Geese trying to adopt ducklings?

Discussion in 'Geese' started by Nu Chix To Cash, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. Nu Chix To Cash

    Nu Chix To Cash Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 28, 2010
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    I have two geese. They are a year old this year. I haven't been able to determine yet if I have a pair or two ganders. I haven't gotten any eggs but I understand geese are pretty good at hiding them and these geese free range over 7 acres so if they have eggs they could be anywhere.

    [​IMG]

    A few weeks ago I hatched out some ducklings. It has been unseasonably warm here so I have been taking them out of the brooder daily and letting them graze in a smaller pen I have. When I first started letting them out the geese would pace back and forth "talking" but it wasn't their normal "get out of here before I kill you" talk.

    A few days ago my youngest son left the pen door open and the ducklings got out. When we found them the geese appeared to be guarding them. When my son went to get them I told him to get back as I honestly thought the one goose was going to attack him.

    The next day I put the geese in the same pen as the ducklings. Anytime an adult duck or chicken would come near them the geese would run them off and then herd the ducklings to another corner.

    Has anyone ever had this happen before? I find it very odd but stranger things have happened. I'd love to leave the ducklings w/the geese but they don't know to follow them and I don't want them to get cold at night.

    Any thoughts? Any guesses as to the sex of my geese? One is a bit more brazen and hisses quite a bit. The other one just stays out of the way. The one that hisses the most is the one that was appeared to want to nurture the ducklings the most.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  2. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    I've never had geese but I think I would leave them together and see if the goose would brood them when the temp gets cooler. They may start hanging out together.
     
  3. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    Geese have been known to adopt ducklings. Their urge to parent is very strong.

    I wouldn't have new ducklings out with my adult birds unless I considered the ducklings disposable. The geese might adopt them and they might not.

    Ganders will shelter goslings just as readily as the geese. The goslings are kept under the wing, not under the goose. It might not be warm enough for ducklings if weather is really cold.
     
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  4. Nu Chix To Cash

    Nu Chix To Cash Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 28, 2010
    Central Iowa
    Thanks OB. I have no intentions of leaving the ducklings w/the geese. The ducklings are in a smaller pen during the afternoon when it is warm (70*+) w/my call ducks. My calls do a good job of babysitting all the babies. When I put the geese in w/them we watched them to make sure nothing happened to the ducklings and then removed them before putting everyone away for the night. I haven't had them back in w/them since.

    This is my first time owning adult geese.I've heard they are good parents but didn't realize their maternal instincts were so strong.
     
  5. Iain Utah

    Iain Utah Overrun With Chickens

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    Dec 17, 2011
    I hatched out ducklings a month before my goslings and my geese showed interest in adopting them. When the goslings came, my adult pair went out of their minds in love for them, but continue to tolerate the ducklings. Last week, I moved both ducklings and goslings (in separate pens) into garage with the geese guarding over both (opening door during the day). That way the babies have heat lamps, etc., and I can keep an eye on them.

    Here are pics of our set up. Goslings on the left and ducklings on the right:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Trefoil

    Trefoil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One of my 3 geese adopted my 11 runner ducklings last year. I had put them outside in a cage in the sun and the goose and one of my bourbon red toms were chasing each other around the pen. After a day or 2 the tom gave up but the goose stayed just outside the cage, so I tried letting the ducklings out with her (?) . She stayed with them and protected them until she started laying eggs this year. She was a really good mama and didn't lose any of them.
     
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Most geese are outstanding parents and have strong desire to 'parent'. Many years ago I had a human imprinted gander. When Gus was 4 or 5 years old I bought some goslings. As soon as Gus heard them, he became their 'father'. Parenting behavior in geese is a strong force.
     
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  8. Wrancarr

    Wrancarr New Egg

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    Hi, I have a goose and gander that didn't do at all well with their own goslings (they left them as soon as they hatched and unfortunately the goslings died), but the gander has taken on the 'dad' role for 5 ducklings. All the ducks and geese are free ranging and get on really well. The geese are Sebastibol and really placid for geese. Really funny to see the gander rounding up the ducklings and taking them for a swim whilst mother duck tucks into a feed.
     
  9. Trefoil

    Trefoil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe he's practicing for this spring, hope you have better luck this year with your goslings.
     
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Of course we need some pics, and Welcome to BYC... My gander has been papa goose to ducklings[Muscovy] in the past and took his job very seriously.
     

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