Health tips for domestic geese:
By giving them special waterfowl feed, maybe supplemented with wheat in the summer and autumn, the geese will get everything they need and give them better resistance to illness.
We worm our geese twice a year. This can be done by mixing a powder into their food or by squirting a paste or liquid straight into their beaks. Discuss which method and frequencies you should use with your vet. Check their weight every now and then by picking them up and, if necessary, weighing them. If they feel too light or you notice that they have lost weight they may be suffering from worms.
Watch your geese! Are they active and lively? By closely observing your geese you will notice any change in their behavior much quicker and will be able to intervene promptly if required. Contact your vet if a goose is lying with its head buried in its feathers, does not eat or drink and does not react...
Also check the eyes to ensure that they are clear and alert and that they are not dirty or infected. Give them a bucket of clean water every day so that they can wash their heads and eyes and therefore keep their eyes clean. This prevents eye infections!
Also observe how they move and check the soles of their feet every now and then. These thin membranes have to carry the whole weight of the goose and damage from a stone or similar can, in the worst case, cause an infection. Should there be a wound on the sole of the foot, disinfect it with something like Dettol. If it is infected contact your vet who can prescribe an antibiotic if necessary. A goose can sometimes sprain its foot and walk with a limp. Firstly check that there is no infection on the foot. If you can not see or feel an infection put the goose inside so that it can rest its foot. The sprain has usually cleared up after one or two days. Contact your vet if this is not the case.
Check the feathers regularly as well! They can suffer with parasites such as mites.
In our experience, geese never suffer from these if you give them good food and keep their night-time accommodation, pen and bath hygienic. We once had a gander with a tick next to his eye. Because the feathers are not so thick on the head the tick could settle there.
It is a good idea to have a small medicine chest at home. Ours consists of a disinfectant for small wounds, worming paste/liquid and powder, a parasite treatment and an antibiotic. Ask your vet which treatments he/she recommends.
And most importantly: always contact your vet if one of your birds is ill or if you suspect that there is something wrong so that you can discuss what you should do. Never play doctor yourself!
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