Introduction to goose production
To date, goose production has been mainly a sideline. Since there are no accurate statistics for New South Wales, it is difficult to estimate the percentage of geese in poultry numbers, but it would only be a fraction of 1%. This has meant that, so far, little effort has been made to improve the strains of geese in relation to their genetic capabilities. In the near future, breeders and producers are likely to take a more technical approach to goose production, paying greater attention to breeding, feeding and general management.
- Geese are not prolific egg producers, laying only 30–50 eggs each year according to breed, mostly in spring.
- Geese are, however, the most rapid growing, have the longest commercial life and are the hardiest of all domesticated poultry.
- Geese are good foragers, reaching a marketable weight with little supplementary feeding, although food supplements are required to improve meat quality.
- The main demand for goose meat is for festive occasions, and this is likely to continue to be the case. Restaurants and hotels would no doubt offer goose if they could be assured of supply and quality.
- In addition to their value as food, geese produce down and feathers, which are in constant demand for quilts and cushions.