Goose Attacking Gander II

iturnknobs

Chirping
Dec 8, 2020
80
122
71
I have 3 geese. 2 ganders and one goose. A couple weeks ago, the dominant gander started "mounting" the goose. She does not like it and realized that she does not have to put up with it because she is bigger. Now she has taken to attacking both ganders, ripping feathers out and biting their bills so hard that they bleed. Now they won't go into their coop because of the tension. Now I've got geese outside unprotected from predators. I wish they would go down for the night in a protected area, but they now run from me because I picked them up 5 nights in a row to put them away. Any suggestions?
 

iturnknobs

Chirping
Dec 8, 2020
80
122
71
Not positive, but the "female" has a significantly thicker neck, way wider tail feather fan and her "fat rolls" are formed perfectly to cover eggs. They are siblings and she is a muted gray while the boys are white. The one boy does what I call "sexy-neck" before he tries to mount her. She is now wise to the game and just tries to inflict injury when she sees him coming. I don't care so much about the fighting. Why did all 3 birds just decide one day that they would no longer go inside at night for food and shelter, especially during winter?
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
46,689
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Wisconsin
Where are you located? Geese are quite cold hardy. What are your temperatures? How big is their shelter? Do you close them in?
 

iturnknobs

Chirping
Dec 8, 2020
80
122
71
I'm west of Chicago. I have a 4'x8' cage inside the shed with a ramp up into the enclosure. They have marched up like little soldiers for nighttime dinner and I close them in... every night until a week ago. I picked them up for 5 nights and put them in, but now they are EXTREMELY apprehensive of me.:(
They have never been like this and it flipped like a light switch. Raccoon foot prints were all around from last night. I'm sure foxes are next. I fear they will not last long.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
46,689
84,321
1,522
Wisconsin
Are these young birds? Sometimes poultry decides they have other ideas, and you have to step in and show them otherwise. Can you herd them up? A stick in each hand can help extend your arms. They just may need some convincing for a while.

Also make sure rodents haven't set up shop in their pen. Anything different can make birds hesitant.
 

iturnknobs

Chirping
Dec 8, 2020
80
122
71
Yes, they are 6 months old. I will try the sticks idea. I have also laid a piece of plywood on one side of the entrance door to "funnel" them in. Unfortunately, the door is only 12 inches wide. Plenty big enough when they behave...
 

iturnknobs

Chirping
Dec 8, 2020
80
122
71
Sticks did not work. Night #3 outside. I have even left their water inside their cage/coop and they have gone almost 24 hrs without(I'm a sucker and gave them one rationed drink yesterday afternoon). Is this a good idea? Would my birds actually die of thirst before going back into the cage that they willingly slept in for the past 6 months?
 

Goosebaby

Crowing
Nov 10, 2019
1,923
2,426
306
Northern California
Young females can sometimes be bossy, I have one who just finally got over picking fights with her larger brother. They could sort out their issues eventually but from what you described with the predators they don’t have that time.
I would try cornering them and offering treats, so the idea of close proximity to you calmed with a reward, try this a few times then pick them up and put them into their house, give more treats. Make this a daily routine.

Overall you need to regain their trust, the more time you spend with them the more they’ll like you, bribes will help. Sit with them, give them treats, let them get used to you again, they will get over it their issues with time and attention.

You can also try removing the female at night, keeping her in a dog travel crate somewhere inside your house or garage, the others might be more willing to go in their house if miss bully isn’t in there, or you can keep her in the dog crate at night inside their house.
 

iturnknobs

Chirping
Dec 8, 2020
80
122
71
This is heartbreaking. The 3 geese are always around each other, but won't go in enclosed spaces. We are in the middle of a snow storm now. 4 inches on the ground and more coming. They are hiding under an upside down fishing boat along my garage. I have put hay on the ground, but is beginning to drift. I put a piece of plywood on one side to block the wind. I have a dog/goose house with hay on the floor but they've never used it. I tried to shoo them in the garage and the fights and panic ensued. How cold tolerant are they actually? I will try separating them, but it always causes severe anxiety, all the way back to the day they hatched. I don't want to send them to a farm, but if they are just going to die on me, it may be the best option for them. :(
 

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