Geese are great feeders on grass and fond of water, from which they derive some subsistence in the form of water-herbage and various larval and adult insecta, Crustacea, mollusca, etc. The chief food, however, beyond that supplied as grain and other vegetable substances, is herbage, and unless there be a good run of grassland, such as that of a village green or common, geese are out of place. The small breeds, such as the Spanish, are, however, sometimes kept on ornamental ponds and lakes, and when these are surrounded by extensive grazing areas, the geese, if not too many, say a male and two females per quarter-acre surface of water, are useful in keeping down water-plants, and the land for some distance around the water short in herbage and free from slugs, etc. Nevertheless, they muddle the water, foul the land precincts, and generally spoil both in appearance.

The Common Goose. Male and Female.

Fig. 147. - The Common Goose. Male and Female.