For most animals on earth, defecating is part of life. It is also a source of curiosity for a lot of people, young and old alike. When, where, and how do other animals go to the bathroom?
This question is not only one of sheer curiosity, though. It can also be a safety or health concern, especially when it comes to water; feces and water do not mix.
If you live on a lake, river, or other body of water, or even if you have a pond or swimming pool on your property, you might need to know if those majestic geese in your midst are also leaving unwanted gifts behind.
So, do geese poop in the water?
Not in the Water
In general, geese do not poop in the water. Especially given that many of their close bird relatives do, it is something of a weird quirk about geese.
Where Do Geese Do Their Business?
Brace yourselves, geese defecate more than 20 times every day. That is a lot of poop, especially for an animal of their size.
But if they don’t poop in the water, where do they poop? Usually, they will defecate while they are on land. That is one of the reasons why geese seem to spend more time on land than some other waterfowl.
To survive, geese have to eat a tremendous amount of food every day, and almost all of it is plant life. While some breeds of geese can submerge their heads to eat water plants, most do the bulk of their eating on land, which is another reason that they do a lot of their pooping there.
In addition to the water, geese also prefer not to poop while flying, and will leave a healthy helping of feces on the ground prior to take off. That is a relief, as no one wants that stuff landing on them from the geese overhead!
What Does Goose Poop Look Like?
Goose poop looks a little like mammal feces. It is cylindrical in shape and coiled, and unlike the fecal matter of many other birds, it is typically solid, rather than liquid.
In terms of color, goose poop tends to be brown, white, and green. Green makes sense, given how much plant life they eat, and the white color is from uric acid.
Why Should We Care Where Geese Poop?
For one thing, poop is gross. You certainly don’t want to be swimming happily and get a chunk of geese droppings in your face, nor do you want to step on it and drag it into your home.
But for another thing, goose poop, like most animal poop, can be dangerous, especially if it is ingested. Goose poop contains harmful bacteria that can cause illness or even death, especially for a person with a weak immune system.
It is probably safe to assume that the vast majority of people are not going to sample the scat they find on the ground. That said, if you have a large population of geese where you are, watch your pets and young children.
Little children, especially crawling babies, explore their world using all five senses, and as any parent will tell you, they put everything in their mouths. Goose poop could potentially make a tiny human very ill, since their bodies are not strong enough to fight off that much bacteria.
In addition, keep an eye on your dogs. Dogs love to eat gross things such as animal poop, but unfortunately, goose poop can give your pooch an upset stomach, diarrhea, or cause even worse problems if they eat too much of it.
Another important element about goose poop that is worth noting is that even though they typically do not poop directly in the water, that does not mean their feces has not contaminated the water.
Since they are waterfowl, geese stay very close to shore, meaning they poop close to shore. Their poop can then wash into the water in a rainstorm or enter the water through the ground soil.
You should never drink water that has not been filtered or at least boiled to rid it of harmful particles and bacteria. When you are outside, always make sure you and your family (human and fur!) have plenty of drinking water.
What About Other Birds and Animals?
Just because geese don’t do a lot of pooping in the water, that doesn’t mean that other birds follow suit. Many other types of birds do their business in the water, and many of them are native to the same regions as geese.
Ducks and even elegant swans defecate in the water. Obviously, fish and other full-time water-dwellers also poop in the water, so even though geese retreat to land to do their business, the water in which they swim is never short on feces.