Ducks shunning former Toulouse Goose leader

Discussion in 'Geese' started by newduckmama, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. newduckmama

    newduckmama Out Of The Brooder

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    New member and duck/goose mama here -- needing some help with this.

    My partner and I brought home four ducklings, as well as two 2-month old ducks (a Buff Orpington and a Cayuga) and a lovely Toulouse goose, also about a month old. From the time the four ducklings were old enough not to get bullied or trampled on we raised them all together. The Buff and our darling Goosy became fast friends and were pretty much inseparable. Goosy led the ducks out and about and Buff was her first lieutenant never more than a few steps behind her with the remaining five ducks happily bringing up the rear.

    After a few months went by we discovered Buff and two of the younger ducklings turned out to be drakes so we ended up with 3 drakes, 3 ducks and Goosy. We would joke that without a gander and the Buff as her best friend, Goosy probably thought she was a duck herself! Goosy led the group and as the drakes grew I noticed Goosy would sometimes peck at both of them (but never at her buddy, Buff) once in a while and quite randomly. I didn't realize it at the time but I think she was trying to show or maintain her dominance in the pecking order. As the two younger drakes, Choco and RB achieved sexual maturation I saw them getting a bit aggressive with the the youngest female duck, Molly, and decided to separate them at night in the sleeping pens - the three drakes in one pen, Goosy and the three female ducks in the other. Where previously I would put Goosy in with Buff and another female duck I thought it best to separate them for the night along gender lines. Buff, Choco and RB seemed to bond nicely after a few nights spent together though I could see Goosy was disturbed by being separated from her pal, Buff.

    Well our peaceful situation changed rather suddenly over the last few days and that is why I am writing...seemingly overnight Choco and RB have declared war on Goosy as their leader. Any chance they get while free-ranging during the day RB and Choco seek out Goosy and chase her away from the other ducks. Where just last week they were eating, drinking, swimming and foraging together as a family unit now RB has made it clear he wants Goosy nowhere near his duck flock and Choco has taken on the role of first lieutenant to RB. Goosy is not allowed to be anywhere near the rest of the flock whether it is to eat or rest in the duckhouse during the day.

    It is heartbreaking to see Goosy wandering alone and not being able to socialize with the other ducks. Worst of all, Buff has completely abadoned Goosy as her friend and has become just as involved in chasing Goosy off as the other two. To hear Goosy shrieking as she runs from her former duckmates is breaking my heart. The other ducks, the females, have all fallen behind this new regime and shun Goosy completely although I don't think they harbor any real angry or resentful feelings towards Goosy, they are just passively going along with the change in the pecking order.

    My partner and I are now searching desperately for a gander mate for our dear Goosy to alleviate her loneliness and perhaps to protect her from RB and Choco's relentless attack on her. I am sure she is stunned by the change in her status, the anger with which RB and Choco are now displaying towards her, and probably most of all the betrayal of her former best friend, Buff.

    Is this normal behavior on the part of the ducks? Is there anything we can do to have them accept Goosy again? Does anyone believe a gander for Goosy will help the situation? We are really at our wits' end and being first time fowlers we are mystified as to how to help our poor Goosy. I know she is suffering (as any of us would should all of our friends suddenly turn against us) and we would love any suggestions on how to alleviate it any way that we can. Thank you for any help you can offer us!
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013
  2. RURU

    RURU Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First off [​IMG]... This happens when ducks grow up the drakes can be a really bossy.
    They all ban together. It is better to have several female per drake because the males will gang bang one poor female..


    Getting your goose a gander will be good for her but do not put them together for a bit they need to see each other for a few days and slowly.

    Good luck. Hope you find a gander for her...
     
  3. newduckmama

    newduckmama Out Of The Brooder

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    RuRu,

    thank you very much for the welcome and the information!

    I have an update: we have found a 1 year old Toulouse gander for our Goosy and will be picking him up day after tomorrow. We will keep them separated for a few days as you suggest so they can get to know each other but we both have our fingers crossed that he will be the answer for her loneliness and that his presence will keep those bossy drakes in line.

    Thanks again,

    will send another update if you're interested!
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I'd like to hear how this ends up, and ARE you absolutely sure Goosy is a goose and not a gander? reason asking the behavior of your drakes makes me think more of how they would act towards a gander than a goose.
     
  5. RURU

    RURU Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, please keep us posted. As Miss Lydia said are you sure your goose is a female?
     
  6. newduckmama

    newduckmama Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello Miss Lydia & Ruru,

    you know, as amazing as it sounds, I have never even entertained the thought that Goosy might not be a girl. If I remember correctly, it was the breeder my partner picked "her" up from who told him Goosy was female. How would she know that? Now that you mention it I'm wondering if she really was sure Goosy was a girl. I can't imagine Goosy had laid any eggs before we got her as she was no older than a month or two old when we picked her up. I remember she had her baby or adolescent feathers on her head at the time and she didn't look fully formed, if you know what I mean. All that to say, now I'm truly wondering if Goosy has been a gander all this time without our knowledge. We took the breeder at her word - had no reason or experience to doubt her - but now you've both got me thinking on this as a possibility for the drakes' behaviour towards her/him.

    We are set to pick up a gander tomorrow evening for our Goosy and if "she" is really a he we may be bringing ourselves some more trouble bringing another gander home to keep him company. Yikers!!! We must sex Goosy fast for if "she" is indeed a gander underneath all those feathers we should probably cancel our order and find out if they have a true Toulouse goose for us instead. Can you tell me how we can definitively know if Goosy is a he or a she?

    Thank you in advance for any and all suggestions. Sorry I don't have a photo I can share with you -- my partner has all the photos of their various stages of development on his camera and he's at work at the moment. I'll post pictures of Goosy later if that might help you tell one way or the other.
     
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Vent sexing would be the most accurate or feather DNA which you would have to wait on because you send a feather off. Vent sexing would take both of you one to hold the other to look. There are videos on Line about vent sexing. And some other ways Ganders stand tall walk with their heads up and honk very high pitched and loud, Goose walk more normal with head a level with their body where gander are more upright, and a goose is low pitched kind of mumbles more so than the gander loudness. I hope this makes sense.

    [​IMG]Normal goose stand [​IMG]Not a Toulouse but this is how my gander stands most of the time with head up in the air. Something else too, I also tried vent sexing on my gander when he hatched and was positive he was a she because I didn't see the tiny penis, Boy was I wrong. So it's not that easy to vent sex especially if your not experienced. LOL
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013
  8. newduckmama

    newduckmama Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much for that, Miss Lydia!! From the photos you posted I would say our Goosy stands and walks like a girl and "mumbles" as you described though I have heard her shriek loudly in the last few days as a result of constantly being chased off by RB the drake now in complete control of the rest of the ducks. This is our first goose so we are as inexperienced as they come (though we've been doing a fair amount of reading to make sure we're giving them everything they need) and it would be so nice to have had some contact with both a Toulouse goose and a gander to really distinguish the walk, the talk and the vocal dissimilarities. I'm going to read up on the vent sexting now. It sounds a bit daunting but we're willing to give it a try if it will help us avoid bringing home a mismatched mate for Goosy.

    Thanks so much -- I will keep you posted!
     
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I'm looking forward to hearing all about it and of course when you go tomorrow you will be able to see the difference between gander and goose which may help you even more. also Iain Utah who is a member here, did an awesome rescue a year ago and brought home geese from very young to adults and they did vent sexing she maybe able to give you some pointers on how best to do this with an adult. Might want to PM her.
     
  10. RURU

    RURU Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How old is your Goosy? Did she lay any eggs this year if old enough, over a year is old enough. Will be waiting to hear from you.
     

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