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Geese laying already???

Discussion in 'Geese' started by shelleyd2008, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    Adair Co., KY
    As far as I know, mine are NOT. I have 6 geese left after selling my Africans, 3 embden ganders, 2 embden geese, and 1 toulouse goose. I've only ever had 1 adult female goose, and last spring was her first 'season'. She hung out with the ducks all day, and I would have never known that she was laying if she hadn't knocked the 'prop bar' out from under the 'door'. We have an old truck topper set out near the pond with a stick holding the 'door' up. Going in and out she'd knocked it loose. She laid quite a few unfertile eggs before my dad's stupid dog killed her [​IMG]

    Anyway, what I'm wondering is should I be looking for eggs? These geese aren't acting any different, and they roam all over the place between the house and the pond. They do not ever get 'locked up', so I can't leave them confined to try and get their eggs, I just get to find them after they are laid.

    What signs do I look for to tell if and when they start laying? I noticed one of the embden geese's 'pouch' seems a bit bigger than it was, but it's not all that noticeable.
     
  2. HomegrownCaSW

    HomegrownCaSW Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 2, 2010
    I think the best thing to note when they are laying again is the eggs. I purchased 5 African Geese 3 years ago. One was dead upon shipment. I purchased 1 gander and 4 geese. One of the geese wandered over while I was trimming my oleander trees and consumed some of the leaves, she died next day. That left me the gander and two geese. I slaughtered my gander his second year when he started sounding off at 1am, 2am, 3am,4am. as he matured. Come to find out that was the time my neighbors cats were in season and they liked to hang out on top of the geese enclosure for fun. (I cage trapped them--and took THEM to the pound) and Mr. Noisy went into the freezer @ 20 pounds. Two geese are fine.
    I was told African Geese lay Feb-Jun. Not true. One of my geese started laying about one month ago. If you find eggs they are laying. She had about 4 eggs in her regular nest before I noticed. Didn't expect them, and since I didn't know how long they were there, I discarded them. Now that I know, I collect them. She is African, but has a white stripe across her chest, so may be Embolden cross. Hope this is helpful.
    Three years in on African geese.
     
  3. Omniskies

    Omniskies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Missouri
    The pouch has nothing to do with a goose's readiness to lay. The lobes are a pretty good indicator of the general age of the goose and when showing they need to be checked to see if they meet standard.

    Yes, geese are seasonal layers. No, they don't lay in late summer or fall. Yes, some geese will lay out of season. The emphasis here is that they are laying _out_ of season. It's a fluke that will happen based on the weather and occasionally on the amount of light they are getting. Last week my turkeys started laying a few eggs. Some years they do that.

    Geese are historically considered "Valentine's Day layers" because usually around mid-February they will begin laying. However, there are a lot of things that can alter that including weather, your climate, the feed they are getting, their age, their breed, and the amount of artificial light they are getting. You can put geese on the same timer as your chickens and get them to lay earlier in the year. Light breeds with high egg production, like the Chinese, are more prone to laying whenever they please. Other breeds, like the Dewlap Toulouse, only lay a handful of eggs in the first place and won't be as likely to produce anything out of season.

    Please remember, geese, like all animals, vary. This means that what works for one person (or goose) may not work for another.
     
  4. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    I know the difference between the lobes and the pouch, my normally double-lobed embden goose now appears to have one 'big' lobe that has no 'split' in the center. That's what I mean by the 'pouch'.

    Either way, the original question has yet to be answered: What signs do I look for to tell if and when they start laying?
     
  5. Omniskies

    Omniskies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Missouri
    The answer is simple.

    You find eggs.

    Sometimes hens will start making nests, but more often than not they become clever and find sneaky places to completely conceal their eggs so you can't find them (I have almost stepped on a bunch of nests, and I have stepped right in the middle of a couple).

    The ganders will duke it out more often with the ladies cheering them on in a semi-circle around them. There will be a lot of mating, attempted mating, and howling about mating in any pool of water you have. Normally that means they are in full breeding mode and will likely start laying within around a month.

    Hens may wander aimlessly and start picking up random objects to drop in areas they have decided are satisfactory for nesting. I had one hen who was smitten with light bulbs. If we left the drawer open she would pull out a bulb and cart it over to her preferred nesting spot and drop it there. That same hen was also happy to retrieve pieces of PVC pipe to add to her nest. However, she never laid an egg there (she chose to share a nest with an indignant old hen that only barely tolerated the company). I don't know if that is because she was just collecting things in one place or because she was upset that anything she added to the nest would be snatched away.

    I wish I could give you a better answer than that. I always expect them to be laying at around mid- to late February. At the end of January they get all the nesting material they want and a bunch of old tires that are scattered around the pen for them to nest in, since every year there is a large dispute about who gets what nesting place (and after everyone has settled down, only two or three of the dozen areas are actually used for egg laying - usually when the owner of the nest isn't looking).

    After that the geese start laying.

    For out of season laying, it's going to be difficult to pinpoint any signs. They may go through any of the behavior listed above, or the ganders accept that the season isn't right and ignore the whole affair while the hens lay a few practice eggs. Out of season laying isn't, strictly speaking, natural, so you could expect anything with a fluke like that.
     

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