Why Do Geese Eat Grass?

  • By: Jim
  • Date: July 13, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

There are all sorts of interesting things to learn about geese. For one, did you know that they eat grass? It might not seem very appetizing, but there’s a good reason why they do it.

Geese will primarily eat grass in their natural environment if it is plentiful and of high quality. Grass contains all of the vitamins and minerals geese need, but this nutrition is only present when the grass is fresh in the spring.

After the grass has died or been eaten, it no longer contains these vital nutrients. Thus, geese must supplement their diet with other food sources during the rest of the year.

Why Do Geese Eat So Much Grass?

It’s no surprise that geese spend about half of their day feeding. After all, geese are inefficient grazers because they can’t use cellulose from the grass.

Instead, they rely on the bacteria in their gut to break down the cellulose into simpler sugars that the goose can then digest.

This process is not very efficient, and as a result, geese have to eat a lot of grass to meet their energy needs.

Geese have a digestive system that is similar to horses and is very efficient in converting grass into meat and eggs. Plus, their grazing habits help keep pastureland healthy and free of harmful weeds.

Do Baby Geese Eat Grass?

Yes, grass is a natural food for goslings.

Baby geese typically eat grass, grain roots, and other vegetation.

While they are still young, they also eat small insects and other animals such as worms and small fish. This varied diet helps them to grow strong and healthy.

In the wild, baby geese often follow their parents as they forage for food, learning what is safe to eat along the way.

Do Geese Like Kentucky Bluegrass?

Yes, Canada geese tend to enjoy Kentucky bluegrass as it is one of their favorite foods.

This type of grass is usually found in pastures and meadows, which makes it the perfect spot for these birds to graze.

The grass is also rich in nutrients that are beneficial for the health of these birds.

If you have a newly constructed or renovated pond, don’t grow Kentucky bluegrass nearby because if a flock of Canada geese finds out about the area, other Canadian geese will join, and their population increases. You may need to take other measures to keep geese off your dock.

How Do Geese Eat Grass?

Geese typically eat a variety of grasses when on land.

They feed by grasping one blade with their bill and tearing it with a jerk of the head.

This helps them to swallow the food easily. Geese also consume other types of vegetation, such as leaves, shoots, aquatic plants, and tubers.

Final Thoughts on Why Geese Eat Grass

Geese feeding on grass is a common sight. They are primarily herbivores so naturally, they love eating grass.

It is their staple food. However, a goose will occasionally feed on small quantities of other foods such as insects, fish, and seeds (even bananas!).

Are Geese Good for My Lawn?

Geese can be a good addition to your lawn if you don’t mind their droppings.

Geese are grazing animals, so they will keep your grass trimmed and fertilized.

However, they also produce a lot of waste, which can be unsightly. If you don’t mind the mess, then geese can be a helpful addition to your lawn care routine.

How Do Keep Geese Away From Your Grass?

If you have land full of grasses or a newly constructed pond, you should expect that wild birds will begin flocking on your land.

While the sight of adult geese with their goslings feeding on grass can be beautiful, not all people appreciate it, and honestly, who can blame them.

A few geese can be tolerable but a flock of 30 geese can eat a lot of grass and they produce a lot of droppings too.

And if you’re one of those people who don’t want geese eating your grass, here are a few cost-effective things you can do to keep geese away.

  • Don’t provide shelter. Geese feel safe if there are open sight lines. This is one of the reasons why geese prefer living in an area surrounded by shorter grass such as near golf courses so that they can easily escape and see predators coming.
  • Graw taller plantings over winter. Geese love various grasses and grassy areas but they are wary about dense, tall plantings
  • Use decoys. Decoys such as coyotes or owls are relatively cheap and they will scare geese away because they are their natural predators.

Can I Feed Geese Grains?

Yes, geese particularly love whole wheat grains and cracked corn.

You can also offer them other grain products like oats, barley, and rice. Just make sure that the grain is cooked or processed so that the goose can digest it properly.

Avoid feeding your geese too many grains as it can cause digestive issues.

How to Keep Your Geese Healthy?

If you’re keeping geese in your yard, remember that a goose’s diet consists mainly of plants such as grasses, grass seeds, and other vegetation.

They particularly like short grass and legumes. They occasionally eat insects and fish.

Do Geese Live Near Ponds?

Just like ducks, geese often live near ponds because they like the open, grassy areas and the water.

A goose lives near ponds and water’s edge because it likes to eat the plants that grow in the water.

They also like to swim in the water, which helps keep them cool in the summer. In the winter, geese spend more time on land where they can find food more easily.

Interestingly, geese go back to the same area where they were hatched especially during the breeding season.