How to build a goose house

Updated July 19, 2017

Geese numbers have increased greatly in recent years. Geese readily nest in artificial nesting structures, especially if suitable natural nesting cover is unavailable. Conservation groups, school pupils and others make nesting structures, then watch as adult geese nest and raise their young. The project is fun, easy to do, inexpensive and rewarding.

Cut a 25 cm (10 inch) tall section off a 247.5 litre (55 gallon) plastic or metal drum with a reciprocating saw. Start a kerf by holding the saw blade along the contour of the drum. After you plunge through the metal, carefully cut around the drum's circumference. You can make three goose houses from each drum.

Cut a 190 cm (76 inch) piece of old garden hose with a utility knife. Slit it lengthwise. Apply an all-purpose waterproof exterior glue to the inside and outside edge of the cut part of the drum and glue the slit hose around the drum's circumference to prevent injury to the geese on the drum's sharp edge. Omit this step with a plastic drum.

Drill scattered drain holes in the bottom of the drum with a 3 mm (1/8 inch) drill bit.

Plunge cut an escape hole with the reciprocating saw for goslings in one side of the drum. Measure up 7.5 cm (3 inches) from the bottom and make the hole 10 cm (4 inches) high and 15 cm (6 inches) wide.

Cut the 3.6 m (12 foot) cedar pole into three equal lengths with a chainsaw.

Cut the four 2.4 m (8 foot) 5 x 15 cm (2 x 6 inch) boards in half with a circular saw, mitre saw or radial arm saw.

Space the three cedar poles equidistant, with the outside edge of the right pole 1.2 m (48 inches) from the outside edge of the left pole.

Lay the 5 x 15 cm (2 x 6 inch) boards across the cedar poles, spacing them equally and keeping them flush with the edge of the cedar poles.

Screw the boards to the poles, using six screws per board.

Drill through the base of the drum with the 3 mm (1/8 inch) drill bit. Sink some screws into the wood to anchor the drum in place. To anchor the middle drum section, which has no bottom, sink screws into the wood and tight to the drum, all around the drum. Leave the screws sticking up about 3.7 cm (1 1/2 inches) from the wood to act as pegs to hold the drum in place.

Tie an anchor to one end of a rope and the other end of the rope to the wooden platform. Anchor the goose house in shallow water, less than 1.2 m (4 feet) if possible and at least 6 m (20 feet) from shore to cut down on predation. Position the raft around the corner from other goose houses or at least 200 m (200 yards) from other houses if no corner is available to avoid territorial conflicts.

Fill the drum with hay, straw or dead grass.


Anchor the structure by 1st March each year. Remove old eggshells and old nesting material each year.


Use caution with power tools, especially while plunge cutting with the reciprocating saw. Be careful when handling rough metal edges.

Things You'll Need

  • 247.5 litre (55 gallon) metal or plastic drum
  • Power reciprocating saw
  • Garden hose
  • Utility knife
  • Waterproof exterior glue
  • Tape measure
  • Drill
  • 3 mm (1/8 inch) drill bit
  • 3.6 m (12 foot) cedar pole, 20 cm (8 inches) in diameter
  • Four 2.4 m (8 foot) 5 x 15 cm (2 x 6 inch) boards
  • Chainsaw
  • Circular saw, mitre saw or radial arm saw
  • Screw gun
  • 7.5 cm (3 inch) wood screws
  • Anchor
  • Rope
  • Hay, straw or grass
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About the Author

Joe Shead is a freelance writer specializing in outdoor writing. He has written for numerous national and regional outdoor magazines on various topics from hunting to fishing to his pet subject, shed antler hunting.