Supporting a wild goose

Wild Canada geese are used to the cold temps, but a bird that cannot fly, such as a permanently injured goose could use an extra hand to survive. The main needs of a goose during the cold winter months are food, water and shelter.


While it is never a good idea to feed healthy wild waterfowl,  here are some things that are safe to feed a bird in need of winter support.

Foods you CAN feed waterfowl:

  • Birdseed (any kind)
  • Grapes (cut in half)
  • Cracked Corn
  • Duck Feed Pellets
  • Frozen Peas or Corn
  • Vegetables (chopped)
  • Mealworms
  • Earthworms

What about water and shelter?

Shelter is important for any animal to keep them healthy through winter. Walls help to keep out cold and blowing wind, and increases heat from enclosed body warmth. Even during day, it’s a good idea to leave access to the shelter so that they can get in out of the wind if they so choose.

A shelter needs proper ventilation so that condensation from body heat and breath doesn’t build up. While it might seem like you want your coop airtight, trapped moisture is actually more dangerous for birds in winter than colder, drier air. You can achieve a well-ventilated shelter without allowing it to be drafty by constructing a simple A-Frame with plywood, screws and straw. (Simple A-Frame Shelter construction below)

PLEASE NOTE: It is ILLEGAL to keep a wild bird, so if you plan on supporting a wild animal, the bird must not be enclosed and should be free to come and go as it pleases.


The key with waterfowl is making sure they always have access to open water. Ducks and geese have trouble swallowing without water: Their nostrils can become plugged with feed if they can’t rinse them thoroughly while feeding, so even if your feed trough is full, it won’t help them if they don’t have fresh, unfrozen water to swallow with their meal. If an outlet is accessible outside your home, heated water bowls can be purchased for around $30 online or at your local farm store.


heated water bowl

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Duck feed & More

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We cannot guarantee the safety of a wild animal in the wild. However, these suggestions above will give your goose neighbor the best chance of surviving the winter until his flock returns in late Spring. If at any point, the animal becomes lethargic and easy to approach, please consider attempting a capture and contacting us for drop off.

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