Last night our first little pilgrim goose gosling (3 days old) died. She & a gosling born the same day were just starting on feed (non-medicated starter crumbles) and I believe she choked on the feed. They have water in a small dish (a little ramekin with warm water) and they had been doing just fine. But last night we found her laid out & struggling to breathe. We tried everything we could but on such a little baby, we were unsuccessful. There were no other symptoms - active, bright-eyed, warm, normal poop, all good except she suddenly began struggling to breathe & quickly passed away.
When we've had ducks in the past I made a sort of wet mash of their feed, I did the same with our first geese when they arrived via post, but that was because they were in rough shape & I wanted to really encourage their fluid intake. Since then I've seen many comments & articles about raising goslings & rarely do they advise to feed anything in that slurry/mash state. So yesterday, when our goslings were to the point of needing to start feed, I fed small amounts of dry feed. I am very sorry I did.
I don't know if anyone else has had such an experience. But I wanted to share this heartache (the gosling was imprinting on my little daughter and she was already a very special baby) as a heads-up. I will no longer start new goslings on feed straight from the bag, but I'll be making a wet mash. I feel horrible that I could have prevented this death if I'd have gone with my original instincts.
I'm glad the gander is doing well & eating the mash with gusto. My only other consolation is knowing our other hatching babies will benefit from my sad experience.