Goose behavior/aggression?

Discussion in 'Geese' started by Devastating, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. Devastating

    Devastating Out Of The Brooder

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    I have many years of experience and education with poultry (mostly chickens/turkeys; a few ducks and guinea/peafowl in the past) but I have never raised geese. My sister and I would love to get a gosling or 2 along with our next chicks and ducklings this spring, but mom disapproves based on the stereotype that "it will get mean," claiming that this happened to a relative who raised a very sweet baby only for him to grow up to be aggressive.

    For those experienced with geese, what are your opinions on typical goose behavior (is it really as bad as so many claim)?
    -what can be done to avoid or control aggressive behaviors?
    -Since it seems that a lot of this aggression occurs around breeding times would it be better to NOT get a male/female pair, or should I avoid males altogether?
    -Any recommendations on which breeds would be the most docile or good for beginners? I know that white/brown Chinese are supposed to be very noisy (my uncle has several at his place, let's just say they aren't sociable lol).
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2015
  2. jtn42248

    jtn42248 Overrun With Chickens

    I have a trio of Toulouse geese (male and two females) that are sweet and friendly most of the year. However, during mating season the gander (male) does get very aggressive. This is instinctual behavior for all ganders and can not/should not be discouraged any more that you would, these days, discourage a child from being left handed. Aggressive behavior is hard wired into ganders during mating and hatching season to protect his females and their offspring. Otherwise, off season, he is just as friendly as the females and follows me around the field like a puppy.

    So, if you are not wanting to breed and hatch goslings, two females would be the path to take. As to breeds that are more and less aggressive by nature. My only experience has been with Toulouse (and a very aggressive Embden gander when I was a boy) and my Toulouse live up to their calm and friendly reputations. I have read good things about Pilgrims and Buffs as well.

    By the way. Geese are noisy period. Some more than others but noisy none the less. So, if you are in an area where very loud honking will disturb neighbors and possibly get you in trouble you may want to rethink geese at all.

    Good luck. Geese are very special and intelligent birds with very strong behavior patterns. They are truly a treasure of the bird world.
     
    2 people like this.
  3. Amarisus

    Amarisus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm in the same boat as you, I've always wanted a couple of geese and have been doing some research but would love to hear from people with experience [​IMG]
     
  4. flockman

    flockman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you don't want to breed two females would be the way to go. I have American buffs. They are calm overall and less noisy than some geese but as stated before all geese are noisy. Mike gander is aggressive only during breeding season.
     
    2 people like this.
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    X2! My 2 ganders are really loud right now Embden and Toulouse. only time I even hear the girls is when one gets separated for the others.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Devastating

    Devastating Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the advice so far, I figured that ganders would naturally be more aggressive but wanted to make sure it wasn't something that females shared equally, lol. Noise within reason isn't a problem since we live rurally, already have some roosters and can sometimes hear the neighbors' ducks/roosters as well but we aren't so close together that our animals' noises would really bother each other. (the guinea fowl we had in the past were also a pretty loud alarm system, lol!)

    Based on what's been said so far I may choose Buffs, my dad was already interested in those for their looks so I'm glad to hear they and Toulouse are among the calmer breeds. hopefully they'll be accurately sexed! I'd still love to hear any other breed recs, stories, or other goose-raising tips : )
     
  7. mominoz

    mominoz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have had, Chinese (never shut up, but pretty), Tufted Roman,Pilgrim, and now Brown African, and Shetland and one Tufted buff. Females are a bit quieter, but Males only fuss if separated from 'family'. I find the Gandars are much friendlier, females seem 'skiddish'...opposite from ducks I find. When the females are laying or setting the Gandars act defensive, but if you move slow and don't harass them, they are fine. My geese are raised with and freerange with my ducks. I just found that they need separate night quarters and feeders. They will drive away the ducks at feeding time ,if together. Some are nicer than others, the more you are around them as babies the friendlier.... They do know familiar people and may 'bluff at or get protective acting " with outsiders, but if they aren't teased or threatened , it is all bluff. Once in a while one doesn't like someone. who knows? But different colored clothing or colors can upset them. One day I wore red shoes, and blue another rather than my black boots and the birds looked at my feet and tried to nip them . When I laughed and talked to him, he was ok.... they hate Camo too! Walking trees..
    They are just smart and very observant, more like a dog....
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Devastating

    Devastating Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the info and tips! I would definitely want to spend a lot of time with whatever gosling(s) I may end up with, getting them used to human presence/handling.

    someone on my local Craigslist has a white Chinese up for trade, wanting a rooster...if I could I'd trade them my mean old white leghorn!
     
  9. The goose girl

    The goose girl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Please make it goslings. Unless you're prepared to spend four months with a gosling 24/7, you should get at least two. A lone gosling panics if you leave it for just ten seconds.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Devastating

    Devastating Out Of The Brooder

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    Will do!
     

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