A small flock of Shetland Geese rotate around the farm to manage the waterways and under tree grazing
a goose's life at achpopuli...
The small flock of Shetland geese are rotated around young shelterbelts, hedges and ditches, grazing and flattening the grass around the young trees until they are big enough to be grazed under by the sheep. Many of these areas also have burns, ponds and ditches in them which the geese help keep clear by eating roots and shoots, but slow the water flow by making pools for washing in.
Geese are natural grazers, they particularly love young grass and seed heads. I wanted to plant a LOT of trees that would get munched by the sheep and cattle when they were small, but the geese can graze around and under them - so fit into this farming system perfectly! When the trees are bigger the geese will rotate around the wet pasture with the sheep, to help reduce fluke by eating the small snails that host the parasite.
Shetland Geese are a small, hardy breed on the Rare Breeds Watchlist. They provided crofters with a reliable source of meat, and the geese grazed pasture to rid it of parasites like fluke to prepare the grass for sheep. Males are mostly white, and females have large patches of grey plumage. They are excellent foragers, and apart from when they are young, eat only grass.
Goose eggs will be available seasonally, the first laying will hopefully be in spring 2021! Very limited numbers available.