Geese are known to eat mostly greenery, particularly grass, but all sorts of other plant matter besides. But what some people don’t know is that geese also enjoy various fruits and veggies, though these tend to be a somewhat limited part of their diet.
All you need to do is ask any long time goose keeper and they’ll be happy to tell you about the enthusiasm that their flock shows for various fruits.
But not all fruits are good for geese, and some of them aren’t safe. How about dried fruits, like raisins for instance? Can geese eat raisins?
Yes, geese can eat raisins safely and get good energy along with vitamins and minerals from them. But, raisins are very sweet and high in calories, and can lead to health problems in geese if they eat too many of.
Raisins, as you know, are just dried grapes and geese can have grapes safely. But raisins are intensely sweet, and the lack of water content means that geese can eat a lot of them in a single sitting.
That is a recipe for way too much sugar in their diet, and that can cause health problems. But as a wholesome, sweet treat you can definitely give your flock some raisins every now and then.
Keep reading and I’ll tell you everything you need to know when it comes to giving raisins to geese…
Do Raisins Have Health Benefits for Geese?
Yes, raisins definitely do have some health benefits for geese, and not the least of which being they are a great source of quick and easily digestible energy.
This is just the ticket if you want to help your geese get through hot or cold weather, or help them recover from the stress of an injury.
But aside from that, raisins also have a surprisingly decent nutritional profile of vitamins and minerals.
Altogether, these nutrients can improve circulatory health by promoting the production of red blood cells, enhancing the oxygenation of the bloodstream.
They can also improve muscular and skeletal growth and healing, and facilitate all kinds of cellular processes throughout the body, including the balancing of electrolytes so geese can maintain their energy throughout the day.
Not bad for a sweet snack!
Nutrition Info for Raisins
Raisins have a little bit of protein, a tiny amount of fat and lots and lots of sugar. These carbohydrates are great for giving geese energy, but raisins also have a highly varied compliment of vitamins and minerals, and they are a concentrated source of a few of them.
Examining the vitamin content first, we see they contain a tremendous amount of vitamin B6, riboflavin and thiamine, along with lesser amounts of the other B vitamins like niacin, pantothenic acid, and folate.
Raisins also have a little bit of choline, and vitamins C, E, and K.
The mineral content is surprisingly impressive, and raisins are a great source of copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium along with lesser but still useful amounts of calcium, selenium and zinc. Raisins also have a little bit of sodium…
Altogether this is quite a good lineup of nutrients for geese, and they need all of them in varying amounts.
Considering how small raisins are; it doesn’t take many for them to be a good boost of nutrition, but be careful that you don’t overdo it because they have so much sugar!
Are Golden Raisins Okay for Geese?
Yes. Golden raisins are still just raisins, a different color and nothing more. The vitamin and mineral profile might be slightly different, but they are safe.
Are Black Raisins Okay for Geese?
Yes, they are. Same thing: just a color change. But black raisins, or currants, are usually more expensive than other varieties, so might want to think twice before feeding them to your geese!
Are Cooked Raisins Safe for Geese?
Yes, but there is no reason to cook raisins just to give them to your geese. Raisins are plenty soft enough, and there is no improvement in digestibility when they are cooked.
Save yourself some headache and stick with raw raisins for your flock.
Can Goslings Eat Raisins Safely?
Yes, raisins are safe for goslings but with some serious reservations. Though they’re nutritious and a good source of energy for goslings, the high sugar content can be a problem.
Goslings are at risk of developing metabolic diseases from excess sugar, and too many calories and especially too many carbs can lead to such crippling syndromes as angel wing. Not good!
While raisins can give them the energy they need, too many will hurt their health. Stick to just giving them one or two raisins now and again as a treat.
How Often Can Geese Eat Raisins?
One small serving a week as a treat, perhaps 2 during very hot or cold weather. Raisins are just too sugary to be a regular part of a goose’s usual diet, despite being wholesome and having vitamins and minerals that geese need.
Regularly giving geese too many raisins can cause obesity and other diseases.
If you want to give them more often, cut back on the quantity even further. Never let your geese eat their fill of a large portion of raisins!
Preparing Raisins for Geese
Raisins are just fine for geese as-is. You can serve them on their own, or mix them with other food items.
Don’t Give Raisins to Geese if They Have Any Bad Ingredients or Additives
Raisins are so sweet and delicious they are basically a dessert all on their own. However, that hasn’t stopped people from incorporating raisins into all sorts of other dishes and desserts.
While these treats might make raisins even tastier, they also contain all sorts of ingredients that gees should not have, things like added sugar, food coloring, preservatives, dairy products, bread, and artificial flavorings.
You should never, ever serve this “human food” to your geese, no matter how much you want to share it with them.
The crazy amounts of sugar in these foods can cause immediate issues for geese, namely diarrhea and other digestive issues, liver problems and potentially even seizures.
Your geese will be more than happy to get raisins by themselves, and if you care about them that is all you will give them.
Never Give Geese Moldy or Spoiled Raisins
Another issue to be aware of with raisins is one that is shared by many other foods, too. Geese are highly vulnerable to toxins from mold, fungus, and other agents of spoilage on food.
Some of these organisms secrete dreadfully potent toxins that can hurt, cripple, or kill your geese. No joke! Molds strains like Aspergillus, Fusarium, or Penicillium can all cause serious harm to geese.
So make sure the raisins you are giving them are fresh and free from any signs of spoilage, and be very wary of handing off old raisins to them, or any raisins stored in humid, hot conditions.
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.