Aggressive African goose

sharonssmule

Chirping
8 Years
Feb 2, 2011
2
0
62
Early this spring I bought 4 baby African geese...lost one, but the three left have grown into beautiful mature birds! I think I have 2 drakes and one hen...they were raised with my varied flock of chickens, guineas, ducks and have been a wonderful addition to my flock! I truly LOVE THEM!!
But...just this evening, I went in to gather eggs and the largest male reached to pinch my toes (had on flip flops)...it wasn’t the first time and he had never hurt me...so, I’d always reach to scratch his neck...this time, when I did that, he bowed up, spread his wings and pinched me HARD on my forearm! He then followed me as I gathered the eggs from nests...
How do I handle his behavior before it becomes worse? I really enjoy my geese...never had them before and just recently said, I’d never be without them again! Hope I don’t have to rethink that! Thanks for any info!
 

Pyxis

Hatchi Wan Kenobi
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Mar 27, 2012
21,364
49,828
1,192
Vermont
My Coop
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He thinks he's dominant over you. In a goose flock, the alpha disciplines the ones lower in the hierarchy when they do something he doesn't like. They do this by posturing at them with a snaked head, spread wings, or they might nip them. He nipped you. He's saying he's dominant. He didn't like what you were doing, and he was going to discipline you for it.

Time to show him that he's mistaken, and he's not dominant. You are.

To start with, he always gets out of your way. You walk through him, not around him. He moves for you. The dominant goose moves for no one, and all the others go around him and give him his space. So if you go around him, you're showing him that he's dominant over you.

If he challenges you again, you challenge him back. If he comes after you, you stand up tall and spread your arms to be big. This is what ganders do when they challenge each other (side note, a male goose is a gander, not a drake :) ).

Next, bump him in the chest with your leg. Don't be gentle either, knock him back a bit. This would be the next step if two ganders were fighting for dominance. Do it once more if he still doesn't back down.

If he still doesn't give up, time to go to the next phase. In a real fight between ganders, this would be where they grab each other's necks and start beating the tar out of each other with their wings. We're not going to do that, because one, it hurts to get walloped by a gander's wings, and two, we're not going to repeatedly hit our geese.

So, instead, we're skipping straight to the next step, which is when the winning gander pins the loser down. So grab him by the neck, and don't be gentle about it. Swing around behind him and pin him down. Make sure he's facing away from you so that when you do let him go he can run away from you. Hold him there as long as you want and until he stops struggling, then let him up.

And finally, take a victory lap, like a real gander would after winning. That means standing tall, maybe spreading your arms again, and yell after him. Something like "Yeah, I thought so!" works.
 

sharonssmule

Chirping
8 Years
Feb 2, 2011
2
0
62
He thinks he's dominant over you. In a goose flock, the alpha disciplines the ones lower in the hierarchy when they do something he doesn't like. They do this by posturing at them with a snaked head, spread wings, or they might nip them. He nipped you. He's saying he's dominant. He didn't like what you were doing, and he was going to discipline you for it.

Time to show him that he's mistaken, and he's not dominant. You are.

To start with, he always gets out of your way. You walk through him, not around him. He moves for you. The dominant goose moves for no one, and all the others go around him and give him his space. So if you go around him, you're showing him that he's dominant over you.

If he challenges you again, you challenge him back. If he comes after you, you stand up tall and spread your arms to be big. This is what ganders do when they challenge each other (side note, a male goose is a gander, not a drake :) ).

Next, bump him in the chest with your leg. Don't be gentle either, knock him back a bit. This would be the next step if two ganders were fighting for dominance. Do it once more if he still doesn't back down.

If he still doesn't give up, time to go to the next phase. In a real fight between ganders, this would be where they grab each other's necks and start beating the tar out of each other with their wings. We're not going to do that, because one, it hurts to get walloped by a gander's wings, and two, we're not going to repeatedly hit our geese.

So, instead, we're skipping straight to the next step, which is when the winning gander pins the loser down. So grab him by the neck, and don't be gentle about it. Swing around behind him and pin him down. Make sure he's facing away from you so that when you do let him go he can run away from you. Hold him there as long as you want and until he stops struggling, then let him up.

And finally, take a victory lap, like a real gander would after winning. That means standing tall, maybe spreading your arms again, and yell after him. Something like "Yeah, I thought so!" works.
Thank you so much for this helpful info...including correcting my mistake about the “drake”! I will def put all of it to use, starting today...if he decides to challenge me again! I certainly want to stop it now...would hate to have to get rid of him! Thanks again!
 

Iain Utah

Crowing
10 Years
Dec 17, 2011
7,474
920
341
I have found that picking up the gander and carrying him around works wonders for changing attitude.
 

townchicks

Free Ranging
Dec 1, 2016
1,999
6,517
676
Contra Costa county, Ca.
I always wonder why people always make it about being dominant and alpha. If you walked up to a wild goose nest and took the eggs, would you say the goose attacking you was "being dominant" or simply protecting it's nest? Protecting the nest is instinctual in geese, just like a mother bear will protect her cubs. You don't accuse the bear of being dominant. I suggest training your geese to go into a pen, before you collect the eggs, then you can let them out after.
 

ghost1

Hatching
Oct 17, 2018
3
1
6
I had a male white Chinese that would attack anything and anybody. I finally had enough and when he came at me, I reached out and grabbed his beak and held on. I didn't pull or try to hurt him, just held onto it. After a few seconds, I let go and from then on, he followed me around like a puppy dog and had to be everywhere I was.
 

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