Originally Posted by currychick
I'm looking for some insight and experience selecting geese as breeding stock. I am going to order my first goslings this spring. I am thinking I will order 6 straight run and hope to end up with a breeding trio (two females and one male.) I've googled and checked a number of different reference books and they never indicate when to make the cull (I would likely eat the remaining three culled birds.) A single British reference found via google has indicated that geese mate up in the autumn and therefore it is best to make the selections in the fall.
So my questions, assuming I purchase the goslings in the late spring/early summer:
The selection of breeding animals should occur at what age? and/or time of year?
At that age/time of year, will I be able to reliably determine the genders of American Buff (the breed I'm thinking of selecting for my home flock) without having to utilize vent sexing?
Thank you for sharing your experiences.
Buffs are harder to sex by sight. Similar voices, and build. My neighbor keeps them, and I was almost sure they had 2 hens until the day he asked me to candle his remaining eggs, he had a gosling hatch! The gander is a bit taller with a thicker neck. Both parents have "lobes" on the belly. Beautiful birds! Their flock visits off season and they come over and swim in our pond. Ganders also begin "guarding" his hen/hens. That's also how you know, some will start that very young also.
You will typically see goslings for sale in the early spring, so select a breeder soon, and make a plan to get them. 6 is a good number and will give you good selection hopefully. Geese mature around 8 months, but usually do not lay until the following spring. I am slow deciding who stays, if any from the new years flock. If any are left that haven't sold, that's when I start watching to see if there are traits I don't like, overall healthy appearance. Temperament is a key part also. I breed towards being a large, robust bird, human social and without wing or leg problems. SOP isn't my concern as much as a robust flock. If I am down to all fitting that mold then its ganders first.. I try one more shot of finding a home at that point. If it was just me here, I would not process geese. DH likes waterfowl for the table. I have ate wild geese and loved it! Its an emotional barrier for me because they are really my pets here.