I’m going to deviate for a post from our farm dog series because of an animal I heard about last Sunday that I thought might be interesting to read about. I was at church talking with Ron Cook who also blogs on Homesteadingedu , and he mentioned that he has recently gotten a heritage breed of geese that has a two year waiting list in America.
That caught my attention. I grew up around heritage birds and am a big proponent of preserving old purpose bred breeds of animals. The breed that Ron bought is called Cotton Patch Geese. They were used in America to weed cotton and corn fields, and for the meat, grease, eggs and down. They used to be highly valued on homesteads across the nation.
The American people lost interest in this land race of geese when the small homesteads began to become fewer and the nation industrialized. Less people were raising their own food, and fewer people actually ate geese any more. In fact, most of the Americans that I know today wouldn’t know how to cook a goose. If you read my How To Cook A Duck post here, it is similar to how you would cook a goose, and let me tell you, cooked goose is delicious! Here’s the blog post on how to cook a duck: https://www.homesteadingedu.com/cooking-the-free-range-raised-duck/
Anyway, back to the Cotton Patch goose, one of the things that people who still own these now critically endangered geese will tell you is that they are docile. They are less prone to biting than some other breeds of geese, and they have a nice carcass size weighing in at 7-12 pounds when dressed out.
They are considered a land race as a breed because there’s a bit more variation in the breed, than in most modern breeds. No one is exactly certain what breeds went into the creation of the breed. They have suspicions but are not certain. They know though that they are descendants of colonial stock brought from Europe. The Cotton Patch Goose is an excellent forager and has some decent preservation instincts along with the ability to fly into their second year, from everything I found out while talking with Ron and from doing some reading on them.
As I’ve mentioned before over the years, an important trait as homesteaders, is to have a lifestyle of learning. It’s one of the reasons why I took an interest in the breed, and you should too. Who knows! Maybe it will be a fit to your homestead or the homestead of someone you know.
One thing is for sure, we as homesteaders need to be doing everything we can to preserve the breeds that were specifically bred to be well adapted to the homesteading lifestyle and were bred to be multipurpose animals. I hope that this wonderful breed of geese will catch some people’s attention and will be able to be brought back from being critically endangered. You can learn even more about the breed here: http://cottonpatchgoosesociety.org
Until next time,
Homestead in health ya’ll!