Geese, swans and problems

Geese, swans and problems

Geese or swans

Beautiful animals and a feast for the eyes. Very social and strongly attached to each other. The other side is that geese and swans have learned to eat at the farm. The biggest problem is: they eat grass (among other production crops). The droppings ar also a problem, for example in meadows near a swimming pond. Goose damage or goose nuisance and swan damage and swan nuisance and the solutions are very similar. Our expertise can help you find socially responsible and sustainable solutions. The following explanation is about goose damage.

Goose deter prototype

Goose damage can be limited by making access to grass unattractive for geese. A continuously operating device has been developed and patented for this purpose. A prototype in a meadow of 2 hectares prevented very effective goose damage!

Nine days with the prototype led to 70% fewer droppings and 24% higher grass in May, which grew by 20% in the following 4 days. It turned out that this could be repeated well. For the described goose deter method, CABWIM has won the 2010 innovation prize for the goose protection device! This is the prize of the Wim Luijkx Innovation Fund (now the Innovation Fund for Growers).

Together with Tyker Technology and Axum Engineering, we developed a robot version based on the same principle in consultation with arable farmers and growers.

Goose deter robot

The robot was tested in October 2014 on trial fields along the IJsselmeer. Compared to the control field, the robot led to 11% growth in 3 weeks, while the control field decreased 12.5% in grass height due to goose eating. The growth was destroyed within a week when the robot was taken out of the field!

Clover grazed in the foreground and fertilised grass behind it, which the clover supply has allowed to grow and thus to gain more fibres, making the grass unattractive for geese.

Alternative foraging for geese

Whatever approach, prevention of goose damage is significantly improved with a reasonable foraging alternative for the geese. This is usually not the case in the areas where the geese rest and breed. What can be an alternative? White clover! 

Together with Koeman and Bijkerk and the Louis Bolk Institute, CABWIM, with the support of the Fauna Fund, has mapped out the attractiveness of white clover: it appears to be 5 times more attractive than fertilised grass. We have published this in a leading scientific journal.  

Moreover, clover does not need to be fertilized and the soil is 1.5 times richer in worms. This has also been published scientifically.

A clover supply can give grass the chance to grow! (see photo). 

It is therefore important to apply white clover to fields where no production target is applicable, such as non-functional dikes, fields along the rim of water or fields or fallow land.