Can a hen raise goslings?

Discussion in 'Geese' started by willkatdawson, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. willkatdawson

    willkatdawson Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2008
    I've got a broody hen, and am considering placing two, day old toulouse goslings under her. Have you ever heard of this working. I have 10 free ranging chickens, and about a 1200 gallon ornamental pond in the side yard. Any advise would be great!
  2. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    I had a little Spanish Game hen hatch a goose egg one time. The gosling was as big as mom in a month and I had them penned in a 30" X 30" maternity pen. When I moved them to a larger 4' X 5' pen, mom wanted to roost, but baby couldn't He set up a squall that had me concerned about predators, so I put them back in the small pen every night for about a week. When he finally had most of his feathers, I put the hen back with a cock and baby was beside himself. he wanted nothing to do with geese, because in his pea brain, he was a chicken. Took about a month for him to accept the fact and begin to socialize with the geese.
    Put them under her at night, so she wakes up with them in the morning. Be sure to be there when she wakes in case she rejects them. I would caution you to keep them away from the pond, of possible as a hen may not be able to provide enough oil for their down to keep them as boyant as they need to be. Hopefully all will go well, Good luck.........Pop
  3. willkatdawson

    willkatdawson Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2008
    Thanks Pop! Good point about the pond and then feathers not having enough oil. Will they provide themselves with enough oil eventually, to be able to use the pond? Obviously, I know nothing about water-fowl. [​IMG]
  4. When goslings have all their feathers (happens amazingly quickly compared to chickens - probably around the 6 to 8 wk age) they can produce their own oil, and will rub it all over their feathers when they preen. That is when hatchery goslings are supposed to be allowed access to large amounts of water. If the weather is really warm, especially at night, not so much of an issue, but you want to watch that they don't get chilled as small goslings. The hen wouldn't be able to do that for them as hen's feathers are not waterproof . . .

    I'd caution that the socialization thing is bigger than you might realize . . . if the goslings imprint on chickens, they may view the chickens as potential mates when they get older. Geese can hurt chickens trying to mate with them because of their size and different physical attributes. I raised my hatchery goslings and ducks together -- now I would not because the one drake chases the female geese as well as the female ducks and it is annoying. I'm thankful he wasn't raised around chickens . ..

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