Dealing with aggressive goose


10 Years
Jun 5, 2009
I have 6 Chinese white geese. I raised them from goslings. They have been great until a few weeks ago. Two of them have turned real aggressive. Hissing and biting. I know not go go anywhere near the nest. But when ever I come outside they come running like they are happy to see me. Heads up high and making the happy happy sounds. This turns sour after a min. or tow of being near me. The heads drop down and the hissing starts. Then the biting starts. I have tried holding them to calm them down. A suggestion that was given to me. Which is out of the question !!! Offering them corn, lettuce. and several other things. It keeps getting worse. So how do you members with geese deal with aggressive ganders ? They have drawn blood, left bruises, and I am not happy about this. I'm thinking Thanksgiving dinner , Christmas dinner, New Years dinner, and every Sunday between them, until this mean breed is out of here. I love the way the look, and they can be so kind ( when they feel like it ). I think next time I will pay a little more and get something like American Buff Goose...are known for their calm and docile disposition. Any input about is welcome , and in fact needed.

I know people say.
Don't show fear
Look them in the eyes
Back away slowly
And a few other things, But pack mentality rules out some of these thoughts. I got 5 healthy bites in less then 2 min. I have considered biting them back.


13 Years
Aug 21, 2008
Land of OZ
Sorry about your delimma. My pilgrim male will occasionally get aggresive, but if I say "NO" and stomp towards him, he backs off and he is on his happy way. I was told hand feeding will cause problems. Are you hand feeding them? I suggest if so, you may need to stop. I don't have much experience with them as I have only had mine since April of 2009. So far so good. Good luck on correcting the behvior be he turns into dinner.


11 Years
Aug 4, 2010
San Diego
I am having problem with a, more or less, feral gander at our lake, actually a pair. He (and his friend) used to run up to me whenever they thought I had food, but when the aggressive one got to within a few feet of me, down goes the head and he threatens to bite. He has bitten me a few times, not hard, but very aggressively. It doesn't matter what I do, I try to be friends, give him food, etc. Now, however, I give him a firm "no!" and sometimes I will raise my arms and step towards him. Haven't been bit in a while, doesn't mean I never will again, but it's worked so far.

I do, also, try not to approach him directly and keep my distance, but that's not always possible when it's your own gander that you have to handle.

I notice that this gander is not aggressive to men, but almost always aggressive to women and even female geese and, I think, female ducks.

He is a good gander in some ways. If he sees any of the other geese feeding in a bad spot, like a driveway or sidewalk, he will move them away from people.
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Flock Mistress
10 Years
Apr 15, 2009
I cured the aggression in my geese by culling out the worst offenders. They were delicious. I don't miss getting bitten.


12 Years
May 11, 2009
Kentucky, Cecilia
You gotta become the boss. I have a gander who is trying to be a butt and be dominant but I am having none of it. Little bugger is not going to bite me like he bites the girls. I grab his neck and then give him a big huge and hold him till he gives up fighting and submits. He generally behaves for a while after this. Every now and again he needs a reminder that I am still boss.


Kiss My Grits...
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 19, 2008
Western MA
First thing.. i wouldnt back away at all... make HIM back away.

What i do when my gander tries me.. when he goes to bite me.. i grab his head and force his head and neck to the ground... so he cant move.. just use your hand to hold him down... dont use your body or be too rough with him.. but hold him down firmly... so he knows your the boss.
I'll sit there for a minute until i feel him "give up"... then i let him go and he'll usually yell at me some...(like a tough guy
..)..but then he'll be the one to walk away first... which means that i won..

Before i put my hands on him though..i will give him a chance to back down... i'll point away from me and tell him "no!.. go on!".. that works sometimes too..
But if he STILL comes at me... then its ON..
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Kiss My Grits...
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 19, 2008
Western MA
chickensducks&agoose :

my chinese gander is a HUGE jerk... he has been since adolescence, and I assume he will continue to bite me and terrify my children, and their children, and their children...



Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
May 3, 2009
New Jersey
Thanksgiving, Christmas and every Sunday in between sounds good to me. Why tolerate human aggressive animals. Start with culling the most aggressive, then if nothing improves the next most aggressive, etc. Like begets like; therefore, you do not want to breed from these ganders. We treat our animals properly. Provide clean quarters, feed and water. There is no reason to tolerate crap from them. There are pleasant geese out there. Replace the ones you have if you can not modify their behavior.


10 Years
Apr 30, 2009
SE Washington
I put on my big girl pants, will raise and flap my arms, make myself big. I never turn my back on an aggressive gander. I think that making yourself overly familiar with young ganders increases aggression as they get older, especially hand feeding, because they don't respect your personal space. If they are less familiar, they won't be as 'cuddly' when young, but you won't get attacked as much when they are older, and simply raising an arm is usually enough to shoo one off unless you are getting eggs from his mate.

Ganders can be aggressive. It's their nature, they protect their geese and their nests, protect their territory. I have a sebbie that will grab my pantleg and attack feed buckets in breeding season. My dewlaps will put on a show, but I have never been bitten or flogged by them.

The only time I received a real flogging was when I went into the barn to check on a Buff American goose on the nest, and I thought the gander was out grazing. He came in behind me, unbeknownst to me, and about the time I realized the eggs hatched (saw a little head pop out from under the goose's wing) he nailed me from behind and flogged and bit me (I was in shorts, big mistake.) By the time I was able to pull him off and get him put in a stall, I had deep bruises and bite marks on my calfs, lower arms, and upper arms.

It wasn't his fault, it was mine. He was protecting his nest and that was the only time he was aggressive.

Anyway, in summary, don't try to coddle them or 'make friends' with them as you will make it worse. Even says as much in 'The Book of Geese' by Holderread.

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