Geese were domesticated at least 4,000 years ago. They have provided meat, eggs, and high-quality down for bedding for thousands of years. As a result of this long history, you will find a number of domesticated breeds as well as several wild species to choose from.

Many geese are bold, pushy, and intelligent, capable of recognizing those people who give them a handout. They are talkative and often have plenty to say if a stranger approaches the property, making them good watchbirds. They can certainly make a fine showing on a pond, and they are not as attractive to hungry birds of prey as a tasty little duck.

However, they do have a dark side, since many people (including children) are afraid of these aggressive birds. Also, what starts out as a few geese on a pond may eventually attract migrating flocks all out of proportion to the numbers the property was meant to support. Know your neighbors and your local situation before you get started with geese. Canada Geese in particular are notorious for their vegetarian diet that produces a truly astounding quantity of droppings.