4 year old goose abandoned nest?

Englishable

Songster
Apr 24, 2016
76
35
101
UP of Michigan
We have a male and female French Toulouse pair that are four years old. They've never been successful hatching goslings but we had high hopes this year! The first year, one gosling hatched but by the time we knew, it was dead and she had abandoned the nest. No idea what happened. Last year she kept moving to a new spot, abandoning her nests eggs and all and starting over several times. We thought our issue was that their pool wasn't deep enough for breeding, so this year we got an old soaker tub and when she started laying eggs, we dug a hole in the snow, set up the tub, kept it full (and ice free) and they used it for several days before she started staying at her nest all day. She'd only leave once or twice a day for a couple minutes and head right back. Unlike last year, she stayed at this same nest the whole time - until today!

We aren't 100% sure what day it is, but she probably only has a couple days left. When my husband checked on her this evening, she had started a new nest in the far corner of our broody/infirmary room, left her eggs behind, and the eggs were cold. We candled a couple and the first one looked bad, so we decided to crack it open to see if anything had even started to develop, and there was a fully formed (dead) gosling in there! We were heartbroken!

So now we've got the other 6 eggs in the incubator.

Questions:

Any chance these eggs might still hatch after being cold? We don't know how long she was off them, we usually check on her in the mornings and evenings. It could have been all day, and after almost a week of 80-degree days, it was cold and raining all day today.

Why would she abandon the nest? Is she just inexperienced? But how can she ever gain experience if she's never successful?

Lastly, we ordered three more goslings this winter, since we were getting impatient waiting for her to ever hatch her own, and they coincidentally should be here tomorrow. Should we give them to her to raise? If so, best way to introduce them?
 

Percheron chick

Crowing
8 Years
Apr 12, 2013
4,654
3,154
391
Hudson, Colorado
All you can do with the eggs are put them in the incubator and see what happens. Check them in 24-36 hours and see if there is any movement. They are usually stimulated with a bright light so you should see something if it's alive. I have finished up abandoned eggs (maybe as long as 8 hours) and have gotten about a 30% hatch rate
I wouldn't chance her raising the goslings. She's too unpredictable at this point. They might prove to be a good aunt and uncle when they are about 4 weeks old.
What's their diet? One bag of Mazuri waterfowl feed pays for itself in goslings. Consider swapping them over next winter a couple of weeks before she normally starts laying.
Normally mine are on Masuri until the goslings are weaned and I haven't lost one if it hatched. This year I had no intention of letting them raise babies so they stayed on their all poultry feed. 2 determined girls hatch 5 but 3 died within 36 hours of hatch. They just didn't have any fight in them
 
Last edited:

Englishable

Songster
Apr 24, 2016
76
35
101
UP of Michigan
Update: one egg in the incubator exploded. We candled the others and saw some movement and today two of the eggs are moving a lot so we're hopeful they'll hatch soon!

Could that bad egg be why she abandoned the nest?

The three ordered goslings are safe and warm under a brooder.
 

Englishable

Songster
Apr 24, 2016
76
35
101
UP of Michigan
Four of the five hatched by 10pm yesterday!

The fifth still hasn't made much progress, there's a small chunk of shell barely hanging on and we can see the chick moving around in its shell, but it hasn't zipped yet.

It is taking ALL my will power to leave the incubator SHUT and not 1.) help that chick or 2.) remove the other four! But I know better and we're keeping our hands out, for now.
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Oct 3, 2009
115,585
135,552
1,962
Mountains of Western N.C.
Take out the others they are ready for the brooder do it quick and the egg will be okay. Have you read Pete’s guide to hatching it has info on when to help?
 

Englishable

Songster
Apr 24, 2016
76
35
101
UP of Michigan
Fifth one hatched some time last night! It was out when we woke up this morning. We had left the others in and they were still doing great.

I haven't read that guide, I'll check it out! We've been hatching chickens for years, this is just our first try with geese.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom