When it comes to the diet of geese, the rule is that the greener the item in question is, the better it is for geese and the more they will like it.
Geese are not strictly herbivorous, but they’re pretty close, and they usually live on a diet of grass, foliage and of course vegetables when they can find them.
But geese can also be surprisingly picky eaters for having such a one-track menu, and not all vegetables and plants are even good for you.
How about broccoli? It’s famous as an extremely healthy vegetable for people, but what about geese? Can geese eat broccoli?
Yes, geese can eat broccoli and it is very nutritious for them. But, aside from the leaves, some geese just don’t seem interested in broccoli, either the florets or the stalks.
But if they will eat it these can benefit from the ample vitamins and minerals present in the vegetable.
It makes sense why geese would go after the leaves of broccoli in preference of the other parts. Geese love leafy, crisp vegetation but they tend to avoid hard, dense and difficult to swallow foods.
The florets, though soft, might be discouraging to geese. In any case, broccoli won’t hurt your geese, and if they do eat it, they will benefit from the nutrition.
Keep reading and I’ll tell you everything you need to know if you want to try and get your geese to eat broccoli…
Does Broccoli Have Health Benefits for Geese?
Yes. Broccoli has definite health benefits for geese if they will eat it. Broccoli is absolutely packed with all kinds of vitamins and minerals that geese need, and all parts of the plant are healthy.
That being said, most geese will only readily eat the leaves of the plant, and you might as well flip a coin when it comes to the florets, and hardly any geese will eat the stalks.
But whatever part they eat, broccoli can improve a goose’s health dramatically, greatly benefiting skeletal and connective tissue growth and repair, all sorts of basic cellular functions and metabolic processes, organ function and even proper feathering which will definitely help out when geese are molting or if they’re forced to re-grow feathers after an injury.
Broccoli can even help improve circulatory health, particularly as it concerns the creation of new red blood cells and the oxygenation of blood that serves all of the tissues in the goose’s body.
Of most interest to folks raising geese for their eggs or who are looking to naturally expand the size of their flock, broccoli has a major benefit when it comes to the health and condition of goose eggs: it can help dames lay eggs with thicker shells and overall higher quality, whether or not they are fertilized.
This improves the viability rate of all eggs, and also helps to protect the dame herself from any mishaps that might occur during laying.
Altogether, it is a great set of benefits from one vegetable, the trick is getting your birds to eat it!
Nutrition Info for Broccoli
Broccoli is already well-known as an extremely nutritious vegetable, and this is with good reason.
Though broccoli only has a modest macronutrient profile consisting of a little protein, a tiny bit of fat, and a few carbohydrates for energy it is chock-full of vitamins and minerals that geese need.
When we examine the vitamin content, we see that broccoli has tremendous amounts of vitamin C and vitamin K, and a wide assortment of all other vitamins with the notable absence of vitamin D.
The B vitamins are here and well represented, with good amounts of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, B6, and folate along with some choline. Broccoli also contains a respectable amount of vitamin A and beta carotene.
The mineral content is also varied and impressive, and contains lots of things that geese need in order to grow up strong and stay healthy.
We have plenty of manganese and phosphorus backed up by a good amount of potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium rounded out by zinc and a little bit of sodium.
Can Geese Eat Raw Broccoli?
Yes, geese can eat raw broccoli, and if they will, this is the ideal way to serve it to them. Raw broccoli is easy to digest, and retains the best possible nutritional profile compared to cooked broccoli.
There’s just one problem: most geese won’t eat broccoli, and raw broccoli in particular!
Can Geese Eat Broccoli Florets?
Yes, geese can eat broccoli florets safely, but most seem to avoid them. Every once in a while, it seems like an individual goose will get a hankering for them and chow down on them, and some geese like it right from the start, but don’t count on it…
Can Geese Eat Broccoli Stalks?
Yes, but it is rare to find a goose that will unless it is finely chopped and incorporated into their feed or mash.
The tough, somewhat woody stalks aren’t particularly appealing to geese, but reasonably nutritious and safe.
Can Geese Eat Broccoli Leaves?
Yes, they can, and this is the one part of the veggie that most geese will reliably eat without you having to coax them.
The leaves are sweet and mild, and offer plenty of nutrients by themselves.
Is Cooked Broccoli Safe for Geese?
Yes it is, and though cooked broccoli will lose out on some of its nutritional value, it’s a good way to make it more appealing to your geese.
Chopping florets up into tiny pieces after roasting or steaming broccoli might encourage them to try it, and even the stem can be chopped and cooked to make it more appealing, though it’s still no guarantee!
Can Goslings Eat Broccoli Safely?
Yes, but it is highly unlikely they will eat anything except small bits of the leaves. Broccoli is a tough proposition for most geese, and even more so with goslings.
However, it isn’t out of the question that an individual gosling might like it or take to it after seeing their parents do so.
How Often Can Geese Eat Broccoli?
1 to 2 servings per week, assuming they will eat it. Broccoli is a healthy food for geese, no doubt about it, but assuming that your flock will reliably eat it it is still not something that they should eat all the time.
Broccoli, as good as it is, is not nutritionally complete, but it’s a wonderful supplement that geese will benefit from as a small part of a complete diet.
Preparing Broccoli for Geese
If you want to try and convince your geese to eat broccoli, you have two approaches. The first is raw, which is best if they will eat it as such.
I recommend removing the leaves and serving them as is since geese should eat those no problem.
Then cut up the florets into small tidbits or “sprigs” that might be more enticing to your flock. Cross your fingers and hope for the best.
The second approach is by cooking it, and broccoli is one veggie where this is definitely worth a try. Lightly roast or steam broccoli just enough to soften it, but not until it is mushy.
Cut up the florets, serve the stem into small, bite-sized chunks and see if your geese will go for it. Make sure you let it cool first!
Don’t Give Broccoli to Geese if it Has Any Bad Ingredients or Additives
If you’re bound and determined to get your geese to eat broccoli, you might be thinking of adding some other ingredients to it in order to make it taste better. People do the same thing after all!
Cheese, butter, salt, and all kinds of things are sometimes added to veggies to make them tastier. But you cannot do this when it comes to geese and broccoli!
All of those ingredients, while delicious, are very unhealthy for your birds and should not be fed to them.
Any of them can cause serious health issues like digestive problems, fatty liver syndrome, hypertension, and even death.
Make sure any broccoli you give them is just plain broccoli, whether it is cooked or raw.
Never Give Geese Moldy or Spoiled Broccoli
One more thing to be aware of before you give your geese a go at broccoli: never serve your geese broccoli, or any produce, that is moldy, rotten, or otherwise unhealthy.
Geese are very vulnerable to toxins from mold and other forms of food contamination, and you don’t want to make your flock sick by feeding them something gross.
Only give your birds broccoli or other fruits and veggies that you yourself wouldn’t object to eating!
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.