What geese eat

The challenge we were recently faced with was determining the diet of geese from Alaska. Geese have a fairly simple digestive system. Mean residence time of food in their digestive system is short–they only digest the cell contents and pass the rest. A walk on any golf courses can tell you that goose droppings are often green with chlorophyll, which means plant DNA should have passed through there, too. Our initial sequencing efforts for the animals came out pretty well. These birds were consuming a lot of grasses but also forbs. The next challenge will be to try to further resolve closely related species and see if we can pick up parasites like trematodes and some harmful bacteria.