Geese breeds & temperments

Discussion in 'Geese' started by sianara, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. sianara

    sianara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    I've been thinking about getting 2-3 geese for several years now but I still don't know which breed(s) would be the best for me.

    Basically, I'm looking for a calm temperment. I realize strains within any specific breed can certainly differ in their temperment but I'm looking for the "overall" average temperment of most breeds. Please pipe in with your experiences. Questions I'm looking for answers to are:

    1) Breed name
    2) Temperment
    3) Laying ability (avg # per season)
    4) Size/weight
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010
  2. crazy goose lover

    crazy goose lover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2010
    Athens Illinois
    I have sebastopols. They are calm and not too loud. Most make very little noise. One is the exception and squaks very loudly when he sees me and wants fed. I have never been bit or hissed at, but then again haven't been through an adult breeding season yet. They lay 20-30 eggs per year starting in Feb-April. Their fertility rate in not as high as most breeds. They can be pricey to buy but mine aren't show quality and were not too expensive. They weigh about 10-12 pounds. They are good foragers.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010
  3. Omniskies

    Omniskies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Missouri
    I am thoroughly biased and would recommend Pilgrims for anyone that I didn't recommend American Buffs to.

    For your chart:

    1) Breed name: Pilgrims
    2) Temperment: On a scale of 1-10, I place proper strains at a 10, equal to Dewlap Toulouse, Sebastopols, and American Buffs
    3) Laying ability (avg # per season): Around 35 eggs per season is the average - they vary based on strain.
    4) Size/weight: Around 12-14lbs. A nice small size that is easy to manage.


    1) Breed name: American Buffs
    2) Temperment: On a scale of 1-10...well, you already read it. They're at a 10. They were standardized by the same individual who standardized Pilgrims.
    3) Laying ability (avg # per season): Around 35 eggs per season is average. Again, they vary based on strain.
    4) Size/weight: They are _supposed_ to be large, but most of these rough-and-grey Buffs tend to be smaller. Shell out the extra money and get real Buffs - they should be around 16-18lbs and should be a lovely, even shade of fawn/buff.

    When selecting breeders for Pilgrims or American Buffs, personality is as important as conformation, growth, and egg laying capabilities. A perfect goose is passed up if he's a cranky loudmouth. Ideally, these are "seen and not heard" breeds. They will be chatty, but will sound like the physical manifestation of silence when compared to Toulouse or Chinese geese.
     
  4. sianara

    sianara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    Quote:Wow, 10-12 pounds? For some reason I thought they were alot bigger [​IMG]

    I'm not necessarily interested in fertility as I would be using the eggs mostly for decorating.

    Thanks for the input.
     
  5. sianara

    sianara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    Quote:Lots of great info here!! Ok, on your scale of 1-10 I assume 10 is calm or very calm? Funny, you should post these two breeds specifically as I was just searching around both Holderreads & Metzers sites (I've bought ducks from both of them over the years) and these two breeds jumped out at me the most.

    I'm looking for a breed that isn't TOO loud as I've already got 8 ducks and about 30 chickens (only one bantam roo though). My neighbors are all good with my animals and we aren't too close to each other but even though we've all got 2-3 acres the sound can carry at times and I don't want to push them over the top with a loud goose or two [​IMG] (cuz sometimes I'm amazed at how loud my tiny little Australian Spotted female is [​IMG] )

    I bought all my large ducks as ducklings and I bought the two Aussies as 6mo old adults. Would you suggest buying the geese as goslings or adults? I'm not really interested in drakes as I just want the eggs and not more goslings.

    eta: I think it would be hysterical to have Pilgrims considering where I live [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010
  6. sianara

    sianara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    Oooh, another thing I just thought of: Would they be alright in a wooded area instead of being housed strictly on grass/lawn? The section of property I was thinking of putting them in is wooded/fenced. There's certainly no grass there. I'm sure I could clear some of it and plant some grass but how important is grass really to their well being? They would have 24/7 access to layer pellets appropriate for geese. I just don't know enough about geese yet... Am still learning about honey bees which I'll be getting Spring 2012 (got too many other projects to do first [​IMG] ).
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010
  7. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

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    Metzer has a chart already containing all of the information that you're looking for -- and more: Metzer Goose Breeds Comparison Chart.


    And just as a note though the American Buff is the largest in it's class it is not classified as a large or heavy weight breed. They are a medium class goose.
     
  8. sianara

    sianara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    Quote:Thanks, I was perusing Metzers chart tonight and while it certainly does have lots of info I'm still looking for personal experiences to decide the best breed for me.
     
  9. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 19, 2009
    Quote:Of course. [​IMG] Just keep in mind "personal experiences" may differ widely from what you were originally looking for according to your OP.

    I realize strains within any specific breed can certainly differ in their temperment but I'm looking for the "overall" average temperment of most breeds.

    Temperament is individual to each goose and BYC is far from a proper sample of the population of any given goose breed as a whole. For the "overall average" you'll want to rely on generalized sources of information on the breeds you're interested in, such as the chart on Metzer's site, breed descriptions from the ALBC, etc.

    Good Luck in your search! [​IMG]
     
  10. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:I, personally, would never pen geese where they would have no access to grasses and weeds. Not only do those things naturally play a very large role in their diet, foraging for it occupies most of their day. They have a instinctual need to do it. Without grass and weeds and being in a wooded area they will resort to chewing and eating the trees, bark, sticks, etc. (More so than they would anyway)

    If you absolutely must, I would recommend growing greens for them and keeping alfalfa/grass mix hay available free choice at all times.
     

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