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Gander Behavior Question

Discussion in 'Geese' started by write2caroline, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. write2caroline

    write2caroline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have acquired my neighbors geese and posted my clueless questions before. I have been trying to make friendly with the geese and today for the first time the alpha Gander came very close to me. Then he lowered his head and hissed at me, his wings were not out. I felt this hissing was an aggressive posture so I raised up my arms and stared him down then he raised his wings wide and looked at me in a broadside posture. I think he is trying to dominate me but I am not sure. He then faced me and acted like one of my rooster preparing for an attack so I pushed him back with my foot a couple of times and he turned broadside again and I shouted until he moved away.

    I do not want to battle with this gander. The flock is all ganders and one goose. there are 7 in total. I finally talked to the neighbor who shared with me that while she does not consider them feral - she has never touched them since they were babies and only interacted with them by tossing out feed and filling their water bowl. I do not want to live in fear of attack but I am not sure what I should do.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Of course he's hissing even my gander does this and he's been in our family going on 7 yrs. it's very typical and can also mean fear. Don't try to feed them out of your hand even though my goose has never bitten me on purpose if I feed her out of my hand she gets carried away and bites my fingers and it sure does hurt. If you felt the gander was going to flog you then what you did was right. They are so protective of their flock and mates they just lose sight of who we are and they are just getting use to you. So even more important he realize you as being the dominant one over them. I like to be gentle with force if needed. or Walk softly and carry a big stick lol i can't imagine not having my geese but it can be a challenge to get them to see where their place is in the flock as you being the leader.

    take a long pole with you next time you go visit or to feed them if he start towards you looking like he may attack then put the pole between you and him and if he still keeps coming tap him with the pole to his chest not hard but enough he gets the picture or a broom I use both. So far I have just been using a mop handle it's about 4'long and I use it to steer Sam away from me and also when he is bulling one of the ducks I'll put it between them and he usually walks away or stop his business. You may never be able to hold them with out it being against their will but you want them to understand you are their caretaker. My goose was 4 months old when I brought her home and had no contact with humans other than the woman brought food out to the geese so even after having her for 1.5 yrs she still doesn't like me to touch her so if I have to pick her up I have to steer her into a corner then pick her up. it's very traumatic for her. But you want to be able to treat one if they get hurt or sick. So keep visiting and talking to the softly, bring them yummy things like chopped greens along with their feed, they will begin to associate you with good things. Although this time of year the gander will not want you close. once mating season is over he'll have a much better attitude. When I see my gander begin to get that look like he wants to challenge me I stand right in front of him and walk toward him making him get out of the way. then I praise him for doing it. Did you get the link about Training your goose?

    Don't turn your back on him till you have got distance between you.

    I'm surprised your ganders aren't fighting with having one the one goose present.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2014
  3. write2caroline

    write2caroline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks,

    Since he and the flock are coming onto my land. I am not invading the Ganders territory. I don't think I want to try to pick them up or cuddle them. I just want to be on good terms and not live in fear of them. I will definitely not turn my back on him and having a walking stick is a good idea too I see. I was gentle with him when I pushed him back with my foot.
    Thanks for all of your wisdom! I really appreciate it.

    I think the one goose in the flock is the Momma and the babies are all ganders. I think they are younger. The Older male is white with blue eyes and the rest look like Canadian geese. There is a wild flock that flies over each morning.

    Since the encounter with Frank (the white Gander) he steers clear of me once again and moves the flock out whenever I come outside. Not quite the relationship I want. I just want to feed and water them and care for them since my neighbor can no longer care for them herself. She tries to come visit them on the weekends.

    Anyway
    Thanks again
    Caroline
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    It'll take time but they will begin to warm up to you and recognize you as their caretaker. Actually they are more bluff than anything that's why when most people think they can just let them roam over property and not house them at night they wonder what happened when they begin to get killed off, They have no way to protect themselves other than hissing and wing flapping. I hope in a few months after they are with you you come in and say hey they like me. and of course you like them. It's amazing the one goose would hatch all ganders I don't think I've ever heard that before.
     
  5. goose4

    goose4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You have to occasionally put the ganders in their place. Do a search for geese training By Olive Hill. She does a good job explaining geese behavior. When our gander gets a little mean I grab him by the neck and pick him up. When you pick them up make sure that their wings are pinned down. I hold him for a few minutes and he gets the idea that he is not in charge. You might have to do it a few times. They are like kids they will try And test you once in awhile. All I have to do now is say Frankie would you like a hug. He immediately backs down.
     
  6. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    I was always taught that their necks are fragile and you shouldn't pick them up by it or yank them by it. Or did I misunderstand you?
     
  7. goose4

    goose4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just grab him by the neck to control him then use my other arm to pick him up.
     
  8. jynxster

    jynxster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Never ever pick a goose up by the neck; you could break his neck or worse injure him and have a worse situation on your hands. It is breeding season, the males are full of testosterone think of them as 13 yr old boys with too much testosterone. LOL. I have a mating pair of cotton patch, the female is the sweetest thing ever. I have had the male sine he was 2 days old. the male is 2 yrs the female not quite a year, got her at about 6 weeks after the original female got killed and the male went in to a complete grieving mode (he almost grieved himself to death quit eating and sat listless looking into a window at himself). Luckily got a female and he turned around almost immediately.

    I understand his need to be over protective. Geese are very VERY smart and the NEVER forget. The way you treat him he will never forget. I love my geese, Mr Dollface and Miss Ruby. The male will always gets between me and her when I walk in the yard. She tries to come to me but he always gets between us. I can feed her and she will nibble at my rings on my fingers but never tries to bite too hard.The male on the other hand, when he charges me, on occasion, I will corner him and get down to the ground with him. I will grab his neck so he cannot bite me and use my other arm to cradle him in my lap. I then let his neck go and stroke him neck and head with my fingernails, till he calms, then I let him go. I don't think he is trying to come after me purposely to hurt me, I think its just his gander nature protecting his girlfriend the their babies soon to come. He knows me and I have hand raised him but not allowed him to imprint on me. He is a goose I am a man. I love him but he is a goose and has a purpose on my little homestead, he is my alarm and my grass mower and a beautiful pet. He will always get unconditional love from me but I wont back down from him and I wont let him EVER chase me out of the yard. If you find yourself scared of the gander and that you cannot trust yourself, then back away and leave them be until you compose yourself. Do not react out of anger, they will remember. The other thing I question is ; Wow all males except one female. Maybe introduce a couple more females and or let a couple males go. That's a lot of "GANDERTUDE" to deal with. Good luck my friend.
     

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