Goose is laying, but burying the eggs...what's going on?

Discussion in 'Geese' started by Bhudgens, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. Bhudgens

    Bhudgens New Egg

    Jan 8, 2009
    Hey, folks!

    If you have experience with geese (especially Toulouse), please, let me know if I have infanticidal geese or they're doing the right thing.

    Here's the situation: my goose(s) have started laying. There is a nice nest between the heat pump and the back (north) wall of the house. I noticed one egg in a low depression on the damp sand, and promptly brought over a couple arm fulls of pine straw. The nest got bigger and "more organized"... fast! There were four eggs in the nest two days ago, when I left for work that day. When I got back home, the nest was completely buried with damp sand...I'm not talking a couple cups of sand...more like a five-gallon bucketful of sand! At first, I blamed the nefarious gophers that plague my orchard, but the sand looked "tamped down." The next day, after returning from work, the nest was comlpetely uncovered with a brilliant, white, fifth egg laying in the nest...all eggs undamaged and uncovered without a grain of sand to be found!

    So questions: (1) do geese bury their eggs? (2) will the damp sand keep the eggs from hatching later geese eggs suffocate? (3) when can I expect the goose to start sitting on them to incubate them? (4) how many eggs does a one-year old goose lay in early spring? and, finally, (5) will multiple geese share one nest, or is it a one-nest-per-girl kinda' thing?

    Thanks for any input, thoughts, ideas, or speculations!

  2. 92caddy

    92caddy Egg Lover

    May 18, 2007
    Portland, IN
    Its normal for them to bury their eggs. When mine buried their eggs, it didnt seem to affect their hatching. If they freeze then they may not hatch, I never left mine to freeze. The goose will decide when to sit on the eggs. Mine would wait til they had about 10 to 15 eggs before going to sit. I had 2 hens wanting to sit on the same nest, but they ended up smashing/brecking the eggs, so I split them up then they kept stealing eggs from eachother so I then had to put a wall between them to stop. If one hen would hatch before the other and wanted to leave the nest, then the other hen would leave her eggs to be with the one that hatched, so I would run the one out that hatched and put the other hen back in with her eggs til she hatched. It got to be a mess last year with these girls. I hope I dont have to go thru this again this year. ........................good luck.........
  3. Bhudgens

    Bhudgens New Egg

    Jan 8, 2009
    92Caddy -

    Thanks for that input. One more question, please, how often does a goose lay an egg? It seems like two to three days between eggs, and the problem is, if they lay daily like my hens, then there is a mountain of eggs down in the reeds around the creek behind my house?

    Thanks, again!
  4. 92caddy

    92caddy Egg Lover

    May 18, 2007
    Portland, IN
    I will speak on what my geese did, Im not specking for other people and their geese.

    Mine would lay an egg for 2 to 3 days, then skip a day or 2, then another egg for 2 to 3 days. Then they would lay an egg every other day for a while. I never knew what they were going to do or how, I had to just go with the flow with them.

    The africans would lay an egg every now and then, maybe 2 eggs a week.

    The poms, 1 hen would lay an egg for 2 to3 days, then skip a day. the other hen would lay an egg every other day. These laid some nice size eggs.

    My buffs, well I didnt pay too much attention to them cause I wasnt really into them or sold alot of eggs from them, I think they were laying like every other day. These laid small eggs, the size of a double yoke chicken egg. I no longer have these birds.

    My giant dewlaps, this will be my 1st year with them, so Im not sure how they will lay, how many or how big their eggs are. I cant wait for them to start laying. Ive heard they lay some nice big eggs.

    Good luck to you and with them............they can be hand full.......
  5. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    They're burying the eggs to collect a clutch. When they reckon they've had enough, they'll then set.

    If they go for a swim, they'll often bury them too. I always throw a bit of hay out on the areas where the geese are laying to help them build nests. But, this year I just rolled a round bale over towards them adn they're peeling the hay off as needed. They're amazing to watch.
  6. Bhudgens

    Bhudgens New Egg

    Jan 8, 2009
    Thanks, again, for the information. This is my first full-year with geese. I'm learning a lot!

    The phrase, "As full of $&^% as a Christmas goose," has lots of new meaning for me!

    Got egg number six a moment ago. That is a big egg...that's gotta' hurt!

    A few more questions for those geese owners out there:

    (1) the whole "weeding" thing may be a bit overstated. Mine have already chewed down a sapling apple tree and a young cypress tree; I realize they like to "nibble," but what can be done to stop geese from chewing on the things they shouldn't. I fear my chicken coop mulberry tree is next on the menu! They are free range all day and in their pen after sundown. They enjoy five acres with a creek behind us for their morning baths and afternoon relax time. There are acres of green grass and seedling weeds for them to eat all day.

    (2) if the geese bury their eggs, is there anything special that needs to be done if I want to incubate some later? I plan on letting a few more eggs accumulate and then take ten for the incubator. Does the fact that they've been buried adversely affect them in an incubator?

    and (3) though I've had good success brooding chicks, ducks, and geese, I cannot say I'm in love with the brooding process...or time demands. Will a mother goose adopt incubator hatchlings?

    I really do appreciate the advice...

    Brandon of Clermont, Florida.
  7. Chicken7777

    Chicken7777 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2008
    North Jersey
    Brandon looks like your gonna be a grandpa soon LOL! Your tolouse geese are very beautiful i remember when i first saw them about two months ago.....I actually was in the same situation as you. I was getting about an egg a day from my pekin pair. I have an incubator full of eggs and they look like they are all alive and well!

    I want to actually buy some geese in the future but maybe sebastapols...they are beautiful!

    Well good luck with the future goslings!
  8. 92caddy

    92caddy Egg Lover

    May 18, 2007
    Portland, IN
    As for the nibbleing, I had to put a wire fence around my stuff to keep them off it, worked well til they learned they could fit their long necks in thru the holes, so then I moved the fence out a bit from the plant.

    As for incubatoring the eggs, I tried to keep the eggs as claen as poss. , thats easier said then done. I would add or change the staw when ever needed and if I got any dirty eggs, I always cleaned/washed them off before putting them in the bator. If I let a hen go to sit on the eggs, I never cleaned those eggs, unless there was an egg get broken while in the nest, then I would clean the eggs and get the yoke and stuff off of the other eggs. The weather Im having now, I wouldnt be able to let the eggs in the nest, they would freeze. I could always tell when a hen was wanting to sit, so I would save the eggs in the house and wait for a hen to want to go to sit, then I would give her what ever amount of eggs I wanted her to have. The signs that my geese showed when wanting to sit was, they would stay in the stall with the nest and/or sit very close to the nest, not on the nest, but right next to it, or they would just sit on the empty nest.

    I have hatched out goslings in the bator and under chickens and my geese would take the baby/s as soon as their feet hit the ground, no matter what time of the year. I have seen geese that wouldnt have anything to do with a baby/s if they didnt hatch it themsleves, so it will depend on your geese what they will do.

    I speak for me and my geese, not for every or anyone else. Your geese maybe the total opposite of mine.
    Good luck.............
  9. junebug7334

    junebug7334 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 24, 2008
    well, I am thinking no geese for me.....I love to garden.......
  10. glenntwo

    glenntwo Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 17, 2008
    Cedar Creek TX
    My China girl seems to lay about every 36 hours, so I have to check every day. BTW, since it's her first season, I have been just taking one egg at at time and leaving at least two in the nest (I number them with a sharpie and take the oldest ones), just so she won't get frazzled about losing the eggs. This seems to work real well, since I never have any trouble from her or the gander about taking them when I go out to feed and water them. We don't want goslings this year, so I'm just hoping she doesn't decide to start broding before I decide to collect up all the eggs at once.

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