Are Ganders monogamous?

Dec 6, 2019
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When I started with ducks, I have three hens and a Drake. Within a year from 4 I managed to populate them to 21. My Drake impregnates anything that is female and that includes his daughters.

So When I started with Geese I thought its the same thing but a friend of mine told me I am doing Geese wrong and that Geese are Monogamous. I have 6 females and 1 male. All of the females got broody at the same time and only 1 produces three goslings. So Do I need to buy Ganders for the other ladies?

I have Chinese Geese BTW.
 

Pyxis

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Geese, at least domestic breeds, are not monogamous; a gander will mate with more than one female. I keep mine in trios usually. You don't want too many hens for the gander to be able to handle on his own, but they definitely will mate with more than one hen if there are hens available.

All my eggs are always fertile, and I never keep even pairs of geese, so I know for sure that the ganders aren't monogamous to only one mate and are indeed 'getting around' :p

While you might come across a gander that's only interested in one female, I would say that would be the exception, and not the rule. In Dave Holderread's (the owner of Holderread Farm, which breeds thousands of waterfowl a year) book The Book of Geese, he recommends a certain number of males to females for each breed. For Chinese, that's one gander per every two to four geese, for best results.

Since you were having fertility issues, it might be worth it to add one or two more ganders to your flock, just to make sure all the hens are covered.
 
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BoselyBoo

Hatching
Nov 23, 2019
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Geese are monogamous. Once they have found a mate they will stay with, breed with, raise babies together with and defend them bravely against all potential threats for as long as their mate has air in their lungs. Once in awhile one might 'stray' for a moment, but it is extremely rare. Plus it would probably end up being the poor gander's undoing should he have more than one goose with eggs under her that he had to help care for. My American Buff gander Gus would sit like a sentry for days on end once his goose, Gaby, finally decided that she'd laid enough eggs for the season and it was now time to 'set' them for hatching. She'd get up, eat, waddle around, go out for a swim. Not Gus. He was a dedicated daddy who occasionally bordered on the obsessive. I remember several times each spring when I feared that if he didn't drop dead from lack of sleep, he'd certainly perish from a lack of food. And so I'd make him up a bucket of all his favorites and deliver it to him. Making sure to stay as far away from the nest he was so adamantly guarding as I could, because although he loved me and was affectionate towards me the majority of the time, when his Gaby had eggs under her, all bets were off. Soooooo, my suggestion to you is that if you want a lot of geese and you want a lot of geese quickly, then you'll need to get yourself 5 more ganders than you currently have. Of course my answer is based soley on my own personal experience with geese and your results may vary...but I doubt it!
 

Pyxis

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In addition to my above post, I thought I would also post this link for you to the Livestock Conservancy, which has a section on breeding in their page on Chinese geese. It's, again, advice from Dave Holderread. In this he recommends four to six geese per gander, and actually advises against one-to-one-pairings, saying that this will help reduce competition in the flock.

Of course, it sounds like in your flock six-to-one is not working, so I would add another gander. It's also always possible that, if this year was their first year breeding, they were still figuring it all out, and that's why fertility was bad. He might do just fine on his own this coming year if he's gotten the hang of things. But adding another gander is never a bad idea, just to make sure you get the fertility you're looking for, and also just in case something were to happen to one of them, you'd then still have a male.
 
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