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4 – Public Education: 

           Educating the public is an important part of geese management.  Geese problems can  be made much worse by well intentioned families that like to feed the geese.  If you live in a location where there is a large population and a goose-human conflict is already happening or is likely to be an issue, it is IMPERATIVE that people refrain from feeding the geese.  Providing food to the geese will encourage them to stay in the location and to settle down and raise a family.

           Another point of education is to educate the public about the “health risks” involved with geese droppings.  Many people are very worried about the health issues that they have heard are associated with geese!  Some may even want the geese to be killed because they are afraid they or their children will get sick.  It is important to provide FACTS and remove any incorrect beliefs in this regard.  We have provided a few links that may be helpful — see “Harmful to Humans?”.

           Public education should also include the history of geese (and our part in the creation of the problems with geese), their behavior, family life, nesting behaviour, interesting facts, stories, non-lethal geese management techniques, etc.  One of your goals is to teach the public to love or at least respect the geese, and to learn to live with them.  It is hopeful that education will teach tolerance!         

 

5 – Relocation of Birds: 

           The solution in some locations has been to relocate the birds.  We only advocate this if it comes down to a choice between moving the birds or killing them — moving the birds can be very stressful!!!  If possible, the geese should be herded to a location that is close by.  The geese could even be fed for a short time in this location, if desired, to teach them that this is a good place to live.  It is also best to keep families together.  We have heard stories of places where the young are gathered and moved as a way to control the population in a given area; the idea is to let the birds stay that have always lived there, but to make new generations start their lives elsewhere.  WE DO NOT AGREE with this method at all!  Geese are emotional creatures and separating the young from their parents causes unnecessary stress to the parents and the babies — it is cruel in our opinion.  Also, when baby geese are separated from their parents the will likely NOT learn to migrate — this is taught by their parents, not instinctual; this will lead to “resident geese” which is a huge problem.  We only advocate the relocation of birds where entire families are moved together. 

           If cages are used to move the animals, they should be large enough for the birds to stand up, the birds should not be over-packed and they should be handled gently.  Every precaution should be taken to minimize the stress and injury to the birds during the move.  If it is going to be a long move, make sure the birds have food and water and sufficient room to move around.  It might be good to allow the birds some time to get used to the cage before the journey as well.  Again, every effort should be made to keep entire families together.  It may require several trips to get all the geese. 

           Make sure the new home for the geese is a location that is suitable to them.  It should have easy access to water and have large open area where they can feel safe from predators.  You will also need to make sure there is sufficient food for the birds at the new location and that the location will not cause a new human—goose conflict.  Research should always be done very carefully before any move is planned!

           Also remember, a permit to move the geese is likely required.  Make sure you have all the proper paperwork before you undertake the task of moving any geese.

 

6 – Sprays: 

           There are a number of sprays available on the market that will deter geese.  Most use a chemical that tastes bad; if the food is bad, the geese will likely move somewhere else in search of food. 

           While we are sure that many of these will work, they are NOT our first choice for management solutions.    We do not advocate the use of these sprays because they are chemical compounds and what is considered safe today may NOT be tomorrow and what is safe for one species could be harmful to another...  This is our personal view only; if you feel the sprays are safe and it is something you would like to try, please feel free to do so.  There are a number of them available on the internet and in the links we have provided — some may even be listed on our Management Resources page.  

 

7 – Fertility/Hatching Control: 

           Fertility/Hatching Control (or egg addling) methods are NOT non-lethal management methods — we want to make this clear!  These methods result in the death of unborn baby geese!  Many consider them to be a “grey area” in terms of whether they are lethal or not because the animal is still in the egg.  We do not wish to get into an “abortion –like” discussion as to when an egg becomes a bird… We will discuss our view on this topic in further detail under the link To Addle or Not; please take the time to read our comments in that section.  Here we are simply presenting the options that are available.  Please note that a permit is likely required to use ANY of the methods described below; please check with the authorities in your area. 

· Hatch Control Food — if you search the internet you will find links to foods that can be fed to geese that will cause the majority of eggs laid by geese eating the feed to simply never hatch.  The chemical interferes with the development of the gosling inside the egg.  For further details, please read the details on the websites for the individual products.  This method does not require you to find the nests and has been a solution to population control in many locations.  While we are sure these products are probably safe, as with the sprays, we do not advocate the use of this food because it contains chemicals.  Again, this is our opinion and you are welcome to try any product that is available that meets your needs.  In some cases it may be the best option.

· Taking the Eggs — a method of population control used in many places involves removing the eggs from the nests.  Obviously, this requires you to track down the nests, which can be very time consuming.  Sometimes the eggs are replaced with plastic eggs to keep the parent birds from nesting again — if they are still sitting on a nest waiting for their babies to hatch, they will not make another nest. 

· Piercing the Eggs — piercing the eggs prevents the gosling from developing any further.  As with the method above, you will have to search for the nests.  This method will work, however the eggs left in the nest will eventually rot and the parents may make a new nest and lay more eggs.

· Breaking the Eggs — breaking the eggs will kill the developing goslings.  As with the methods above, you will have to search for the nests.  This method will work, however, the parents will likely make a new nest and lay more eggs as soon as they discover the destroyed eggs.

· Oiling the Eggs — this is very similar to piercing the eggs, except that you are coating the eggs with a type of oil (always non-toxic oil, such as that used in cooking).  The oil prevents the eggs from developing.  The parent bird will continue to sit on the nest and wait for the eggs to hatch.  New nests will likely not be built because the parents are still occupied.  This method has been the “addling” method of choice and had been approved by the Humane Society; they have set out guidelines for oiling the eggs — when they can humanely be oiled, how to figure out how developed the gosling is within the eggs, etc.  Please make sure you read the guidelines if you are choosing to use this method — the document can be downloaded at the following link: http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/wildlife_overpopulation/tips/canada_goose_addling_protocol.html .

 

*** LINKS:

· http://www.animalalliance.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Goose_Manual-Habitat-Modification.pdf + Appendices

· http://www.geesepeace.org/integratedsolutions.html

· http://www.canadageese.org/report.html

· http://www.canadageese.org/nlcontrol.html

· http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/geese/tips/egg_addling.html

· http://www.peta.org/issues/wildlife/canada-geese.aspx

· http://www.mediapeta.com/peta/pdf/humane-goose-control-pdf.pdf

· http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mkLw9bAYyI&feature=relmfu

· http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXgNUBROX8c&feature=player_embedded

· http://www.hallofshame.lovecanadageese.com/humane.html

· http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUWwU0974JU&feature=share

· http://www.dogsincanada.com/goose-herding-border-collies

· http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/geese/tips/solving_problems_canada_geese.html#Why_killing_geese_doesnt_work

 

 

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