So, Can Geese Eat Nuts?

When we think of the usual diet of geese, we probably think greenery. And this is with good reason: geese do eat a diet that is predominantly green plant matter, grass, foliage, some leaves and things like that.

a goose eating dandelions
a goose eating dandelions

However, geese can actually eat many of the other plant products that other birds eat, ones you might not think of it first. How about nuts?

Nuts and seeds are a favorite food of many birds, so it makes sense that geese should be able to eat them. But can they? Can geese eat nuts safely?

Yes, geese can safely eat most tree nuts so long as they’re shelled and not salted or seasoned. Nuts are a great source of calories and micronutrients that geese need, including many vitamins and minerals.

If you want a great food to help your geese put on weight or just give them plenty of energy while fortifying their diet with healthy fats, protein and plenty of vitamins and minerals, then nuts are a great choice.

However, you should never give your geese the nuts that you buy at the grocery store to snack on. I’ll tell you everything you need to know about feeding nuts to your geese below…

Do Nuts Have Health Benefits for Geese?

Yes, definitely. Nuts are a wonderful addition to the diet of geese, one that has many health benefits.

Nuts, generally, have a great cross-section of macro and micronutrients, and though the precise nutritional profile of a nut varies from species to species, you can depend on them to significantly boost the health of your geese.

All nuts contain plenty of calories with a well-rounded amount of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

This will provide geese with plenty of short and long-term energy, and also give their bodies all the building blocks they need to grow and to heal.

Beyond this, the vitamins and minerals contained in nuts are useful in countless processes throughout the body:

  • skeletal development and healing,
  • the formation of strong and flexible connective tissues,
  • the promotion of feathering during the molt or after an injury,
  • regulating cellular function and proper electrolyte balance,
  • organ function,
  • good immunity,
  • and more.

Generally, nuts are a great and healthy supplement or snack for geese, and one that they typically enjoy.

Nutrition Info for Nuts

As mentioned above, the nutrition info for nuts varies depending on the type, though all are dependably nutritious!

Looking at one of the most common nuts and one that geese tend to like, the almond, we find lots of good stuff.

They have lots of protein, fat and carbohydrates for energy and also a wonderful assortment of vitamins and minerals.

Looking at the vitamins first, we see only trace amounts of vitamin A, but an excellent spread of the B complex vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, B6 and folate.

Almonds also have tons of vitamin E and a little bit of choline to round things out. Notably, vitamin C, vitamin D and vitamin K are absent.

The mineral content is similarly impressive, and nuts are, gram for gram, one of the very best wholesome sources of vitamins found in nature.

Almonds, in this case, are packed with manganese, magnesium and phosphorus and also have an excellent amount of calcium, copper, iron, potassium, selenium and zinc.

Each and every one of these vitamins and minerals is needed by geese, and it’s difficult to find a better rounded source of these nutrients than nuts and almonds in particular.

Can Geese Eat Raw Nuts?

Yes, they can, and raw nuts are ideal for geese in most situations. Raw nuts are easy for them to digest (as long as they’re small enough) and also contain the maximum amount of vitamins and minerals.

Can Geese Eat Peanuts?

Yes, they can. Peanuts aren’t really nuts; they are legumes. But in this case they are safe for geese so long as they are roasted, but not salted!

Can Geese Eat Walnuts?

Yes, they can, but they must be shelled. The shell of a walnut is way too hard for a goose to break open or digest.

Walnuts are among the most nutritious nuts you can find, so they are an excellent choice when feeding your geese.

Can Geese Eat Almonds?

Yes, geese can certainly eat almonds. Geese really like them too, and they’re full of protein, vitamin E, fiber, monosaturated fats, and other nutrients.

Highly nutritious, almonds can be a regular supplement for your geese. Almonds might need to be crushed, cracked, or ground to make them easier for geese to swallow, though.

Can Geese Eat Cashews?

Yes. Cashews are another popular nut, and geese love them just as much as humans do though not quite as much as almonds in my experience.

Cashews can be fed raw or roasted but never salted. Again, consider cracking or crushing them to make them a bit easier to swallow.

Can Geese Eat Pistachios?

Yes. Pistachios are delicious and also packed with nutrients, but you must shell them: the thin shell is still way too hard and sharp for geese to safely swallow and digest.

Once shelled, geese can easily eat the small kernel inside.

Can Geese Eat Hazelnuts?

Yes, they can. Hazelnuts are a favorite of geese, but they must be shelled to make them edible.

Can Geese Eat Acorns?

Yes, they can, and geese usually flock to oak trees to eat fallen acorns- no pun intended! Notably, the toxic tannins that are present in acorns don’t seem to affect geese.

In the wild, geese will eat acorns as fast as they can, wherever they find them.

If you have oak trees growing on your property, you can let your geese graze on the fallen acorns or gather them up for them to eat later.

Are Cooked Nuts Safe for Geese?

Yes, they are, and some nuts (like hazelnuts and peanuts) should be cooked for geese prior to eating.

However, you must never give your geese any nut that has been salted or roasted with any other flavorings, as these can make geese sick.

Additionally, cooked nuts do lose some of their nutritional value compared to raw ones, so always go for raw when feeding your geese if it is an option.

Can Goslings Eat Nuts Safely?

Yes, and nuts are a great nutritional supplement for goslings but they will need a little help from you. Nuts should be both shelled and crushed into a small, coarse “meal” for goslings.

Most nuts are dense enough and big enough to potentially cause goslings to choke, or else it might block their crop or cause other digestive system havoc.

So long as you are careful with preparation and avoid giving goslings too many they will do just fine.

How Frequently Can Geese Eat Nuts?

Feed your geese 2 to 3 servings of nuts per week, as part of a balanced diet.

After reading this article, consisting of me doing nothing but singing the praises of nuts for your geese, you might be tempted to put them on an all-nut diet. But don’t do that!

As healthy as nuts are they are still a treat or supplemental food and should be treated as such.

Keep it to two or three servings per week, max, and only if your geese are getting plenty of their usual grass and greenery.

Nuts are very nutritious, but also highly caloric and can easily cause obesity in geese.

Particularly in young geese and goslings, too much protein and calories in their diet have been linked to a host of health issues, and nuts will certainly exacerbate things…

Preparing Nuts for Geese

When preparing nuts for your geese, remember these guidelines: no salt and no seasonings of any kind, always shell the nuts, and crush or crumble them to make them easier to swallow.

Keep in mind that geese don’t chew their food like mammals; they swallow whole or swallow chunks to be “chewed” internally by the gizzard.

Geese that swallow large or oddly-shaped nuts can choke or suffer from an impacted crop, so always make sure their nuts are safely digestible.

Don’t Give Nuts to Geese if They Have Any Bad Ingredients or Additives

Speaking of salt and savory or sweet flavorings, you just never, ever give your geese any nuts, of any kind, that have added salt, sugar or any other seasonings.

These can be harmful and potentially deadly to your geese, so always check the ingredients of any nuts you buy, and make sure they are safe for consumption by your feathered friends.

This might mean buying nuts in bulk from a livestock or pet supply retailer, or just scrupulously checking the label of any you buy at the grocery store.

In short, if you want to give your geese some delicious, nutritious nuts, do it. Just stick to plain nuts only!

Never Give Geese Moldy or Spoiled Nuts

One last thing to be aware of when feeding nuts to geese, or any food really, is that you must never give them moldy, rancid or otherwise spoiled nuts.

Geese are surprisingly delicate birds for being so big (and often so ornery!), and they’re frighteningly vulnerable to bad food, and toxic mold in particular.

If nuts have an odd color, off-putting aroma, or any visible patches of mold or rot, you must not give them to your flock!

Inspect and replace bulk-purchased nuts regularly to keep your geese safe!

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