This winter, the number of ducks was greatly reduced, only with trios of the breeds being retained. There are Rouens, Anconas, Khaki campbells and Buff ducks. They cohabit with the geese, because the number of geese and ducks actually raises the temperature in their shelter quite a lot and it is warmer for them. They learn very quickly, unlike chickens. I only had to herd the ducks and geese into their winter shelter twice and the next night, they were already in there themselves. Chickens take forever to learn where they need to go and even then, some are too stubborn to go anywhere but where they want to!
The Fat Ewe Farm geese are beautiful. There are two American Buff geese and a Tufted Toulouse cross gander that are mated. There is a Sebastopol pair and the offspring from the Sebs and the Toulouse and the Buffs. The Sebastopol cross geese are stunning, with their long ruffled coloured feathers and blue eyes. Well, not all of them have blue eyes, but most do. My only problem is that I cannot sex the ganders from the geese of the offspring. Several experts have tried to as well, but without turning the geese upside down and vent sexing, we won't know for sure until mating season.
There are several people interested in these beautiful birds for their own farms. I love the geese. They seem to float rather than waddle like the ducks and the Sebastopol's feathers, when completely grown in, hang to the ground, some over a foot long. Stunning!
In winter, they are easy care. They do have a large rubber tub they can bathe in once a day. They will go in the water, no matter what the temperature is. To them, water is the best thing going! They do not have to have bathing water, but they do require enough water to dip their heads in so their eyes are washed. The Muscovy ducks sleep in the chicken coop, though, because they need a warmer house than the goose/duck house. The loose feathered birds, like the Sebs and crosses of them, do not have the same insulation factor as the smooth feathered geese, but they are doing well in their large hoop coop. I sprinkle new hay on the floor once a week. When it is still fresh they eat quite a bit of it, which helps them with fibre and greens, since greens are scarce in Alberta winters.
I think when I move from here, if I ever do, I will always have Sebastopol geese. The Fat Ewe Farm would not be complete without them!