I don’t know why, but when you think about the diet of geese the first things that come to mind are usually some pretty bland foods. They live on grass and other leafy plant matter, and I guess only occasionally they might get a berry or snack on a slimy slug or some kind of insect.
But, as it turns out, geese can actually eat a pretty wide variety of foods even if they wouldn’t normally get them in nature. Geese can eat all kinds of fruits, but how about watermelon, that most iconic of the summer melons? Can geese eat watermelon?
Yes, geese can eat watermelon and most really love it. Watermelon is hydrating for geese, and has a decent assortment of vitamins and minerals that they need for good health.
Watermelon is not the most nutritious food in the world for geese, but it’s definitely wholesome and makes a wonderful treat for them. It is also just the thing to help them combat heat stress during summer weather.
In any case, it won’t take too many servings before your geese come running when they see you carrying those ruby red slices.
I’ll tell you everything you need to know about feeding watermelon to your geese in this article.
Does Watermelon Have Health Benefits for Geese?
Yes, definitely. Watermelon is a decent source of energy for geese thanks to its sugar content, and it is also highly hydrating.
It is easy for geese to eat and digest, and that means that its modest assortment of vitamins and minerals can be a good health boost.
The vitamins and minerals present in watermelon can improve everything from the formation of red blood cells in the oxygenation of blood to the maintenance and function of nervous system tissue, including the eyes.
Various cellular functions are improved and regulated along with proper electrolyte balance. All in all, a pretty good set of benefits for a fruit that’s typically only considered a sweet treat!
Nutrition Info for Watermelon
Watermelons carry a varied but not stellar amount of vitamins and minerals, though they’re definitely healthy and worthwhile for geese.
Starting with the vitamins, we see that watermelons carry a great amount of vitamin C and a good amount of vitamin A and beta carotene.
Most of the B complex vitamins are present, including thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6 – though folate is notably absent.
Watermelons also have a little bit of choline to round things out…
The mineral content is also varied but somewhat lacking, though geese will benefit from the iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc that are present.
Can Geese Eat Raw Watermelon?
Yes, they can, and this is definitely how you should serve it to your geese. Raw watermelon is the most satisfying for your geese and its nutritional content will be optimal in this form.
Just make sure that you cut it into small pieces, as whole watermelons may prove difficult for them to eat, though they will try to tear hunks out of a cut melon. More on proper preparation in just a bit…
Can Geese Eat Watermelon Seeds?
Yes, geese can eat watermelon seeds safely.
However, consuming too many of these large, glossy seeds has been associated with blocked crop and other issues, so if you want to feed your geese watermelon, consider a seedless variety.
Otherwise, be sure to remove the seeds before giving it to them.
Can Geese Eat Watermelon Rind?
Not really. Though technically edible, the rind is thick, tough, and doesn’t have much in the way of nutrients for geese.
Plus it is also hard to digest. Besides, they won’t want it at all as long as they have that sweet flesh to eat!
Is Cooked Watermelon Safe for Geese?
Yes, safe. But why would you cook watermelon, and why would you cook it for geese?
It just doesn’t make sense, as the cooking process will reduce its nutrient content while no benefits are gained from it. Stick with raw watermelon for your feathered friends.
Can Goslings Eat Watermelon Safely?
Yes, they sure can. Goslings love watermelon as much as adults do, and it is a wholesome treat for them.
However, do be cautious: sugary, watery foods can easily induce diarrhea, especially in young geese.
Also, definitely remove the seeds from any melon you’re giving to goslings: they are a bit too big for them to handle!
As long as you keep an eye on them, limit the quantity and ensure that the watermelon is presented in small portions, your goslings should be fine and enjoy themselves.
How Frequently Can Geese Eat Watermelon?
1 or 2 servings per week as part of a balanced and complete diet. Watermelon is a favorite treat of geese, and it is so hydrating and wholesome you will want to give it to them.
That said, it is nowhere close to nutritionally complete and isn’t something geese need to eat all of the time.
Letting your geese have a few servings per week is more than enough, though you might consider giving them more when the weather is really hot out.
Preparing Watermelon for Geese
You have a few options for prepping watermelon for your geese. If your geese are big and strong, or adventurous eaters, consider slicing the melon into halves or quarters and then letting them take bites from the flesh.
If they are picky or smaller breeds, cut the melon into chunks that are appropriately sized for their beaks.
And, of course, don’t forget to remove all of the seeds before offering it to them if you have any worries about crop blockage – and don’t let them eat too many seeds at any rate.
Don’t Give Watermelon to Geese if it Has Any Bad Ingredients or Additives
Watermelon is a sweet and refreshing fruit enjoyed the world over, but as good as it is that has not stopped people from turning out all sorts of dishes made with watermelon or just watermelon-flavored.
Sodas, gum, candy, ice cream, and even chips are popular snacks made with watermelon flavors.
You might even have your own favorite in there, but as much as you like them you should never, ever share these things with your geese.
Things like sugar, salt, artificial ingredients, and even food colorings can all be bad news for birds, including geese.
Health problems like salt poisoning, fatty liver syndrome and severe diarrhea can all result from these unhealthy snacks and additives, so just don’t give them to your geese.
And I promise that your geese will love plain, fresh, unadulterated watermelon just as much, so don’t feel like you are depriving them.
Never Give Geese Moldy or Spoiled Watermelon
One more thing you should know, though it is not specific to watermelon: Never feed geese any food that is spoiled, moldy or rotten.
If you have lots of leftover watermelon from a cookout, you might be tempted to give it to your geese, but you had better make sure it is still fresh.
Geese are shockingly vulnerable to spoiled food and mold in particular, and some common food molds can produce toxins that can make them deathly sick or even kill them outright.
Strains like Aspergillus can get into their lungs and cause a deadly form of aspergillosis, so always make sure you’re giving your geese fresh food.
The rule of thumb is that, if you would not eat it yourself, then your geese shouldn’t eat it either.
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.