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Geese Breed Focus - Pilgrim

Discussion in 'Geese' started by sumi, Apr 16, 2016.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    The Pilgrim Geese breed came into being when Oscar Grow, noted waterfowl expert from the early 1900s, developed the breed from one or more of the auto-sexing European breeds such as the West of England goose or the French Normandy goose. Their name was supposedly assigned by Mrs. Grow to commemorate her family’s personal pilgrimage to Missouri during the Great Depression.

    Pilgrim Geese are the only American goose breed that is auto-sexing. You can tell the male from the female goslings the moment they hatch. Male goslings are yellow with a grayish hue while females have darker down and skin. As they mature, males become increasingly white with blue eyes and females become gray with brown eyes.

    The Pilgrim Goose was standardised by the APA first, in 1939, and later in the UK in 1982.

    Details

    Purpose: Utility – meat
    Origin: UK.
    Egg laying: 20 to 40 white eggs per year

    Weight: Gander: 14-18 lbs. Goose: 12-16 lbs

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    Pic by @Tivona

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    Pic by @bekkanblue

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    Pic by @DuckBoy323

    BYC Breed Reviews:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/products/pilgrim-geese

    BYC Breed Discussion:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/888731/pilgrim-geese-thread/0_30

    Do you own Pilgrim geese? Are you a Pilgrim geese breeder? If so, please reply to this thread with the your thoughts and experiences, including:

    · What made you decide to get this breed?
    · Do you own them for fun? Breeding? Some other purpose?
    · What are your favorite characteristics about this breed?
    · Post some pics of your birds; male/female, chicks, eggs, etc!
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2016
  2. N F C

    N F C Home in WY Premium Member

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    Yay, glad to see this focus thread Sumi! I hope to have these some day [​IMG]
     
  3. Tivona

    Tivona Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'll start. I had had two other breeds of geese before getting my Pilgrims. I had Embdens and Toulouse geese prior. I really found the sex-link concept especially appealing. I was also drawn to the fact that they are considered a calm sweet breed.

    I have them for fun mostly but also for taking down the grass. I also sell some locally and eat extras (usually extra ganders).

    My favorite part about raising this breed is how gentle they are. I can reach in under my main female while she is on the nest who is in the top picture in this tread. She lets me candle eggs and hold her babies with no problems. The gander is pretty good too. He does have the hormones driving him crazy just like with any breed but he is so much better behaved then previous ganders from other breeds I have dealt with. My second favorite thing about this breed is the color sex-link . I love being able to tell the gender of any bird from when they are just out of the shell by a glance.

    I have posted other pictures including the first one on in this thread but noticed no egg pictures. So here are a few


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    A few baby pictures.
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    A little girl just hatched and still damp. Her mommy was so proud. Notice how she didn't mind my touching her babies even while under her. [​IMG]
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    As adolescents.
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    Here you can really see the color of the babies. Males white and yellow. The girl in the front with soft grey.

    I totally love this breed. I know geese aren't for everyone but for anyone interested in geese I think Pilgrims are a good place to start. They seem very easy to raise and are much easier to deal with. Some breeds are more common or bigger but the Pilgrim combo of calmer and color sex-linked is just impossible to beat in my opinion.
     
    2 people like this.
  4. Tivona

    Tivona Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I forgot to mention my egg numbers are higher. My girl Nimbo in the pictures has been laying twice a year for me. I get a bunch of eggs in spring and then she goes broody. Then again in late fall she starts laying a bunch again. I don't let her sit on the autumn eggs because by the time they would hatch the weather would be just to bad for little ones.

    The point I guess is I get a lot of eggs. Much higher then the top number of 40. I don't provide light either. Not sure on how common this is but seeing as I get so much more then the regular listed I figured I should mention it. Anyone else get higher then the stated numbers?
     
  5. annabellaknits

    annabellaknits Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do they fly?
     
  6. rachelsflock

    rachelsflock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh man, I want to find a breeder. Anyone know how noisy they are? If your neighbors like roosters, think they'd be okay with these?
     
  7. Tivona

    Tivona Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not really. My girl Nimbo will fly over a 4 1/2 foot fence if she feels like it. All my others don't fly unless its the only option. They might fly over a 2 foot fence but that is a big if. Most likely they would fly/hop/climb if they needed to get over anything over 2 feet. I use a lot of 3 foot chicken wire to make temporary fencing for areas I want them to mow. I clip one of Nimbo's wings and everything works well. I don't have any issues with them flying out but it might depend on the particular Pilgrims.
     
  8. Tivona

    Tivona Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hard to say. Mine are fine with them. Geese are louder then roosters and that included Pilgrims though. Volume wise mine are a little less then the Embdens I had and wayyyy quieter then the Toulouse I had. My Toulouse though were crazy loud and not typical of the breed. The Pilgrims love to chatter more though. Its low volume chatter but lots of it, at least with mine. Any geese can put out major noise when they see something new, someone new, danger, or have something to discuss with each other. Nothing can be done on that. They also feed off of each other. The more geese the more noise and its not 2 geese are twice as much noise as 1, and 4 are twice as loud as 2. Its synergistic. 4 geese are way more noisy then 4 individuals so figure out how many your actually thinking of having. They like to gossip. More birds means more talking because "did you know what Feathers just did...OMG let me tell you about it and how I feel about it and how you should feel about it, and what needs to be done, and..." and then the next goose needs to know and so on. Lots of chatter with more geese.

    I suggest considering the distance between you and the neighbors then asking them if you think it might work. Its also possible to train them to be quieter when they start honking like crazy. The last bit here is really dependent on how well you are at training animals though and won't work for everyone. It worked for me but I know many, probably most won't have as much luck with the training geese to be quieter. It is possible though.
     
  9. rachelsflock

    rachelsflock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, thanks! Well, someday then...
     
  10. N F C

    N F C Home in WY Premium Member

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    I like how your birds gossip
     

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