Goose gender??? Really confused now!

Discussion in 'Geese' started by Gyburc, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. Gyburc

    Gyburc In the Brooder

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    Hi all,

    I have four Toulouse geese, one of whom is very definitely a gander (and I've posted about my battles with him here before).

    Two of the others are definitely girls, and are laying c. 6 eggs a week. The last one is the runt - he has a twisted beak, so he didn't grow as big as the others (we named him Lembit after a rather notorious UK politician). Lembit screams like a gander and his head shape is the same as the other gander's. I have seen him making attempts to mate with one of the girls.

    However, this morning when I opened the shed door, three geese ran out, leaving Lembit behind, sitting on the eggs and industriously improving the nest!

    Honestly, I'm starting to get very confused here. [​IMG] *Is* he a boy? Do ganders ever sit??

    Thanks for any suggestions!

    G
     
  2. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    I've never heard of ganders setting but I'm sure it's possible.
     
  3. Shiloh Acres

    Shiloh Acres Chirping

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    I haven't seen a gander set either, but with this new bunch of geese I have, EVERYthing is a community affair. They all get excited and "discuss" mating, and there is a community nest. So far only the geese set, but the ganders do check on matters and used to enforce the removal of lower ranking females when the top goose wanted on.

    Ganders will adopt and raise goslings so I guess a slightly maternal bent wouldn't surprise me. I'd be really interested to hear if anyone has ever seen it though.
     
  4. goosedragon

    goosedragon Songster

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    Quote:Heck yes Ganders will set eggs! (I'm not claiming that ALL ganders do) I had a Beta (second gander that only gets to mate if the Alpha lets him) that would hop on any empty nest and set until the female came back and forced him off. One lost interest and he finished up the last six days you never saw a prouder Goose than that Gander with HIS brood. Cheers for Lembit! he may be a loser as a gander but he would be a great bird to have!
     
  5. goosedragon

    goosedragon Songster

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    Quote:Shiloh, have you seen my posts about shared nests? I'm not going to say that yours will be a disaster, I've had 3 over the years, one worked but the other 2 were disasters. Like finding two mothers fighting over a gosling, each had a wing and were pulling like a tug of war. Poor Baby never had normal wings after that.~gd
     
  6. Gyburc

    Gyburc In the Brooder

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    Thanks, everyone! Goosedragon, Lembit is definitely a Beta too - and a really sweet-natured little goose as well. (Of course, he knows he has to be nice, otherwise he doesn't get treats.)
     
  7. Shiloh Acres

    Shiloh Acres Chirping

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    Ugh.

    Yes, I saw your posts. At least some of them. I hadn't envisioned what you are describing though. I only saw the part about late eggs being laid by a more dominant female.

    Wow.

    No, this nest isn't having new eggs added anymore. The dominant female hasn't had any interest in a couple of days. It's being set by #2 and #3, and they sit side by side day and night. Not enough body between them to cover all 2 dozen-ish eggs.

    I should have thought of that. I've had silkies share nests too, and as docile as they are, there's a bit of jockeying over who gets the chicks, but the chick usually decides.

    I tried in the early days to get them to build another nest in the room they are nesting in. I don't think I can be successful at that.

    I could lock one out, but the other won't be able to cover it alone.

    I'm guessing if I can get in there and divide the nest -- a BIG if -- they will both simply want the spot where it's been. I wouldn't be inclined to divide it and move it to two new places as all the eggs might be abandoned. They've been broody a little over a week I think.
    I'd have to check.

    I'm still trying to get an incubator as I have a few extra eggs and another goose that started laying again. I'd like them to set most of their own eggs, but I don't want to waste the ones laid in odd places either. No luck on that so far, though I've considered building what would probably be a very poor substitute, just maybe better than nothing.

    Do you have any suggestions of how I can fix this?

    I'm also planning to get some ducklings or hatch duck eggs soon, so maybe I could let them have those as well.

    Thanks. Though now I'm worried again, sigh.
     
  8. goosedragon

    goosedragon Songster

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    Quote:Sorry to worry you but I thought I should warn you that you MAY have a problem on your hands~gd
     
  9. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    Quote:I would separate the geese and divide the eggs between them. If you have a dog kennel/cage that would work good for putting one of the mom's with her eggs in. She should take right to the nest if she sees the eggs and realizes she can't get out.
     
  10. Goosehaven

    Goosehaven Chirping

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    I had four hatch successfully last season from a community nest. Granted I'm sure were it not a community nest I would have possibly had more hatch successfully but my goal is not to sell them nor do I raise them for meat birds so I let nature take its course. I have one extremely broody goose who sat the majority of the time but they would double up sometimes for a while and sometimes triple set. I tried dividing the eggs up and making seperate nests but if they have access to them all they would just roll them all back together and in the end I felt all the tranferring back and forth would be worse than sharing one nest.

    I have two community nests going this season so we'll see what the hatch experience is this time around.

    Good luck with your hatch [​IMG]
     

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