If you know anything about geese, you’re probably aware that they’re mostly herbivores with a pretty varied diet, although they can eat some animal proteins and other things too.
But concerning the plant matter that geese eat, one thing they might not get very much of in the wild are the vegetables that we often eat.
These tend not to hang around in gardens or near farms, instead preferring wide open fields where they can see trouble approaching.
This begs the question of what kinds of vegetables, if any, geese can eat. How about carrots? Can geese eat carrots?
Yes, geese can eat carrots if they’re cut up for them and preferably lightly cooked to make them a bit softer. Carrots can be highly nutritious for geese when fed to them as a supplement to their usual diet, and they have many vitamins and minerals that they need.
Carrots are one of those things for geese that are sort of a catch-22. They don’t normally have access to them in the wild, but nonetheless they are healthy and nutritious if they do eat them.
All you need to know is that carrots can be a good snack for your geese if you want to give them something new to try.
I’ll tell you everything you need to know about feeding carrots to your geese in the rest of this article…
Do Carrots Have Health Benefits for Geese?
Yes, they sure do. Carrots, even though they aren’t a common food for geese, have many health benefits thanks to their solid and well-rounded nutritional content.
Carrots can provide geese with a good shot of energy, and also a variety of vitamins and minerals that they need to stay healthy.
Carrots are especially good for improving nervous system health, feathering, eyesight, and many cellular functions in geese.
Although they should never be the staple part of a goose’s diet, they’re a great supplement and a treat that most geese seem to really like, especially if they are cooked a little bit softer.
Nutrition Info for Carrots
Carrots are definitely a healthy vegetable, one that has a respectable, if not stellar, nutritional profile consisting of vitamins and minerals.
But, carrots do have two vitamins that are genuine assets for geese, and in this regard, they beat most veggies by a mile: carrots have tons of vitamin A and beta-carotene, two things that geese definitely need in their diet, particularly as it concerns the function of their nervous system and the health of their eyes.
Besides these, carrots have a dramatically smaller amount of other vitamins though a good variety.
Most of the B complex vitamins are present, including thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, B6 and folate as well as a good amount of vitamin K along with vitamins C and E.
The mineral content is likewise pretty varied, but nowhere near as good as the amount of vitamin A carrots have.
All of the essentials are here, including a pretty good shot of potassium and manganese backed up by lesser amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc.
Also worth pointing out is that carrots naturally contain a fair bit of sodium.
You probably won’t be feeding your geese enough carrots routinely enough for this sodium to be a problem, but it’s worth mentioning so you can keep an eye on their total intake.
Can Geese Eat Raw Carrots?
Yes, geese can eat raw carrots but this is actually not the best way to serve them.
They can digest raw carrots, but they are so dense they are a little bit tough for geese to swallow unless they’re cut up into very small bites.
Larger chunks of raw carrot can actually be a choking hazard.
But if your geese seem happy enough with raw carrots, go ahead and hand them over because they will contain the maximum amount of nutrients.
Can Geese Eat Carrot Tops?
Yes, and this is probably the best part of the carrot for geese! Carrot tops, or crowns, are highly nutritious themselves and geese tend to prefer light, grassy vegetation – which means that carrot tops are right up their alley!
Can Geese Eat Colored Carrots?
Yes, they can. Although nutritional profiles might vary slightly depending on the color of the carrot, all of the common cultivars are safe for geese, including purple, yellow, green, and so on.
Are Cooked Carrots Safe for Geese?
Yes, they are, and in fact cooked carrots might be the best option for serving to your geese. As I mentioned above, carrots tend to be pretty hard, and this can make it difficult for geese to swallow them and digest them.
Lightly cooking carrots, just enough to soften them, will not seriously impact the nutritional content but it will make them much more appealing to most geese.
You should definitely consider cooking carrots if you have picky eaters in your flock! I’ll talk more about preparing carrots for your geese in just a bit.
Can Goslings Eat Carrots Safely?
Yes, once they grow up a little bit and if the carrots are finely chopped, but even then I think twice.
Carrots definitely can be healthy for goslings, but they are tough to digest, and young goslings need food that is nutritionally complete and easy to digest to ensure they grow healthy and quickly.
If you do want to give carrots to your goslings, I’d wait till they are at least 5 weeks of age and then either give them flossed (shredded) raw carrots, or cooked carrots that are chopped up into tiny tidbits that will be easy for them to swallow.
Even then, mind the quantity, as goslings don’t need very many in their diet at all.
How Often Can Geese Eat Carrots?
Feed your geese 1 or 2 small servings of carrots per week, max. Carrots are a healthy treat or supplement to a goose’s diet, but should never be the main part of their diet.
As good and wholesome as they are, carrots don’t have everything a goose needs to thrive. Not even close!
Giving your geese small amounts of carrots on a weekly basis is not going to hurt them and they’ll probably appreciate the variety in their menu, but those carrots also take up room that might have been better spent eating more nutritious foods.
Preparing Carrots for Geese
Whether you decide to give carrots to your geese raw or cooked, the most important thing to remember is that you chop them up into small, bite-size pieces that geese can easily swallow and digest without risk of choking.
This, naturally, depends on the breed and size of the geese, but cutting a carrot into quarters lengthwise and then chopping those pieces up into chunks no wider than about 3/8 of an inch (1 centimeter) is probably more than enough.
The real question is whether or not you want to cook your carrots. I say cook them: softened carrots seem to be more appealing to them in my experience, and a little easier for them to digest.
Nothing fancy here, simply give your carrots a short steaming or roast them until they just start to soften, then remove from the heat and let them cool before serving to the flock.
Don’t Give Carrots to Geese if They Have Any Bad Ingredients or Additives
Think twice before giving your geese any carrots left over from meals you’ve prepared yourself: geese should never be given carrots that are prepared with any sort of sauce, seasoning, spice, butter, or anything like that.
They make carrots delicious for us, that’s for sure, but all of these things are very bad for your geese and can cause serious health issues.
Stick to carrots that are either plain and raw, or lightly cooked with absolutely no added ingredients and your geese will love them just the same.
Never Give Geese Moldy or Spoiled Carrots
You should also avoid giving your geese any carrots that have been turning into a science experiment in the bottom drawer of your fridge, or were lost for a time in your root cellar.
Moldy, rotted carrots are never good for geese, and spoiled produce can definitely make them sick, maybe even kill them.
Think of it this way: if you wouldn’t eat the carrots yourself or serve them to your family, don’t give them to your geese if you care about them.
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.