Broody goose questions

Discussion in 'Geese' started by Sunny Side Up, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I think Gertrude, my Embden goose, is preparing to go broody [​IMG]

    She's made herself a nest in the middle of the yard and every other day she lays a new egg. While she's laying her new egg, Elmer, the Embden gander, stands nearby & keeps watch over her. After she lays Gertrude carefully covers her eggs with straw.

    Today at sunset I went out to close the chicken pens and saw Gertie setting in her nest spot with Elmer standing by. Just as I was whispering to DS9 "Shhh, look! I think Gertie is going to start brooding tonight!" my other DS7 kicks a beach ball across the yard which lands right next to Elmer! Of course he yells "WAAAAaaaaagh!!!" and they both go flapping & running across the yard. And I made DS7 go flapping & running to the time-out chair inside.

    About a half hour later I saw Gertrude back on the nest, with Elmer standing guard. "Hooray!" I think, "DS7 didn't spoil their plans!" But another half hour later we got a rare heavy rainshower (rare in winter here) and afterwards I saw Gertie off the nest again.

    Right before bedtime I went out to shoo the ducks into their house for the night. Elmer & Gertrude usually get put in their pen at the same time, and they did walk there along with the ducks. But after they walked into the goose pen, I had to go in there with them, to pick up Aflac, the blind duck who had walked in there by mistake.

    While in the goose pen reaching for the duck, I was surprised -- and pained!-- by Elmer who was biting me! Youch! He has never done that before! He was even hissing at me!

    So my questions are: Does this sound like typical broody goose behavior? Do you think Gertie will set on the nest again? Should I pen them up at night or leave them loose in the yard, in case she wants to begin setting again? Should I try to move the nest & eggs into their pen? Should I place something over the nest to keep off the weather? (I was thinking of using a plastic patio table) Will Elmer continue to act so aggressive while she's brooding? How can I discourage him from biting family while still being a strong protector of his mate? Will only the goose incubate the eggs, or will she take turns with the gander?

    All right, that's all the questions I can think of for now. I appreciate any input, the geese are new & have never laid or brooded before. I'd like to do all I can to accomodate them if they really can hatch this clutch.
     
  2. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
    139
    281
    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Perhaps I was wrong about Gertie wanting to brood last night, I think she was just laying egg #7 at an unusual time of day for her -- before she would always lay mid-morning.

    They spent the night in their pen and are behaving normally today. Gertrude isn't setting on her nest, Elmer isn't acting aggressive. But I have big painfully purple marks on my legs & arms to remind me of his attentions last night.

    I'd still like to know more about what I could/should do for Gertie when/if she ever decides to incubate this clutch. And if that doesn't seem likely, I'll be just as happy to collect & eat those big tasty eggs.
     
  3. banter

    banter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2008
    Raymond Maine
    So my questions are: Does this sound like typical broody goose behavior? Do you think Gertie will set on the nest again? Should I pen them up at night or leave them loose in the yard, in case she wants to begin setting again? Should I try to move the nest & eggs into their pen? Should I place something over the nest to keep off the weather? (I was thinking of using a plastic patio table) Will Elmer continue to act so aggressive while she's brooding? How can I discourage him from biting family while still being a strong protector of his mate? Will only the goose incubate the eggs, or will she take turns with the gander?

    ?#1. Yes, broody
    ?#2. Most likely
    ?#3. Hard to say-good idea if it doesn't "spook" them.
    ?#4. Good idea if you do it at dusk when you pen them.
    ?#5. If you move the nest, Elmer will stay by Gertie and away from your kids. They shoudl keep their distance for all concerned! He'll turn nice again as the babies start getting independent, for my geese it was about two weeks old. I gave lots of healthy treats to them to get them to trust me around the babies, and in my case it worked.
    ?#6. With domestic (European) geese it's very rare for the male to sit.
    Hope that helps!
     

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