The goose is another species that has accompanied us for millennia. This bird was domesticated about 2000 years B.C. in present day’s Egypt. Over time, the rearing of geese spread across the Mediterranean Sea and reached Greece and Rome – legend has it that these birds protected the Eternal City from attack, warning the people of Rome about invaders. Despite the passage of time, the rearing of geese has retained its natural character in Europe. Due to high environmental requirements, geese are reared in small flocks and large industrial breeding is practically non-existent, on the other hand, good organisation of agricultural markets in the European Union allows for efficient execution of large deliveries and for minimising the logistic. Geese are not kept indoors – they are kept in open enclosures with access to green plants. High welfare conditions, as in the case of ducks, translate into very high quality paws and feathers – elements that are particularly dependent on the standards of the environment the animals are kept in. In addition to standard concentrated feed, geese are usually fed at least 100-150 g of green fodder per day per animal – this does not accelerate the growth of the animals, but ensures proper operation of the digestive system and high immunity of the birds, as the green fodder used often contains a variety of herbs from young meadow herbs. In the final stages of feeding, oats are very often used to ensure the right fat content and taste of the carcass. For this reason, oat-fed goose is an export hit in Europe, which is mainly fed on oats in the last three weeks. The leader in the production of these birds is Poland, where the oat-fed goose production system has its own brand. Known breeds of geese in Europe include: White Kołudzka, Sebastopolska, Toulouse, Alsatian and Embden.
Depending on the breed, gender and production system, geese reach between 4 and 8 kg live weight. Geese are usually bred until 17 weeks of age. The slow growth rate and the variety of products used in the feedstuffs translate into high quality meat with a pH in the range of 5,7-5,8. This meat is characterised by high consistency and chewiness. This product supplements the diet with vitamins A, E, PP and B vitamins. Particular attention is paid to the fat composition, which contains a lot of unsaturated fatty acids: oleic, linoleic and linolenic acid.