Few Questions about my new Embden Geese!

Discussion in 'Geese' started by JenniferPJRT, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. JenniferPJRT

    JenniferPJRT New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Jan 8, 2014
    Hi everyone, I'm a new owner of two Embden Geese. We've never had geese before, but are enjoying these two very much. :) I had a few questions about some behavior I'm seeing from them and a few 'care' questions - we want to make sure we do everything right by them!
    1. They are supposed to be two females (sisters), but I'm pretty sure one is a male. They are 8 months old and one is much larger - s(he) also always holds her (his) neck above the smaller goose, has a much higher-pitched voice than hers, and walks very upright compared to the smaller goose. I've seen him pin her to the ground a few times as well (she doesn't mind.) He's also acting very protective of her - hissing at us when we get to close to her, always putting his neck over hers, etc. I don't care if he really is a male, but I'm just curious if it sounds like he truly is a male.
    2. Assuming he is a male, should we get a few more female geese? I don't want goslings - but I was hoping the two we had were both females as I'd like eggs. Would he be happy with more females? If so, any breeds that you'd recommend to fit in nicely with Embdens? (I'm nervous to get more Embden in case we get another male - I've heard you should only have one male.) I'd ideally like two or three more female geese.
    3. They are housed with our two horses and two donkeys in a 2-acre field. They have access to three large rubber-matted stalls with shavings / straw for bedding but they all come in and out as they please. The geese are fully-fledged members of the equine herd (they eat hay together, etc.) it's quite cute. I bought them a small outdoor igloo-type doghouse that they can go in to keep their eggs safe from being stepped on by the horses, but I've yet to see them go in. Anything I can do to help them 'choose' a safe play to lay eggs so they don't get crushed by the equines?
    4. We feed them the layer crumbles plus some cracked corn twice a day, as much as they will eat. We also give fresh veggies twice a day (kale, cabbage, dandelion greens, romaine / Greenleaf lettuce, etc.) Is this an appropriate diet for them?

    Is there anything else you can recommend to give them the best life possible? Thanks in advance - they are such cool animals!
     
  2. BarredBuff

    BarredBuff Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,923
    13
    173
    Dec 6, 2009
    First, [​IMG]

    1. He sounds like a male to me (I'd almost bet on it), and Geese mate for life. So she is bonded to him and vice versa.
    2. As far as getting more geese, I would let her brood a clutch and keep the females she has. That way they will easily mesh into the pecking order. He will help parent them, and both will be VERY protective.
    3. As far as housing, you may want to move them during egg time. Geese become very protective over their mates, eggs, nests, and anything will aggravate them during Spring mating season. I'd make an effort to give her and him a private place to lay eggs or raise a clutch.
    4. Doing great on the diet!!

    You may want to provide a place to swim for them (a kiddie pool works wonders) and they will love you for it. It makes them look so clean and pretty. Good luck with your geese!
     
  3. RURU

    RURU Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,411
    115
    203
    Jan 25, 2011
    Troy, Missouri
    My Coop
     
  4. JenniferPJRT

    JenniferPJRT New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Jan 8, 2014
    Thanks guys for the replies!!

    We have a woven wire fencing that is 4' high and goes down to the ground with cedar rails and electric tape top and bottom. We breed and raise working Jack Russell Terriers, so we have the fence 'terrier proofed' so they (or any other type of predator) can't get in to the geese! They have 24/7 turnout with the two guardian donkeys and two horses. We've had the geese for three months now and hear coyotes howling every night (and have heard them since we moved to this farm) but so far none have tried to get into the fence (if they even tried, the donks would do their job protecting everyone for sure!)

    Right now I have heated buckets down low enough for them with water - they enjoy bathing themselves and splashing around. I already have two kiddie pools for them to have in the Spring / Summer / Fall. Right now (we're just outside of Boston) we have a ton of snow & ice - they are keeping themselves very clean in taking snow baths! :)

    I will pick up some of the different feed as well. I've found that they LOVE apples as a treat - sweet potato peels as well. :)

    I'll try to figure out something to provide them with a different area for egg laying......I really didn't want goslings (especially as now it seems like they are brother & sister - instead of the sisters I was told they were) and I mainly got them for fresh eggs. Both geese seem to get upset when they can't get to the horses - they really are part of the herd and like to stay together........when can I expect the egg production to start? They are 8 months old.

    I'm really attached to them already - even though the male does try to go after us sometimes. We're staying very consistent with chasing him off when he tries to be assertive.

    Really appreciate all the help! Here they are with 'their' herd :) [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Esther & Effie (now that we know Esther - the one on the left - is a male, we'll have to change his name to Esteban LOL!)
     
  5. RURU

    RURU Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,411
    115
    203
    Jan 25, 2011
    Troy, Missouri
    My Coop
    Very nice pictures of the group together... Is that one donkey pregnant or just very well fed? [​IMG]
     
  6. servpolice

    servpolice Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    3,346
    113
    186
    Oct 10, 2013
    Ireland
    Haha i was looking at that donkey too haha
     
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    69,401
    5,140
    671
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    Might be twins. [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by