There are two main strains of Toulouse geese - the smaller utility birds and the dewlaps. The exhibition dewlap strains are considerably larger than the utility strains. They’re beautiful birds, but can be rather lethargic and comparatively short lived.
Utility strains are lighter weight birds. Mine are around 13 lbs, and while mine are pets, if you were looking for meat birds Toulouses are an excellent choice. Mine also lay a decent quantity of eggs. These smaller strains are fairly active geese that make exceptional grazers and, if given full access to pasture, will eat mainly grass.
When on pasture, these are surprisingly economical birds to raise. Mine spend the day grazing and only eat their pellets when they’re in their house at night. If you’re not keeping them on pasture, however, they could be rather spendy critters to feed if you’re trying to make an economical return on them.
Mine do eat a decent amount of feed on the days that they are kept in their smaller run during bad weather. Fortunately, there is very little weather that geese consider bad. When it’s hot, they settle down in the shade and when it’s pouring rain they splash around in the puddles to see who can get the muddiest.
The larger exhibition Toulouses have a low set body and their keel can drag low enough that they have problems with those feathers getting dirty. While still lower set than other breeds, utility Toulouses generally hold themselves high enough that they don’t need any special accommodations.
Still, in order for any goose to keep their feathers in good shape, these birds do require access to more than just a water dish. A child’s wading pool works well to give them enough room to splash around and play while still being easy to clean.
Toulouses can be a bit shier and more nervous than some of the more outgoing breeds like the Embdens, but when raised closely with people they are extremely sweet and endearing birds. They can benefit from having more outgoing breeds in the flock with them to boost their confidence.
They aren’t particularly vocal in their frequency of honking, but Toulouses do like to call to each other as well as talk to their human friends and can be quite loud in their volume. These are large birds that require a lot of space and are only suited to rural areas.
If you have the space available, Toulouses are friendly, productive geese that I wouldn’t want to be without.