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Goose Dillemma

Discussion in 'Geese' started by fordguy, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. fordguy

    fordguy Out Of The Brooder

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    I have Emdens and Pilgrims from Murray McMurray. I love them all but am worried about them cross breeding and ending up with mutts! I'm sure they'd be sweet but I want to help keep the lines seperate, just not sure if there is a critical time to seperate them or if they always have to be apart? (since we have a horrible predator problem, I overbought and now that I have cracked the nut on keeping them safe I have ended up with more mature birds than I thought I would have.)

    Also, if keeping one line is the way to go and selling/parting with the other, which one to keep? My primary interests are homestead geese to weed adn to keep off aerial predators like red tails/coopers which they have done fairly well thus far. Egg production is not really a concern. Just want them to forage well, stay at home, and raise their babies.

    thanks for answers on both questions!
     
  2. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

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    Just separate them during breeding season. If you don't get them separated or they try to lay eggs and set them in the off season, don't let them. Take the eggs away.
     
  3. fordguy

    fordguy Out Of The Brooder

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    will do - but when is breeding season for geese? I just don't know these things yet..[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
  4. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    Separate them out in early spring. If you're looking for farm geese, there really isn't a reason not to let them interbreed unless you're looking to sell their babies. If that's the case and you must separate the sorts, I prefer pilgrims. However, I've never had either of those two breeds.
     
  5. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

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    I think "spring" can be a little misleading. Depending on your location they may very well start laying well before it looks and feels like Spring. I would say separate them in February. You can put them back together whenever you have all the goslings you want for the year or when they're done laying, whichever comes first.
     
  6. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    Yes, 'early' spring is more like late or mid winter. My american blue goose started laying last year in February I believe, and we had snow on the ground!
     
  7. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    good point both of you!
     
  8. Country Parson

    Country Parson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bellefontaine, OH
    Personally I would only keep one breed. Having just ended a season with both Embdens and Pilgrims, I decided to go down to one breed. For me, that is the Pilgrim (which I think hands down is the better breed). The Embden is larger, but the Pilgrim isn't far behind. So if you plan to harvest an occasional goose for dinner the Pilgrim is still going to be a fairly large main dish.

    Also, I had a hard time identifying the male Pilgrims from the Embdens. Some Embdens were noticeable larger, but some of them were Pilgrim size. Since male pilgrims look very similar to Embdens it was hard to tell (in fact, I started out with 2 male Pilgrims and 6 embdens. At the end, I could only positively identify 1 of the Pilgrim males).

    Since the Pilgrims males/females are noticeably different this is a huge plus in my mind---easily allows you to keep a regulated male/female ratio.
     
  9. glenntwo

    glenntwo Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Our Chinese laid all through December last year. We can't wait to find out when she's going to be in the mood this year.
     
  10. Omniskies

    Omniskies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Separate them out immediately.

    Geese will begin pairing up as early as November and will continue to decide who should be with whom during December and January fights to show off their bravado. While you could probably separate them out later on, there's a good chance that some of the geese will have paired up with the wrong breed. At that point it's very difficult to get older geese to pair up with someone else, and some of the younger geese will fret all season, too. As long as geese are within hearing distance of one another they will still call to their chosen mate.

    Throughout history geese have been called Valentine's Day layers, since they usually will start laying in mid-February. The weather and artificial lighting plays a role, as well. And some geese just want to lay early. My flocks will usually start laying sometime in February, then I begin seriously gathering the eggs two weeks later. The first two weeks' worth of eggs are the only ones we get to eat and use for crafts. After that we're hatching and selling.

    I have already separated out my American Buff and Pilgrim flocks early. They will remain separated until around April or May when they stop laying eggs. After that you can put everyone back together again in a large flock. The breeds will all hang out together, but will still segregate themselves a little (the Buffs will all be in their own cluster near the same grazing patch as the Pilgrims). Keeping a couple of breeds of geese isn't a big hassle if you have two pens. To free range just alternate the days they can go out or set up a fence that keeps them separated.


    Also, I had a hard time identifying the male Pilgrims from the Embdens. Some Embdens were noticeable larger, but some of them were Pilgrim size. Since male pilgrims look very similar to Embdens it was hard to tell (in fact, I started out with 2 male Pilgrims and 6 embdens. At the end, I could only positively identify 1 of the Pilgrim males).

    This should never happen between the two breeds. There should also never be any mix up between Toulouse and Pilgrims. Embdens are supposed to be _much_ larger than Pilgrims and after their first molt are snow white geese. There should not be a speck of color anywhere on them. Pilgrims are a small to medium goose - in fact, the UK has them listed as a light breed along with Chinese and Romans - they really do hover the line between small and medium geese.

    Pilgrim ganders should never be snow white. Ideally, they should have a grey saddle on their back that is concealed by their wings, but it is very difficult to get ganders that don't have grey on their wings and tail. So the general rule is that if there are light grey feathers on the backish area, that will be a Pilgrim gander (or a sex linked mutt goose, but we won't get into that [​IMG].​
     

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