Gander Reproductive Issues

Discussion in 'Geese' started by markt1, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. markt1

    markt1 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have three adult Embden geese (now 16 months old), one gander and two females from Holderreads. I got 24 eggs from these females by May (mostly from one bird), and only one hatched (incubator). All of the others were not fertile. I am 100% sure of this because after three weeks I took each of them to my place of employment and xrayed them to look. The reproductive act was done while the females were floating in a water filled rubber feed bin 6" x 48" x 30". It looked to me that all that was done was that the gander jumped directly on the females' backs, held them by the neck while flapping his wings for 30 seconds. Then he did the "victory honk". He appeared to be directly on top of the females and not near their back end. So... does he not know how to properly reproduce? One egg hatched out of 24. In all fairness to him he was only a year old at the time and I'm guessing that he may just have been too young. Any thoughts on the age factor? Is he likely to do better next spring? I am thinking of buying another adult gander soon from Holderreads to hopefully get better hatch rate next spring. Any advise on my problem would be much appreciated!

    Mark
     
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    He might just need some practice. Some male birds are just "clumsy", and need some time to learn how to properly mount the female. I have Wyandotte chickens, and they are not good breeders when young (or even sometimes when old!). They sometimes fall over sideways, topple over the female's head, or fall of backwards. My other chickens sometimes have trouble too, especially when they are young. I'm sure that younger geese experience the same problems as young cockerels when learning how to breed.
     
  3. markt1

    markt1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Only one person on this entire forum willing to offer advice on my question? I have to make a decision soon on whether to butcher all of my young ganders and just order another adult from Holderreads, or to spare one and hope for the best. If nobody cares enough to offer an opinion, then there will be one less gander in the world come Monday. Gonna bump this one to the top and hope for a bit more fraternity.
     
  4. RURU

    RURU Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will try to offer you some help with your gander. If you feed too much protein through out the winter to the ganders it can cause fat to accumulate around the fertility organs. I keep my feed rations from Summer throughout winter at half Blue seal Home Finisher and half Cleaned whole Oats. This is to keep the protein down to 15%. This will keep your gander from being fertile. On the other hand he may just be inexperienced and needs practice to make perfect. Or the other gander might be more fertile than the other one. Not always do the male fertilize the female either. If they have been feed more protein that keeps them from producing good healthy sperm. It would be like hit and miss.
    Sounds like though he might have hit or maybe the other gander did the one fertile one.
    I know even with my ganders being fertile the eggs may not all be fertile. With Sebastopol's it is that way some are fertile and some not. So every egg that is laid is not always fertile.


    By the way x-raying the eggs can kill the embryo(s).

    I say give your gander another season to see if he can do the deed proper next Spring.
    Good Luck.
     
  5. Speceider

    Speceider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How does protein cause fat? I have always thought it was carbohydrates that increased fat. The energy needed to convert protein to fat is often more than the energy stored in the fat.

    Clint
     
  6. RURU

    RURU Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have this information because I feed a high protein feed throughout the whole winter with out reducing the protein. That Spring it was a very sad one due to the ganders not being fertile enough. They would breed the females and eggs were laid but the odds were more infertile eggsor they would develop some and just die in the shell... Out of 95 eggs most of the fertile ones would die young in the egg. I had only one gosling hatch from all those 95 eggs!
    So this past winter I had the feed and cleaned whole oats mixed and had a much more successful hatch from keeping the protein down on the geese. This was an experiment that showed the results. Hope this helps. I have the experiment I had don to back me up on this. I have been raising Sebastopol's now for over 6 to 7 years....
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013
  7. Speceider

    Speceider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That maybe, but correlation does not mean causation. It doesn't mean that they were too fat, it could be a host of other issues. Did you happen to have lights on, that could put the ganders out of synch with the geese, which also would cause poor fertility.

    Clint
     
  8. RURU

    RURU Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do not put lights on my adult geese when they go in the pen it is always dark in there at night. There have been many breeders out there that have experienced the same thing when feeding high protein throughout the winter and then when mixing the feed to less protein they have had much better luck with fertility the next breeding season.

    I have been breeding different type of animals for the past 39 years and am always learning something new. I have bred Top Show Oriental Shorthair, Siamese, Colorpoint Shorthair, Balinese, Javanese. I have had to learn many things about animals. I have even bred Brittany's and had show dogs.
    I have learned many things about the systems of animals and feeding. Also learned viruses of Cats. For a long time I argued with vets about FIP in cats and what was the cause of it. I told them I felt it was the immune system of the cats that caused them either to get FIP or not to get it. They kept saying it was a virus and it is a virus, but cats with good immune systems fought it off even with high titer's. Many vets put cats to sleep with high titers which as uncalled for!!! It was cats with a weak immune system that would get FIP and go full blown FIP. Feline Infectious Peritonitis.
    In the end I was totally right about my learning because I was with the cats everyday and could see just what was going on.


    I have had Sebastopol geese for 7 years now and have learned many things about them. I may not be a scientist but can say what works and what does not work. Many years of experiences have taught me well.
    So since this reduction of protein for the winter seemed to correct the problem with all my ganders what works I will use. I have more than just one gander.... I have 7 ganders and it did well for all of them.
     
  9. Speceider

    Speceider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you feed too much protein through out the winter to the ganders it can cause fat to accumulate around the fertility organs


    That is what you posted.....a very specific cause....did you sacrifice any ganders to provide data? I asked about the fat accumulation, which I have serious doubts about. I really don't care about cats....apples and oranges....


    Clint
     
  10. Goose and Fig

    Goose and Fig Grateful Geese

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    That is a pretty well known occurance with geese. Naturally geese will be living on less in the winter leading up to breeding season. They will have burned off much of the fat they stored during summer grazing, leaving them lean and ready to mate. And fight, if need be. If you artificially supplement them with high fat and protein while keeping them confined, especially, its only natural that fertility will suffer.

    ETA- collecting eggs after they have been exposed to cold temps can also
    cause them to be infertile.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013

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