Advice Needed -Young Goose Lathargic After Laying


In the Brooder
Oct 8, 2017
New Tripoli, PA
I am a new goose keeper and would like some advice if any of you have time. My 5 and a half month old Embden goose laid her first egg yesterday. It was a little blood stained but looked similar to an egg laid by a young goose who was the subject of a 2013 thread on this forum. Today, I found a squashed membrane egg in her pen. I noticed yesterday that she was lathargic, preferring to hang out around the water instead of running to honk at visitors with her friends and beg for grapes. Last night she wouldn’t eat watermelon - another favourite. Then I found the egg. Today she is still lathargic. I had to carry her to the pool. She hung out in the pool and is wandering around, but she isn’t her usual social self. She is preening, drinking and hanging out by the pond but doesn’t seem to be eating. I am now worried about her. As she has laid, I am guessing she isn’t egg bound. She has been trying to make a nest and yesterday was carrying around twigs in her mouth instead of eating. I was wondering if anyone had any advice. Do I need to take her to the vet? Is this behaviour usual for young geese? Many many thanks in advance.
It is very common for first egg of season to have a little blood on it (even the first few eggs), especially with first time layers. However, soft shelled eggs are very bad. I do not mean to alarm you, but you have every reason to be worried. Egg-laying challenges can often be fatal. She likely broke an egg inside, causing her to be poisoned. Usually, a goose will recover in a day or two, just in time to lay another egg. If cannot get eggs to harden or break laying cycle, this pattern will ultimately kill her.

The best thing to do for her is give her a bowl of crushed egg-shells (best way to get harder shelled eggs) and re-fill bowl of fresh water often to encourage as much drinking as possible. Try to keep her as stress-free as possible.

Best of luck!!
Thank you for your help Iain. I have given her a pot of crushed egg shells and made sure she has two buckets of water. She is drinking well. She is quite a laid back goose by nature, but I am making sure that she is kept as stress free as I possibly can.
She is a lot better. It took her a couple of days to get back to normal. I gave her calcium, which she munched on. She made a nest which she spent time sitting on, but no eggs. Then spent an afternoon floating in the pool looking sad. During this time she didn’t eat much. I was about to take her to the vet, but decided to try her with dandelion leaves ( a big favourite) and luckily sold in huge buches in a local shop. She ate a few of the first bunch - out competed by the other two geese. By the second bunch she was in there making sure she got her share. Since then she has been asking for grapes and honking at visitors - back to her normal self. Thank you so much for asking. I am dreading next spring. I suspect she will be a broody goose.
Glad she recovered and does not appear to want to keep laying. Be sure to have extra calcium for her before she starts laying. Also, I recommend you do not remove eggs from her nest, since that will cause her to continue laying more eggs. If you do not want her to hatch, then swap her eggs out with non-fertile eggs. But, her going broody quickly is not a bad thing.
Many many thanks for the advice. I would probably have removed the eggs, instead I will let her try and hatch her eggs. At the moment I feed Mazurri waterfowl maintenance to my geese. I have two geese and a gander. I am thinking of swapping to Mazuri breeder around end of December - I believe this contains Calcium. Do you know if it will be OK for the gander to eat the breeder diet? I will also supplement with calcium.
I used mazuri maintenance, set up piles of oyster shell for free choice, and offer egg shells to those that look like they may need more calcium. However, I think your gander will be fine eating breeder food for a couple of months.
Thanks. I will make sure that I have both oyster shell and calcium available. When she starts sitting, if the eggs aren’t fertile will I need to get some goslings or fertile eggs for her to hatch/ look after. Or will she just give up and snap out of being broody if the eggs don’t hatch?

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