Geese eat a wide variety of things, being omnivores, but the majority of their nutrition comes from plant matter, typically grasses, grains, and other vegetation.
But one thing you don’t hear discusses too often when it comes to the diet of geese is fruit. Why is that? Geese would almost certainly encounter various fruits out in the wild, particularly berries.
And speaking of berries, can geese eat one of the most common and popular berries around? Can geese eat blueberries?
Yes, geese can eat blueberries, and they’re actually a great source of fiber and antioxidants that can help with digestion and overall health. However, the sugar and moisture content in blueberries means they should not consume them in large quantities.
Blueberries are definitely on the menu for geese, and they can make a nice snack or treat for them.
They’re packed with antioxidants and other nutrients geese need, and most geese seem to really enjoy eating them.
However, you can give them too much of a good thing, and going overboard with blueberries can cause digestive woes and other problems for geese, so minding the quantity is going to be key.
I’ll tell you what you need to know about giving blueberries to geese below…
Do Blueberries Have Health Benefits for Geese?
Yes, they sure do. Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, and they also have beneficial fiber that can help with digestion.
Together with the other vitamins and minerals they can be a great booster for overall health in geese, everything from bone growth and healing, to improvement of feathering and even egg production and quality.
The water content is also high, which helps keep geese hydrated. Most geese are also very keen to get a few of these perfect, sweet berries and this makes them a great treat for your flock.
However, they are very moist and pretty sugary, two things that can spell trouble for geese if given in large quantities, typically in the form of crop issues like sour crop and diarrhea.
Just keep in mind that blueberries are a treat or supplement and should not be given too often or in excessive amounts.
Nutrition Info for Blueberries
Geese can reap many health benefits from consuming blueberries, thanks to their abundance of vitamins and minerals.
Blueberries are an excellent source of vitamin C which helps to strengthen a goose’s immune system and protect them from disease.
They also have lots of manganese and vitamin K, two more key vitamins which help keep geese healthy.
Manganese is essential for various metabolic functions, prevention of perosis and eggshell health in laying dames.
Vitamin K is vital for blood clotting and maintenance of blood plasma levels, and also imperative for good health in newly-hatched goslings.
In addition to these essential vitamins, blueberries offer plenty of minerals which can promote the health and well-being of geese.
Magnesium helps with muscular movement and phosphorus helps to build strong bones, and both are also important for metabolic function.
Potassium is also present, and integral in regulating heart rate and blood pressure as well as electrolyte balance.
When eaten as a small part of a balanced diet, blueberries can be quite beneficial for geese; they aren’t just a sweet treat!
Can Geese Eat Raw Blueberries?
Yes. This is really the only way to serve them to your geese. Raw blueberries are perfectly edible just as they are, and also retain far more of their nutritional value than if they were cooked or otherwise processed.
Are Cooked Blueberries Safe for Geese?
Yes, they are safe, but they aren’t necessarily a good idea or even necessary.
Geese don’t need blueberries to be cooked in order for them to be edible; they are tender enough as they are, and as mentioned above, they can lose some of their nutritional content if cooked. So it’s best to feed them raw.
Can Goslings Eat Blueberries Safely?
Yes, goslings can eat blueberries safely. But, as you may have already guessed they don’t need many, and should only get them once they have grown up a little bit.
Once your geese are around 5 weeks of age you can start giving them a blueberry or two every now and then as a treat. Don’t overdo it!
A few blueberries here and there should be enough to keep them healthy and happy, but too many will just upset their digestive tract and give them diarrhea, maybe even cause issues with their crop.
Goslings, like most immature birds, are quite delicate and you don’t want to do anything that will cause them any harm.
How Often Can Geese Eat Blueberries?
Geese will enjoy blueberries, and you will like the health boost they get from them. But despite being healthy, blueberries aren’t an all-the-time part of a goose’s diet. They are too sweet and too moist for that.
Instead, feed blueberries to your geese no more than twice a week as a special treat or supplement.
Even at this modest schedule, don’t give them excessive amounts. Doing so can easily give them diarrhea which can dehydrate them if it persists.
Something else to keep in mind is that, despite being natural, blueberries are still very sugary. Eating too much sugar can cause weight gain in geese, among other issues.
Preparing Blueberries for Geese
This is really as easy as it gets when preparing food for geese. All you need to do is give them the blueberries!
Put them in their feeder or scatter them on the ground, and your birds will gobble them up in no time.
If you want to mix things up a little bit consider lightly mashing the blueberries and then mixing them in with some other food, but this is not strictly necessary.
Don’t Give Blueberries to Geese if They Have Any Bad Ingredients or Additives
Blueberries are pretty much perfect as-is: tender, juicy and beguilingly sweet. People love blueberries, and blueberries are naturally a key ingredient in all kinds of sweet desserts and delicacies.
As good as all of these creations are, they are nothing that a goose should ever have.
Added ingredients like sugar, butter, artificial sweeteners, syrup and other processed ingredients can be harmful to your geese in the short term and in the long run.
Fatty liver syndrome, sour crop, weight gain and worse are all possibilities that can hurt or kill your poor geese.
I get it: you want to share your favorite sweets with your beloved birds. That’s still just a bad idea, end of story.
If you want to give your geese some blueberries make sure they are fresh and free of additives and other bad ingredients.
Also, since we are on the subject of harmful additives, if you aren’t growing your own or picking wild blueberries make it a point to buy organic ones for your geese: blueberries are among the fruits most commonly overloaded with pesticides and chemicals.
These chemicals can persist to a degree even after washing, and many fertilizers and pesticides have been linked to major health issues in birds, including geese.
Never Give Geese Moldy or Spoiled Blueberries
And one last warning. You should never feed your geese any blueberries that have rotted, become moldy or obviously gone bad.
This can be quite dangerous and even lethal in some cases, as many types of mold produce mycotoxins that are poisonous to birds.
Two that are especially dangerous to geese are aspergillus ochraceous and penicillin viridicatum.
More commonly associated with grain poisoning, they can also be ingested if present on other produce.
Just because geese can eat all sorts of things in the wild does not mean you should foist bad, spoiled food on them: if you care about your geese you should only give them fresh fruit.
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.