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Discussion in 'Geese' started by lulu904, Dec 19, 2008.
do geese mate for life or are they like chickens?
They do tend to 'mate for life', however will find a new mate if they lose their current one. It often 'appears' they do because the male helps build nests, incubate and care for the goslings. In most other species, the male buggers off.
However, during some genetic studies, they found that of goslings in a clutch, there was commonly a second father found in the offspring. It means the females are programmed to hedge their bet a bit.
I recall reading that Chinese geese (Anser cygnoides) are less monogamous than are the breeds that come from the European (greylag) goose (Anser anser). Males of the former may have a small harem of females, while the ganders of the latter apparently more permanently mated with one female (Though, like other so-called monogamous birds ... and mammals such as humans(!)... a brood from a seeminly faithful mated pair may contain offspring of another father).
I've read that Chinese are less monagamous too; however, when I raised white Chinas a few years ago, the 8 goslings happened to end up equally male & female, & they each chose a mate & stayed faithful to that mate. I never saw any of them cross-mate.
I'll be getting Brown Chinese from Holderread's in the spring, & have ordered 2 sexed pairs.