Bullying

erehwon

Chirping
Sep 6, 2019
37
140
66
Any advice please....

We have 5 geese:

One Toulouse goose (hatched by us) now aged 17 weeks
Two village geese (possibly Pomeranian) given to us by a neighbour now aged 21 weeks
Two market brought geese (probably Toulouse) now aged 15 weeks

Up to a couple of weeks ago all these geese were getting along well however recently one of the village geese has taken to bullying the Toulouse goose often chasing and pulling out clumps of its feathers, this bullying also takes place in their rest area at night, last night we actually pulled the bully out and kept him separate from the others.

We do not currently know what sex any of them are we were hoping to vent sex them at 7 months which is the age we read when this can be done.

After reading up on goose behavior we have our suspicions that the bully and the one being picked on maybe males as there is no trouble between these two and the other geese. The Toulouse goose who is the victim never fights back and just runs to escape the screaming bully and his open beak. We are planning on keeping the bully separate at night from now on and will also place "it" in a pen when we are not around to supervise them. Currently our victim is like an outcast from the others keeping a safe distance away at all times.

So any ideas as to the reason this has all started? Are we doing the correct thing in separating the bully away especially at night? Can this issue be resolved without consigning one to the pot?
 

Gray Farms

Conserve Heritage Breed Livestock
5 Years
Apr 11, 2016
14,352
19,110
647
NW Missouri
I get a bully gosling once in a while. Not every year but sometimes. It usually occurs with a large gap in age and/or size of the goslings. I would make two groups if I were in your situation. Put the bully with one or two others that are the same size or larger. The other group would be the smaller ones. Once they start bullying it doesn't seem to stop until the smaller ones catch up in size.
 

erehwon

Chirping
Sep 6, 2019
37
140
66
I get a bully gosling once in a while. Not every year but sometimes. It usually occurs with a large gap in age and/or size of the goslings. I would make two groups if I were in your situation. Put the bully with one or two others that are the same size or larger. The other group would be the smaller ones. Once they start bullying it doesn't seem to stop until the smaller ones catch up in size.

Many thanks for your reply, the Toulouse goose being bullied is the largest of our five (though only by a short neck!) and the rest are all around the same size (ages stated earlier so not really a great deal of difference).

Currently the bully has now started stopping the Toulouse from approaching the feed and water bowls, no issues when either the bully or the Toulouse share these with any combination of the other geese.
 

erehwon

Chirping
Sep 6, 2019
37
140
66
Quick update on our "Bully", we now separate him/her during the day in a pen and rotate the three geese he/she does not pick on to spend time in the pen with him/her so allowing our victim to spend time with the others and hopefully regain some confidence. They all get to free range together several times during the day under supervision but "Bully" is being kept separate at night. Fingers crossed all goes well and we can return them to wander together at some point in the future.
 

erehwon

Chirping
Sep 6, 2019
37
140
66
Hope it works out. Bullying seems to be a gosling thing, and doesn't continue into adulthood in my experience.

Thanks again for your reply/advice.
Now a stupid question.....at what age are goslings considered to be mature geese? Does it vary between the different breeds?
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
3,456
6,393
602
Idaho
Depends on individual as to maturing it can vary by a couple of months for even the same breed. Heaven help us all when they do start, the ones that will become hens can act like they got PMS until they are laying and got their kinks worked out, the males can become bullies, while to a certain extent it's like the chicken hens pecking order the ducks it's a male thing.

Some things you can do to help when they are maturing is make sure you have plenty of hiding spaces they can get to and multiple feeders/Waterers on opposite sides of their areas.
 

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