You’ve seen wild geese or seen them in the park, you may even have a pet goose!
You’ve no doubt wondered, “do Geese eat worms?”. What about if they can catch parasitic worms, and should they be wormed? We wondered too, so did hours of research.
When kept as pets or in parks, geese will typically eat commercially-prepared goose foods that are high in protein and low in fat.
In the wild, they will graze on short grasses and aquatic plants.
They will also eat insects, small amphibians and fish.
But you’re curious like we were; will geese also feed on worms? Our research showed..
The answer is yes; geese feed on different worms, such as earthworms, meal worms, grub worms, and army worms. Worms can also get infected by parasitic worms such as gapeworm and gizzard worm.
Let’s explore the answer to this in more detail and show you what we found!
Can a Goose Eat Earthworms
While geese typically prefer to eat green grass and plants in rivers and lakes, they will also opportunistically consume earthworms where they are available, like most wild birds.
Wild Geese are migratory birds (which also makes pet domestic geese a bad idea!) and earthworms can make a significant portion of a goose’s diet during the spring and fall migration periods.
Earthworms are high in protein and other nutrients, making them an excellent food source for geese.
So if you see a goose eating earthworms, don’t be alarmed — it’s just nature taking its course. Grazing geese tend to sweep up worms and other insects as well as their usual feed.
Can Baby Geese Eat Worms?
Baby geese, also known as goslings, eat similar foods to adult geese.
This includes grasses, aquatic plants, insects, small amphibians, fish, and worms.
Baby geese need a varied diet to get the nutrients they need to grow and develop properly.
If you are raising baby geese, give them a variety of foods — including worms — to ensure they get all the nutrients they need.
Tip: If you want to hand feed geese, watch out as they have a snappy bite and can be pretty moody!
Do Geese Eat Mealworms?
If you’re looking to attract geese to your yard or feeding station, mealworms are a great option.
While mealworms are often considered a staple diet for chickens and other poultry, many other birds, such as geese or ducks eat worms and enjoy these wriggly snacks.
Mealworms are a popular food for geese.
They are also relatively easy to find and store, making them a convenient food source for busy birders.
Can Geese Eat Grub Worms?
While grub worms are not typically considered food for geese, they can be a valuable source of protein and other nutrients.
Grub worms are the larvae of various types of beetles.
They are usually found in the soil and feed on plant roots.
Can a Goose Eat Army Worms?
Army worms are the caterpillars of various types of moths.
They get their name from their habit of moving in large groups or “armies.”
While they are typically considered pests, army worms can be a valuable food source for geese.
So if you’re looking for ways to get rid of these pests from your plants, you may consider letting the geese take care of them.
Do Canada Geese Eat Worms and Mealworms?
Canada geese (Branta canadensis) are omnivores and will eat various foods, including earthworms and meal worms.
In addition to plants, these birds also consume various other animals such as small fish, amphibians, and reptiles.
Do Geese Get Worms and Do They Need Worming?
Geese can get worms.
If your goose is healthy and has a good diet, their natural resistance to parasites should be strong enough to keep them from getting worms.
However, if your goose is sick or has a poor diet, it may be more susceptible to getting worms.
There are various ways that geese can become infected with worms, including eating infected food or water, coming into contact with infected feces, and living with other infected poultry.
Here is a list of some common parasitic worms that can infest waterfowl like ducks and geese:
- gape worm
- gizzard worm
- large roundworm
- caecal worm
- hair worm
To prevent worms from infecting your goose population, providing clean food and water and keeping their environment clean is essential.
Prevent any mucky area from building up within your animal dens because infections occur via geese eating other birds poop which contain worm eggs.
Because of this, if feasible, it’s better to put them in separate dens and not have a crowded area full of birds.
It would help if you also wormed all incoming geese and other animals that will be put in your yard to keep them safe from the common parasite, making the risk of infestation considerably reduced.
Free range, wild Geese have less chance of this if they’re not in over stocked land.
Though they often share environments like large ponds, with other poultry and other bird populations like ducks, so this is often not possible.
Symptoms of Worms in Geese
Geese are susceptible to a few different types of worms.
The most parasitic worms that infect goose are gape worm and gizzard worm.
A gape worm can live in the bird’s air sacs causing the following symptoms:
- beak shut in distress
- harsh breathing
- frequent thirst
On the other hand, a gizzard worm lives in the bird’s crop or gizzard, causing the following symptoms:
- loss of weight
- sitting down a lot (young goose)
Apart from these symptoms caused by these specific worms, it would be best if you watched out for the following:
- intestinal impaction
- stunted growth
- extension of the neck
If you notice any of these symptoms in your goose, consult a vet immediately.
How Do You Deworm a Goose?
Worms can be treated with medication, but it’s important to worm geese early before they cause severe damage.
If you have a goose infested with worms, you’ll need to give them a poultry wormer.
Different wormers are available, so you will need to consult your veterinarian to determine which one is best for your goose.
Remember to follow the steps indicated for each type of wormer.
With proper care, your goose can recover (but unfortunately, there are studies that show death can still occur with treatment depending on the severity of infection).
Similarly, geese are also susceptible to external parasites, including mites, lice and ticks.
These pests can cause anemia, skin irritation, feather loss, and death in severe cases.
Geese are known to eat various foods, including earthworms and mealworms.
And if your goose is healthy and has a good diet, their natural resistance to parasites should be strong enough to keep them from getting worms.
As mentioned above, geese can get worms.
While geese can get worms, they don’t always need to be wormed.
Most worms pose no threat to geese, but some can be harmful or even deadly.
If you suspect your goose has worms, it’s essential to take them to a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.
Fun Fact: they tend to stay together from one breeding season to the next before going again (Autumn to the Winter season, for example.)
Other foods Geese Eat
- Whole wheat
- Cracked corn
- Sunflower seeds
- Bread (though not ideal for feeding ducks and geese as it doesn’t offer them much nutrition and not a natural part of their diet)
- Short grass
Curious about whether other birds eat worms? Check out our following guides:
- Do blue jays eat worms?
- Do owls eat worms?
- Do birds eat jumping worms?
- Do parrots eat worms?
- Do owls eat worms?
Do you have experience keeping geese?
Are there some tips you can share with other geese owners?