I don’t know what it is about people who own or keep animals, and that includes myself, but there’s always this strange temptation or urge to share our food with the animals in our care.
Maybe it’s just some honest benevolence, maybe it’s a curiosity to see if our animal friends like the same things that we like. But, whatever the case, it’s usually not a good idea.
Most of the things that people eat aren’t good for animals, and sometimes are actually harmful. This definitely counts for our geese, which eat a diet composed almost entirely of greenery.
So, how about french fries? Can geese eat french fries?
No, geese should never eat french fries. French fries are always overloaded with salt, oil and calories, making them very bad for geese. Feeding them to geese can easily result in health issues like sodium poisoning, liver problems, obesity, and worse.
It beggars belief that some people would give any fried food to birds, or french fries in particular, but believe me it happens.
However, if you care about your geese you should never, ever give them french fries or any other human junk food. It seems like common sense, but common sense is anything but common these days.
Keep reading and I will tell you everything you need to know…
Do French Fries Have Health Benefits for Geese?
No, no they do not. French fries are not good for geese in any way.
Yes, geese can eat them, and they might even be able to have a couple of bites without any major consequences, but this doesn’t change the fact that geese shouldn’t have even one single bite…
All geese are going to get out of french fries are a few calories, and that’s if they can digest them without getting sick, and that’s a big if.
Why shouldn’t geese have french fries? Simple: because they’re absolutely horrible for them. I’ll explain all the many reasons why in the following sections.
French Fries are Overloaded with Calories
First things first, french fries are nothing but empty calories. Let’s be honest, you already knew that, and chances are you eat french fries and don’t care.
I’m not judging, I do the same thing. But, it’s hard to be anything that even approximates genuine nutrition when you’re nothing but a deep-fried block of starch.
But, if calories are what you are after, french fries can deliver. Any animal that eats fried foods, people, other mammals, or geese, we’ll start to pack on weight in very short order.
Because french fries are so calorie dense, this is going to result in substantial weight gain and is going to be pure flab.
No goose, even the largest breed, needs that many calories in its diet under any conditions for french fries to be a good way to get them.
And mind you, that’s in a perfect world where geese can digest french fries without getting gravely sick, or suffering from any other health problems after eating them- which they can’t.
French Fries are Soaking in Oil and Salt
Also, another major problem associated with french fries is inherent to how they are cooked. french fries contain two other major ingredients besides potatoes, salt and oil.
Neither is good for geese and either could kill them in high enough quantities. Together, you’re setting the stage for a true health catastrophe in your geese.
Let’s break it down… Salt is something that geese do need in their diet, but something they need in strictly limited quantities.
Too much salt can cause serious havoc in a goose’s body, namely by putting a major strain on the kidneys, and eventually escalating to high blood pressure and then full-blown salt poisoning, also called sodium poisoning.
That’s not a joke, and I’m not talking about that horrible feeling you get when you take a bite of something that has way too much salt in it.
Salt poisoning in geese results in an inability to stand, total loss of motor control, seizures, and eventually death. In cases of acute poisoning chronic nervous system damage might be a factor.
And then we have the oil to worry about. Oil provides the vast majority of a french fry’s calories and oil is something that geese simply don’t need in their diet.
The best you can expect is for your birds to get major diarrhea, which is going to turn into a disgusting mess for you to clean up, and can also risk their health by leading to dehydration or potentially electrolyte imbalance.
Oil also poses problems to a goose’s crop and gizzard, and can promote yeast infections and other problems.
All in all, any of these effects by themselves are bad enough, but together they are truly calamities. An easy way to inflict them on your geese is just to give them french fries, so don’t do it!
Can’t Geese Have Just a Few Fries?
No, they really cannot.
Although, if you absolutely insist for whatever reason it is unlikely that your geese will experience any serious ill effects if they only get a bite or two of a french fry.
Can Goslings Eat French Fries Safely?
Absolutely not, no way, end of discussion. French fries are bad enough for adult geese, and they are truly horrendous for goslings.
Goslings are young and delicate, and they have exacting nutritional requirements. Lacking this nutrition, they are not going to grow up healthy or fast.
What’s worse, goslings that get severely imbalanced nutrition, particularly too much protein, carbs and certain vitamins and minerals are prone to developing angel wings syndrome.
This is a hideous and crippling deformity of the wrist bones in the wings that causes them to stick out horizontally from their poor bodies.
This can easily happen if you feed goslings people food like french fries. If caught on time and the nutritional imbalance corrected, angel wing syndrome can be corrected, but once the affected goose reaches adulthood, that’s it, they are crippled for life and cannot fly.
Do not, under any circumstances, give your goslings french fries!
How Often Can Geese Eat French Fries?
Ideally never. If you absolutely will not listen to reason, you can give it your geese a bite or two of french fry once every couple of weeks.
If You Must Give Geese Fries, Make Them Baked Home Fries Instead
Now, after reading all of this you are not persuaded from sharing that crispy, golden glory with your geese.
Lucky for you, there is something you can do to share french fries with your geese without making them devastatingly sick.
All you need to do is whip up a batch of oven-baked home fries. These are exactly what they sound like: potatoes that are cut into thin sticks and then baked in the oven until crispy.
Don’t use any salt, don’t use any oil, except possibly a thin glaze on your pan or baking sheet so they don’t stick. Bake them for about 25 minutes at 425 °F (220 °C) and they should look just like the real thing.
Let them cool, and then you can give a few of them to your geese, although you should know they don’t need very many potatoes in their diet in the first place.
Never Give Geese Moldy or Spoiled Fries or Potatoes
Something else to keep in mind, whatever kind of fries you decide to feed to your geese, is it you should never give them any moldy or rotten fries or potatoes.
Geese are extremely sensitive to the toxins produced by certain molds and fun guy, of the type that typically grow on food that has been spoiled or exposed to moisture.
These toxins can easily sicken or kill geese, so you’ve got to take this seriously. Never give your keys any food, french fries, potatoes or otherwise, that are spoiled.
Tom has lived and worked on farms and homesteads from the Carolinas to Kentucky and beyond. He is passionate about helping people prepare for tough times by embracing lifestyles of self-sufficiency.