Domestic geese were very likely the first domesticated fowl, tracing back to Egypt over 4000 years ago! There are over 30 species of geese, and they're all part of the same family of birds that includes ducks and swans.
Geese are considered waterfowl and spend a lot of time in or near water, but they actually spend most of their time on land!
Geese can be pretty big birds! Of all the waterfowl, geese are second in size only to swans. They can reach over 25 inches in length and weigh over 22 pounds!
Geese molt once a year, which means all of their old feathers get replaced by fresh new ones.
Geese are mainly herbivores, eating grasses, seeds, nuts, and berries. However, some also eat insects and fish, making them omnivores.
A staggering 700 million geese are slaughtered worldwide each year for meat, including the unethical fattening of their liver used for foie gras.
Goose feathers are naturally soft, warm, and waterproof. Sadly, their downy feathers are taken from both live and dead animals to produce insulation and stuffing for clothing and bedding.
Honk if you love geese! These guys like to make a "honking" sound to communicate with each other. Geese are quite social creatures who like be close and maintain strong connections within their "gaggles," or groups.
Although geese can be sweet, they can also be quite territorial and sometimes aggressive, especially when defending their young. With all of that loud honking, they actually make very good guardians for other animals on the sanctuary, alerting them to any potential predators or threats.
Geese are very loyal mates -- most stay together for life, which can be 20-25 years! Each pair usually hatches and raises a new family each year.