Fatherly Instinct????

Discussion in 'Geese' started by goosemama, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. goosemama

    goosemama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2009
    Forestville, New York
    This is so weird - wonder if any out there have had similar experience? I hatched two eggs in the Bator from my Chinese gander and Embden goose. She laid about 5 but at different times and all over the place so was not keen on setting. I only had 2 hatch and they were from two different gatherings 6 wks apart so were loners. The first "Huey" bonded with me and his Delwaware chicken mates hatched at the same time. So he stayed with them in the brooder then out to a small chicken house & free range area.

    The second hatched 6 wks. later "Deucie" had no mates hatch with him so bonded to me as well. Since he was alone I would take him out everyday to graze on the grass and sit with him . At the time of the first hatch I bought 4 Pilgrim goslings about 2 weeks old. My first mixed gosling from the Bator "Huey" was not accepted by them although the same size and age, but after keeping them separate about 2 weeks they finally became friendly to each other and would allow him to graze with them. However, they were aggressive towards the baby Deucie (all except his brother) - he would come over and talk to him but never tried to bite him like the others did. I kept the original pair (Chinese male & Embden female) separated by a fence so they could see each other and hopefully be accepted together eventually. It was a chore to take the youngest one out every day and "babysit" with him as I dared not leave him alone for fear the 4 Pilgrims would bite him. Finally took the fence down between the old chickens & the original pair of geese with the new geese and chickens. The Chinese gander let the Pilgrims know he was in charge - if they came too close he would approach with neck outstretched and they would run away. However, he never did this to either Huey or baby Deucie. He seemed very curious about them and would get very close and just look at them. I was sitting out there and ready to protect them if he turned aggressive but it was just curiosity. By this time Deucie knew to keep distance between him and the 4 Pilgrims so was wary of them. I tried to make a fenced area for Deucie alone as he needed more grazing time than just an hour that I could be with him. He kept running into the fence trying to get out (he finally did). While he was frantically peeping and bashing the fence, the Chinese gander would come to his side of the fence and honk - very upset. Because of his nonaggressive behavior to the baby who was now about a month old, my husband put the baby over the fence with the gander (his father) and watched to see what happened. He led him down to the pond and from then on stayed with him constantly. When the Pilgrims came near he put himself between him and them. When Deucie would walk up the lawn to the feed stations he went with him, standing guard as he ate and when done he would lead him out again to the grass or to the pond to swim

    . Yesterday they were all at the pond the 4 Pilgrims a few feet from the Chinese gander, his mate the Embden and the two babies I hatched. How is it that the gander accepted immediately both babies which were his offspring but not the Pilgrims? How could he know? Wouldn't you think he would be the same to any gosling introduced regardless of their age or breed that they were intruders in his territory? He has definitely taken the young one under his wing and protects him but also accepts the older of his goslings Huey (but not the Pilgrims). I must say it is nice not to be a goose babysitter all the time and know he can be outside all the time and not just when I have free time. This "motherly" instinct was solely from the father the male Chinese. The female Embden would hiss at the babies, but now since her mate has accepted them has done so as well. Any experiences like this from others?
  2. zzGypsy

    zzGypsy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2011
    hey there,

    don't know about the breed difference your gander recognizes, but the gal I bought my brown chinese geese from says the ganders do the raising... her breeder goose will set the eggs, but she's not attentive to the babies, pretty much indifferent right after they hatch. the gander, on the other hand, tends, protects, herds them around, calls them and generally does all the parenting. after several years of this they've just accepted that the gander wil be Mister Mom and turn the goslings over to him immediately after hatching. they're getting 2 or 3 hatchings this way. sometimes they separate the mom out from the gander and goslings as she's quite testy and nipish with them.

    not sure if this is special behavior for chineese geese or not, I've only had chinese and africans, and next year will be the first year I try to hatch any of my own.
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    No matter why I think it is pretty cool. [​IMG]
  4. jojo@rolling acres farm

    [email protected] acres farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2009
    Whenever I add to my flock and buy goslings - my ganders always react the same way. Wonderful Fathers/Parents! Sometimes I watch my geese and wish that the human race could take a page out of the Book of Geese and nurture and protect their young in the same way.

    OP - thanks for sharing a neat story.


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