Conflicting info: At what age do geese lay eggs?

Friend2Fowl

Songster
9 Years
Feb 28, 2010
463
4
119
I was told (I thought) that geese lay at 2 years old, but some breeds lay sooner. A friend has some pilgrims that are just barely a year old, if they even are yet. Her pilgrim goose has layed 3 or 4 eggs already. I was thinking 'Okay, it must be that pilgrims lay sooner'.
I have an american goose. I was not 100% sure what the sex was, but I had tried vent sexing as a baby, and thought it was a girl. It will be a year old in April. Well, today I found my first goose egg
So apparently, I was right, and she is a girl


I also have an embden, which I'm 99.9% sure is a boy. Of course I won't know for certain until I do or don't find goose eggs in the yard, cause this goose does not ever go to the pond where the american goose hangs out with the ducks.

So I guess, since the 'geese don't lay until they are 2' thing is apparently not right, what should I expect? The embden won't be a year old until May, and these are the only geese I have at this time. Should I expect to have a bunch of non-fertile goose eggs? Will she (the american) go broody at under 1 year old? Thanks for any help
 
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goosedragon

Songster
10 Years
Mar 28, 2009
2,351
21
171
Central NC
Quote:It isn't as simple as you think, first the goose must be mature to lay eggs and they don't all mature on the same timeline. As a rule of thumb smaller geese mature faster that large geese for the same reason it takes longer to build big barn than a small coop.
2nd some breeds have been "messed with" to produce more eggs or to build a bigger body and that changes things somewhat.
3rd is location geese are seasonal layers, when they start laying depends on day length in their location unless they are messed with by artificial Light. additional light gets them started laying sooner and can keep them laying longer. A early hatched goose is going to be mature in the late winter-early spring which is when they naturally want to lay so might be a first year layer. If it is a late hatch goose it might not be mature and miss the spring laying seson but catches the following spring and is a second year layer. Are you confused enough yet? In brief they will lay when their hormones bring them to season and you almost have to know the birds family history to predict when that will be. Good Luck with your geese!
 

Rock Wyandotte

Songster
10 Years
Mar 11, 2009
120
1
119
Newbury, Vermont
As a follow-up to goosedragon's post, my two Pilgrim females are only 11 months old (hatched last April) but I'm hoping they are mature enough to lay this Spring. They are with a gander who's a year older than they are and he's already fathered one brood last Spring, so I know he's got the goods. Today I witnessed them mating for the first time and it was a sight! I feel for those poor girls.
 

Friend2Fowl

Songster
9 Years
Feb 28, 2010
463
4
119
My american hatched last year in the end of April, the embden hatched in May. So I highly doubt that they have been mating, most times the embden bites the american when she gets too close.
So I guess I can just be happy that I was right on the sex, and sell the eggs for crafts
 

amity3520

Songster
10 Years
Sep 5, 2009
120
1
109
New Hampshire
My Toulouse started laying at the end of January. She was 9 months old then. I think it really depends how old they are when they go into breeding season, since mine were hatched last Spring I think they were old enough this year to hop on the bandwagon, but if they had been hatched towards the end of the summer I don't know if she'd be laying.

Hope that helps!
 

team guava pastry

Songster
10 Years
Feb 4, 2009
187
0
119
Miami, FL
Our little girl Angelina, is a white chinese starting laying around her 1st yr and continues to give us a egg every 3or 4days. As long as someone is home and the dog doesn't get it.

She eats a lot of the chicken food so that's mght be why she has been laying so much.
 

JazzyDucks

In the Brooder
Jun 16, 2015
7
12
25
I have a pair of White Chinese geese. The female started laying a little over a week ago. I have getting one egg every other day. This shocked me! She is only 5 months old. At first I thought she was sitting on a duck egg. But every other day she goes to the nest and sits. And there is another egg. Is this normal?
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Oct 3, 2009
113,451
130,002
1,892
Mountains of Western N.C.
I have a pair of White Chinese geese. The female started laying a little over a week ago. I have getting one egg every other day. This shocked me! She is only 5 months old. At first I thought she was sitting on a duck egg. But every other day she goes to the nest and sits. And there is another egg. Is this normal?
I don't have Chinese but I know someone who does @jchny2000 and hopefully this will help too https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/533413/the-african-and-chinese-goose-thread/2070

5 months sounds awfully young my geese usually start laying around 9-10 months.

Welcome to BYC
 

Chaneys Ranch

Formerly jchny2000
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Jun 30, 2012
10,121
3,075
582
Pendleton, Indiana, USA
Quote: I keep white and brown chinese, and Embden. Have kept geese almost my entire life, as my father and grandmother did. Aside from those breeds I have kept a few others.. My experience is:
Geese will sit and hatch ducks, without a doubt. Even a young goose will have a much larger egg than a duck. I have a chinese goose that adopted a muscovy hatch, and reared them herself. The mother had hidden, laid the eggs in the goat pen, and unfortunately she was trampled. I found the eggs, incubated them, and when the brood went outdoors, she took over.
The goose has to be around 8 months old. Some will start a little younger, and may sit on eggs if the mothering instint is strong enough already. My suggestion is to get a trail cam to see if she is laying. Season will usually play a part in it. I have one embden girl thats STILL laying (just a year old), and has almost a full nest. My brown chinese just stopped. My neighbor keeps American buffs, they were about 9 months for their first egg.
Season also plays a big role, younger geese start earlier in the spring. My first season with my white chinese, the girls were laying in January! This fall is the latest I have ever seen a goose lay where I live.
The "norm" for my state is early spring to early summer. Its not cut and dry though climate seems to play a role in it.
 

The goose girl

Songster
10 Years
Jul 7, 2010
937
382
242
Denmark
My goose started laying in October when she was 6 months 9 days old. She continued laying regularly until January. She's a White Danish. Her first five eggs were tiny; around 3 oz., all the later eggs from that spree have been more regular goose size, 4 1/2-5 oz.
 

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