Embden Geese - trying to get back to old home?

Discussion in 'Geese' started by MichaelN, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. MichaelN

    MichaelN In the Brooder

    Hello. I have just been given a pair of Embden's with their 3 goslings, I would say the goslings are about 5 month's old.
    I have built a large house for them, and upon the advice of their previous owner, who delivered them to us, kept them shut in for 24 hours, with plenty of food and water.
    Upon their release, they seemed quite calm and started grazing straight away. I had also provided a big water container near their house with apple and lettuce floating in it, which they soon found, found their way behind their house to where I have a natural stream and they got into that. My hose sit's in 4 acres of land surrounded by forest and mountain. They had a good first day and were no problem in getting them to go back into the house at dusk.
    The next morning they were let out at 7am and they had a wonderful time grazing, drinking, preening, sunbathing etc. At 1pm I started to do some work outside and could not find the geese. I looked all around, searched the entire land the house sits in (very exhausting) but a lot of it would be not accessible to geese because of the very dense vegetation, thorns and shrubs. They had disappeared.
    I drove up and down the mountain track, looking over the hedges but nothing.
    I called the former owner's who live about 45mins drive away over narrow, meandering mountain tracks and they said they would come over and help search.
    They found them about 2 miles from me, lying down in a barn, but en-route to their original location.

    My question - do the geese have strong homing instincts and how can I overcome this? I have kept them in their house again from 5pm yesterday (when we got them home) and I am thinking of letting them out at mid-day. I have now blocked up the entrance to the forest and also shut the 5 bar gate and stopped up and gaps, so they cannot now (hopefully) leave the premises.

    Thank you for any advice and sorry for the long description.
  2. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    It is good not to let them free range for at least a couple of weeks. I have never had geese who came from someone as close to me as the people you got yours from are from you, so I cannot answer your "homing question." However, I do know that it takes a few weeks for waterfowl to become attached to their new house. Put a fence around their house and only let them out of their yard when you are able to supervise them until they get settled in.

    Glad you were able to find them, you lucked out.
  3. MichaelN

    MichaelN In the Brooder

    Thank you Rainplace. I have now shut off the exits from our property, at the end of "the drive" is a 5 bar gate which is now kept closed, and I have covered the bottom with chicken wire. I have done the same with the other gate which leads out into the forest. I was surprised that they even walked as far as either gate, as these are about 1/4 mile from the house.
    Your suggestion is better than someone who told me to keep them shut in their house for 6 weeks!

    Best wishes,
  4. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    Heh, there's no reason to keep them locked up in their house for a week. That's just silly. The only time I've locked waterfowl in the house was when I was getting them use to being in the pastures, but even then they had a small yard. Geese are easily herded and seem to desire the security of a safe place to sleep if they are given one. I have had a few geese that prefer the outside, but even those are easily put to bed if done regularly. I have found they would rather put themselves to bed than to have to deal with someone putting them to bed. They quickly learn whatever routine you set. Females can become an issue during breeding season if you steal their eggs from the house, they seem to eventually try to make a nest outside and can be either lousy or excellent at keeping it hidden from you. Have fun with your geese!
  5. MichaelN

    MichaelN In the Brooder

    Thanks rainplace. I don't think I could ever keep any living creature "locked up" for - well, any time at all. I have secured the gates at the extremeties of our property, but after all the effort of their first "escape", they have not strayed away from the house.
    Last night it was getting to be quite dark and they still had not turned in, so I went outside with a little bit of bamboo cane as an extension for my arms, and they just walked ahead of me and up the bank and straight into their house, went right to the back and waited for me to close their door - absolutely no problems.
    Today, they have been a little easier with allowing me to get somewhat near them without hissing and displaying, and have already learned to come over when I go outside and call the hens for their little treats - lettuce, apple, oats etc. I don't know if they will ever become hand tame as I do not think they were socialised with in their previous home - there they were just geese that roamed. I was told by the previous owners to always carry a stick because you never know when the gander will attack. Well, I did carry a stick the first day, but I haven't bothered since. If I do get attacked, it will be because of my own stupidity in not respecting a warning. I talk to them each time I go out, so maybe, one day, they will ease up a bit.
    Thanks for your help.
  6. laturcotte1

    laturcotte1 Songster

    May 22, 2010
    Mike, If I were an animal I would want to come live at your place. You seem very nice and compassionate. Good luck with your geese, we've had 2 females for 6 years and they are a pleasure. They can be very sweet, some days I can pet them, some nights we walk and hunt for dandelions. When they are having a bad day they hiss, keep their head lowered and chase me. Everyday is different. The one thing that doesn't change is they love when I take a quiet moment and just sit with them. Clear my mind and quietly speak with them, they love it, will lay right at my feet, they seem to have a lot to say.

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