Geese Gaggle Has New Jersey Town Popping Pellets

By: CBS News
By: CBS News

They are unwelcome guests in many communities, leaving their droppings everywhere. But now, a chemist from North Caldwell, New Jersey says he has the answer to keeping Canada geese from taking over.

Residents say non-migratory Canada geese have been fouling up baseball fields and soccer fields all over New Jersey.

Now, there is a new product in the effort to reduce the growing geese population. Chemist Alexander MacDonald and his California-based partner have created wheat-based pellets that are soft enough to chew and just the right size for the geese to scoop into their bill. It contains a non-lethal birth control drug that reduces the number of eggs that will hatch.

At least one to two ounces of the oral contraceptive must be fed to female geese every morning during breeding season. Interestingly enough, migratory Canada geese lay two eggs each season. But the resident birds may have six to 12.

Right now, there is a geese population that has people living in Pompton Lakes supporting efforts to slow down the growth in the gaggle of geese.

The bird birth control drug has been around since the 1950's, used to eliminate a parasite that was killing chickens. Now it is being employed as a tool to bring the Canada geese population down to an acceptable level.

The birth control pill is not a poison. It reduces the number of Canada geese hatchlings each year, and it has to be administered by a wildlife management professional.

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