Do geese go through a "teething" process?

Buxton Ducks

Songster
8 Years
Jan 16, 2012
311
20
134
Buxton, Maine
So here's the story, I really really wanted a couple geese and my wife really really didn't want me to get geese. Everybody told her how mean geese are and that all they do is bite and pinch. She then saw pictures of sabastopol geese and the convincing began! I got my pair of sebbies as day-olds about 3 - 4 months ago. We raised them in our home until they were old enough to join the flock of ducks outside. I continue to talk to them daily and they come up to me and stick their necks out and "talk" back. This week they have started obsessing with my hands like little puppies. I have a nice raspberry on my left hand and many chew marks. I really didn't know how to react, I made sure I didn't run away but I didn't discipline them either. Is this just a phase? I know geese test everything with their bills, but they have been testing my hands really hard! I love my geese and love my wife and I don't want them to become biters like my wife was fearing.... please help!

Here is Fifi (left) and Bubba (right):
 

Kevin565

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Dec 22, 2009
43,520
602
486
Are they just nibbling or actually biting?
 

Buxton Ducks

Songster
8 Years
Jan 16, 2012
311
20
134
Buxton, Maine
They are nibbling the then clamping down with the tip of their bill and pulling on any loose skin. It is the same thing they do to anything new in yard.
 

Enchanted Sunrise Farms

Crowing
12 Years
Apr 26, 2007
4,255
54
274
Fair Oaks, California
My kids do that. They tend to grow out of it as they get older. They never really get over liking to tug at things, our patio chair cushions attest to that! But my two-month-olds are super nippy and love to tug at my shirt, chomp on my crocs, and bite at my ring. Mostly they are after things other than my skin, but i do need to push them away when they pinch skin. Or sometimes i hold their beaks closed for a while. But mostly i just push them away, gently but firmly and say "no". My adults don't nip or pull at all anymore, although they are still enamored with my crocs.
 

Buxton Ducks

Songster
8 Years
Jan 16, 2012
311
20
134
Buxton, Maine
Thank you so much, I will try that! They discovered the canoe cover tarp tonight and tugged on that for about 20 minutes.
 

sianara

Songster
13 Years
Apr 27, 2007
1,607
32
206
Central MA
My pilgrim pair is 4.5 weeks old now and they still love to bite and nibble. I started disciplining them early by saying a stern NO and holding their bill closed for a second. Granted they do it again and again and I repeat my response as well. I have noticed however they are doing it less and less as they age. In the beginning they were relentless but now it's like they go "Oh, we STILL can't do that? then never mind" and they give up after one or two tries and walk away. But my NO is very stern and I tell them to be a good boy or good girl. They don't understand the words obviously, but they understand the tone.

I've also taught them from the beginning to come up to me by placing my hand inside their pen and wiggling my fingers while saying "come here, if you want to be petted". Now, they run right over and lean against my hand to have their chests petted. After a few weeks of this I started petting their backs as well. At first they were unsure about me touching their backs and kind of skittered away but now they will sit right down and let me continue to pet.

In Kimberly Links' book The Ultimate Pet Goose Guidebook, she mentions that they like toys so I bought mine a babies crib toy (you know the ones that make sounds and light up when a baby touches a spot?). The first time they heard the sound they literally screamed and ran away. I felt so bad I took it out of their pen. Then a week later I held it up outside the cage and played with it. They were curious and came cautiously over to see what it was. Eventually, I put it inside their pen with the sound off just so they'd get used to seeing it. Last week I saw them sitting right next to it and the female Beatrice was actually touching it. I haven't turned the sound on again yet but will eventually.

Good luck and keep at it. From what I understand they are a very, very smart animal and will learn if we train them appropriately. My biggest concern was the same as yours. I didn't want to be afraid to go into my own goose yard and I didn't want them always biting at me. Right now they are still somewhat small. I think an adult sized goose is going to be a little intimidating to me


Another good read is Dave Holderreads book Book of Geese.
 

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