Adequate Housing/ What Gender?

Discussion in 'Geese' started by Silkie-Feet, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. Silkie-Feet

    Silkie-Feet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Spring before last (2011) I went to the local feed store, for of course chicken food. I can never resist the urge to see what chicks are for sell in the spring. To my surprise was the last goose gosling, and leave it to me to get into something that I had no information about. Seeing that I couldn't find any goose goslings around, I raised this gosling with ducklings. This gosling and ducks were raised in my chicken coop (Pics below). Then, last spring I once again got another gosling at the local feed store. I also located a goose breeder near by and bought 2 quite large sized goslings. These 4 geese are either grey African, or grey Chinese; I'm unsure how to tell the difference between those two breeds. My grandmother surprised me with a toulouse goose from a local farmers market. With hours of discovering just what needs geese are when I got my first gosling, I believe I'm fulfilling their needs. They are very, very vocal. That's just some background information, now for the questions. I'm unsure if the housing I have now is proper for 5 geese. (photo's shown below) The housing is 100% predator proofed, as I could go into further detail if you would like. Another question, What sex are these 5 geese. As you may or may not have read, one of the grey Africans is much larger than the rest as he is one year older. The other 3 are about the same size. Behavior wise, the largest grey African tends to stay on the outside of the flock while the other 3 stay huddled close together. The toulouse goose tends to stay near the outside as a loner, it looks like a female goose to me for some reason. You can take my opinion with a grain of salt as this is my first time raising geese. Thanks for taking your time to read ans assist in any way possible. If I left any information out then please let me know. (If you need better pics to determine the sex of the geese, then please tell me how to take the picture to best help) *I used to raise chicken (Silkie, Cochin, Barred Rock)

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    First outside run, fenced in small woven wire. One strand of electric wire goes around the top of this run. This electric fence is set up for cattle, so needless to say I'd like to see a predator try to climb this fence. The bushes are the only thing the geese won't eat.

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    Inside of the coop, I read that they like to bury their eggs so I have the straw about one foot deep. Below the straw is concrete floors. I added the pine tree for Christmas and never removed it... :3

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    The back run, I expect to fix that pond this spring. Currently the 5 geese have access. Is this run large enough to have a breeding pair of geese, with half of the inside building?

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    I was hoping you could sex the geese with this picture. We are currently under a ice storm warning so I may not be able to get some better pics for a bit.
     
  2. Goose and Fig

    Goose and Fig Grateful Geese

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    The pen and house look perfect, but I would give them access to that grass if you could. Is your property fenced?

    The two birds that stay on the outer edge of the flock may be extra ganders. The African or Chinese (I don't know the difference) looks much bigger than the other three. Maybe its a different breed, or its a boy.
     
  3. Silkie-Feet

    Silkie-Feet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, the property the geese are on is not fenced. I have a very large pond about 300-500 feet away from the pen; This summer I just allowed them to live on the pond. I know that is very risky. I have seen somewhere it's near laying season? I want them in their building for the laying/hatching. Thanks for your input.
     
  4. Silkie-Feet

    Silkie-Feet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I forgot to mention, I KNOW the larger African goose is male because he tried to breed my duck...
     
  5. Silkie-Feet

    Silkie-Feet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    "Bump", I'd really like to know the gender of the geese.
     
  6. Going Bhonkers

    Going Bhonkers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi! Welcome to the Geese forum [​IMG] You'll find a lot of helpful people on here & its pretty active (I dont think the mods like people to 'bump' threads) so you'll usually get an answer - or a couple, just allow for some time [​IMG] Congrats on your lovely geese!!! Unfortunately, you can't accurately sex Africans or Chinese just by looking at them. Bummer, I know. Most common ways to sex them is to vent sex them, or get them DNA tested. The 2nd way is more accurate and isn't as complicated as you may think. All you need is to get feather samples from the geese you want to test - if you want to test all of them to be sure, make sure you can identify which feather comes from which bird.
    AvianBiotech and DNA Solutions are just two out of a lot of companies that offer the service (you can google DNA testing birds and you'll get a lot of hits). Avianbiotech sends you a sample kit, and generally the prices are pretty reasonable.

    I read where you werent sure whether they were African or Chinese... check out this thread, https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/533413/the-african-and-chinese-goose-thread as the topic came on there a couple of times, but I forgot where exactly. Plus there's lots of other helpful info on there from the beginning to end.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  7. Going Bhonkers

    Going Bhonkers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I also wanted to add the that concrete you put inside the coop is very good! And I cant tell if you have one from the pictures, but a kiddie pool will make for some very happy geese!! It doesn't have to be a huge one either.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  8. Silkie-Feet

    Silkie-Feet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a kiddy pull in the back, smaller run. Seeing that the depth and size wasn't really what I wanted, I planned to create a concrete pond in the same area; you can see my start on the right side of the image. Commonly, the kiddy pools I got from the local mini-mart had holes in the sides from the workers dragging them. Of course, cold weather comes quicker than you think and I'd rather finish that small pond this spring when the weather is a bit more suitable for taking on such a project myself. How many geese do you think I could house in this building/run? thanks for your suggestions.
     
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    A pair or trio during breeding season, unless you split it down the middle. But they would still need to have forage time.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  10. Goose and Fig

    Goose and Fig Grateful Geese

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    Well- you could keep them all in there if you aren't going to hatch anything. If you want pure bred goslings though, you'll at least have to separate the Toulouse out and a give him/her a friend.

    The size difference in the other birds is so drastic though, I wonder if they are 2 different breeds? But, like I said, I am not familiar with those breeds of geese.

    ETA: Look at the difference between Super African and Africans: http://www.metzerfarms.com/GooseBreedComparison.cfm?CustID=1306504
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013

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