My geese in winter
(Okay, okay, with some chickens and a duck)
Photo courtesy of Virginia Martin
Goose eggs take 30 days to hatch. The goslings are raised a lot like ducklings.
The domestic breeds of geese are not generally capable of flight, although with a tail wind and a running start they can sometimes clear a 4-5 foot fence, especially if it's downhill. And if really scared and with a tail wind, if they manage to get off the ground some can manage to stay in the air for over a quarter mile.
Most domestic geese are descended from the wild Greylag Goose, but the Chinese and African probably have Swan Goose ancestry.
Sexing geese is only easy for the Chinese and Africans (by the size of their knobs) and the Pilgrims and some European auto-sexing breeds (by color). For the rest you need to vent sex them. For info and pictures see the waterfowl books described on my Book Page. Metzer Farms now has a video up on vent sexing ducklings and goslings
Housing: Domestic geese don't need much for housing. Just shelter from the worst weather and wind. They are covered with goose down! Some people just make a 2 bale high "U" of hay bales and cover this with plywood, facing the opening towards the south.
Waterfowl Breeds at Risk, by Chris Ashton, is a downloadable pdf file. This article first appeared in Country Smallholding magazine in Britain: www.countrysmallholding.com
Here's an SPPA article on The Neglected Goose and another on American Gray Geese.
And another on the Auto sexing geese.
How about Geese That Need Attention
If you are a waterfowl breeder, please complete the SPPA's Domestic Waterfowl Survey.
[Domestic Waterfowl Links]
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Direct questions and comments to Barry at FeatherSite -- questions and comments