Bitey Gosling and Broken Blood Feathers

Discussion in 'Geese' started by Rose Connor, Jun 2, 2017.

  1. Rose Connor

    Rose Connor New Egg

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    Jun 2, 2017
    Northwest
    Hello. I'm new to the site, and probably a bit younger than most of those that are asking for help or advice. I have been stalking this forum for a couple of months now, and it has helped with a lot of issues concerning the thirty-one birds that my mom and I care for. The reason that I am making this thread, though, is because I've been unable to find information on what I should do for my current situation.

    I have two American Buff goslings and two Indian Runner ducklings that we had bought at the same time, and they have never left each others' sides for more than a couple of minutes. They are around three to four weeks old at the moment, and will start crying whenever one of their siblings is removed from their area.

    My current problem is that one of the goslings bites. A lot. It was a pretty bad issue in the first week as well, as the gosling would pull the baby down from it's goose sibling, but we believed that it had outgrown that habit. That is, until this morning. When we went in to check on them, that same gosling was going after it's sibling, biting at it's wing. We separated them for a while before returning them to one another. Within five minutes, it had bitten it's siblings' wing again and actually caused the just-budding feathers there to break. So, at the current moment, we have both geese separated from each other as well as their duck siblings.

    I'm asking for advice on how to get the one gosling to stop biting, and I'm also looking for advice on how to care for the broken blood feathers on the other gosling, without having to pull the feathers or take it to an avian vet, as we don't have one that is close by. Are there any risks that can come from not pulling the broken feathers? I've stopped the bleeding for now, but I don't know what more to do.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017
  2. Tenrec

    Tenrec Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 9, 2017
    Where are the feathers broken? Close to the skin? Under the skin? On the distal end of the shaft?

    Getting them to stop bleeding is most important. Making sure they don't bleed afterwards and get injured aftewards is also very important - that's a wound that can re-open easily and cause problems. The feather shaft is like a little hollow straw, and capillary action will pull the blood out of the bird's body if it re-opens. If it continues to bleed, you HAVE to pull the feather, or you risk losing the bird.

    Never had to do it to a baby, but blood feathers in adult wild birds were always pulled if they broke. Just too much of a risk.

    Hurting the new feathers can really mess up the follicles on your goslings, so keep an eye on it even after you treated it.

    As for chewing, I had the exact same problems with my dewlaps and runner ducklings. Big sis just had to chew on lil' bro's down...They're geese. They chew. They HAVE to have something to chew, even if that something is their sibling. They will even chew themselves. Some geese chew more compulsively than others.

    You will not stop the problem until you give her an alternative, acceptable chewing material. She will love to chew on grass, lettuces, and acceptable chew toys for babies and dogs. If you can find the doggie toys with the little cloth nubs coming out as "hair" or "spikes," she will probably like that. You can also use a red lamp instead of a regular one...It's supposed to be more soothing, and the more nervous she gets, the more she will chew. Give the ducklings and goslings plenty of space so they can get away from her if she chews them and give her pause for thought. Take her favorite chew toy (her sibling) away from her just for a little bit when you introduce the new chew toy, then put him back if he's safe to go back.

    Let us know how it goes...Sorry, I know it's distressing.
     
  3. Rose Connor

    Rose Connor New Egg

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    Jun 2, 2017
    Northwest
    Thank you for your response and the helpful advice.

    The break is located near the distal end of the shaft on two of the feathers located on its wing. The bleeding hadn't been profuse in the first place, which had made it quite easy to assist it in clotting. It hasn't opened back up since the accident that caused the feathers to break.

    We've currently separated them in a way that they can still see and hear each other, but they aren't able to come within pecking distance of one another. They seem to have settled down, obviously not enjoying the separation at first but seeming to be fine with it for now. We will be keeping them separated until the wound heals up, as even the ducks were going after the injury.

    In the meantime, we will be searching for a toy to give them that will be safe for them to chew on. We routinely give them greens from the garden to munch on, and they have a blast being taken out to enjoy the grass and a little swimming when it is warm out, so we've also decided that it might be best to allow them outside more often, under supervision of course.
     
  4. Tenrec

    Tenrec Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 9, 2017
    Good, it's better the further away from the follicle it is. Too close to the skin or under the skin requires a vet's hand. Just really, really watch it. The fact that they open back up so easily is why most are so keen on just going ahead and pulling them...It is a painful procedure to the bird though, if you have to do it, but quick if you have a good hand.

    I'm glad they're settled down. Hopefully he can be reunited soon and it'll be like nothing happened lol. Poor lil guy.

    Allowing them outside more often does tend to help with boredom behaviors like chewing...Good luck finding a toy they like. I rec getting multiple toys, so you always have a clean toy waiting for when one has to be washed.
     
  5. Rose Connor

    Rose Connor New Egg

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    Jun 2, 2017
    Northwest
    Update: The broken feathers seem to have healed completely now, though their growth is obviously delayed because of it. The geese are still separated, as well would prefer to wait until the blood feathers are completely done growing in before allowing them to share an enclosure again. Even though they are separated, they are located right next to each other and will lay next to each other, as well as next to the ducks. We have taken them out to be together one of the warmer days, and they had definitely enjoyed the time, though we separated them somewhat early due to being way of their nipping and nuzzling at that time. The one is still quite nippy with it's sibling, though it cannot do any damage due to the current set up. Wee are continuing to try to find a top that will hold his interest, though he has rejected any stuffed animals, large rubber balls, or hanging items as potential playthings. I'll continue to provide future updates as things continue to progress. For now, we have been giving them greens a couple times a day, though we don't have quite enough in the garden at the moment to satisfy them.
     

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