food. I’ve purchased some “layer” and “hen scratch” to try. Do I just put the food in a bowl and then offer a bowl of water? Oh, BTW, we live in upper Wyoming, and there is very little “good grass” here. Lots of sage, though. Your help would be appreciated.


  7. Nancy,

    Try feeding them different things and see what they prefer. Only give them a little bit at a time in case they have a bad reaction to a new food.

    Keep in mind I’m by no means an expert, so you may want to call up a vet and see if they have better advice.

  8. lynn says:


    hey this may be a little late but i have raised a lot of waterfowl as far as your goose goes you should spread food across the ground suchas oats and other types of grains you might find around youre home and that will help the goose learn to forage on his own.

  9. trish says:

    i have several geese myself, mainly grass grazers but they do get a little wheat with the rest of my poultry. as i work for a vege farmer i bring home old veges for them which they are really fond of. they are very fond of cauliflower, brocolli & cabbage leaves. a few of your supermarkets are happy to part with these when approached.

  10. Monica says:

    They do not eat bread or chips they will die quicked.

  11. Andreas says:

    Hello this is an amature goose mommy and I just found a goose down by a rive. Well I am guessing that they eat grains from feilds. So the next timne that you are in a felid you should get some grain and try that out and see if that don’t work.

  12. Gail says:

    I have been feeding a goose at my work place and it will eat just about anything.