goose lays 40 eggs each year -- too many?

Discussion in 'Geese' started by justanotheramy, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. justanotheramy

    justanotheramy Out Of The Brooder

    44
    0
    22
    Aug 26, 2010
    Hi guys. I'm new here, but I have a pet goose (Ida) who's 8 years old now. She's been with me since she was 6 months old. She's nothing fancy, just an ordinary farmyard goose, maybe a little on the small side.
    Ida and I have been muddling through okay so far, but I do have some questions, especially about laying.

    Every year during nesting season she lays, and as she lays I take her eggs away from her. The first few years it was about 9, then a few more, then a lot more, and the last couple of years she's settled into laying about 40 per season. She builds a beautiful nest and takes very good care of her eggs (until I steal them!), sitting on them and rolling them with her beak and etc. During nesting season she's super-friendly: follows me around, sits on my lap, lets me pat her and handle her (I suspect she thinks I'm her gander). She'll eat a grain mix and a few pellets, but mostly what she wants is grass and lettuce and celery and worms. Once she's done laying she goes broody on her empty nest, and stays put for a couple of months. She gets quite thin when she's broody, and so I did try breaking up her nest a few times and fencing it off, but she was just so baffled and distressed (and not just for a day, for almost a week) that I felt like a monster and just haven't had the heart to do it again.

    We're 12 eggs in on this year's nesting season, and I'm wondering... is this normal? I did the maths, and 40 eggs is one-and-a-half-times her own body weight in egg -- that seems like *a lot*. Is she a freak? Am I doing something wrong? Should I be worried about her?
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
  2. JROOSTER

    JROOSTER Chillin' With My Peeps

    312
    0
    109
    Mar 3, 2010
    Louisiana
    I sure would love to see a pic of your goose! [​IMG]
     
  3. justanotheramy

    justanotheramy Out Of The Brooder

    44
    0
    22
    Aug 26, 2010
    I've not tried posting photos before, so hopefully this works...
    This is my Ida. Maybe I'm a little biased, but I think she's beautiful.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
  4. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

    4,376
    12
    249
    Nov 26, 2008
    Neenah, WI
    don't worry, that's about normal. beautiful goose. if you take the egg each day they are great eating. she has pomeranian in her
     
  5. floridaquilter

    floridaquilter Chillin' With My Peeps

    137
    0
    89
    Jul 31, 2010
    Crescent City, FL
    Ida is beautiful! and she has a great swimming area! my geese have to manage with a small pool [​IMG] This is the first year that I've had geese so I don't know a thing about them laying eggs yet. Since I have three I will probably let them set on eggs. I am wondering if it would help if you replaced her eggs with fake eggs and let her sit?? thinking you can probably use those plastic colored easter eggs or buy some wooden ones on the internet. I use the plastic ones to encourage hens to lay where they should.
     
  6. sillysister74

    sillysister74 Chillin' With My Peeps

    128
    0
    99
    Apr 8, 2010
    Quote:I think you are right [​IMG]
     
  7. JROOSTER

    JROOSTER Chillin' With My Peeps

    312
    0
    109
    Mar 3, 2010
    Louisiana
    I [​IMG] her!!! she is too cool. [​IMG]
     
  8. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    She is Beautiful..you are not biased, she is very pretty. she looks to be pomeranian. silly question, but do you have a gander for her?
     
  9. Kim65

    Kim65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    625
    5
    131
    May 29, 2009
    Washington state
    Ida is incredibly beautiful [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I'd guess Pomeranian and Embden. She has an Embden face and eye shape.

    That is a LOT of eggs!!!

    My Petey Girl laid twenty something eggs this spring. And I kept stealing them, even though I might not have bothered, her gander Petey was more interested in mating my boots than her. She too sat on her empty nest, though I picked her up off of it every night and brought her in the house like always (they sleep in a play yard in my room). She would be ravenous, and never got thin, but it upset her and that really bothered me [​IMG] . I even wrote an agonized thread over the whole thing, afraid I would make her ill by disrupting her brooding. She sailed right though, and is just fine. It's harder on me than her, I think.

    My rescue goose Lilly is an Embden who was fed a bit of scratch and grass. When I picked her up, she was skin and bones, and had just molted. She looked like hell. Also she limped, her legs were so weak from her suboptimal diet AND sitting on her nest for so long. Some geese go into such a coma when they brood they must be disturbed so they'll eat. Next year, I'd pick her up off the next and take her away for a half hour or so, with food and water and a place to bathe. Geese are not happy unless they can bathe and preen, even if it's out of a bucket. This will be good for both her mental health and physical. Some of us humans take our childrearing too seriously and don't take care of ourselves too [​IMG]
     
  10. Kim65

    Kim65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    625
    5
    131
    May 29, 2009
    Washington state
    Oh yeah, you asked if 40 eggs were too many?

    That's a good question. You'd think a goose would lay as many eggs as she naturally should. But we've bred them to be more prolific than the wild goose ancestors. They may only lay a dozen eggs at most, some only lay one or two per year.

    I have a dairy goat who gives a lot of milk. They've been bred too for this, but their milk production leaves them at risk for calcium loss, worms. It takes a lot out of them to do a gallon or two a day.

    The same for geese. My rescue Lilly sat on her clutch of eggs without the benefit of layer feed. Her legs were almost useless when I rescued her. It's been three months and she is still slower than the other two. I'm sure she lost a lot of calcium from her bones. She even has a heart murmur, according to the vet.

    I don't know if 40 is too many eggs, but I'd make sure Ida gets a good amount of replacement nutrition, or layer feed, so she stays healthy making all those eggs.

    Another thing is once a goose lays a dozen or so eggs, they'll stop and sit on them. Leave her eggs in her nest, and see if she lays less next year. She'll sit on them for a while and then realize nothing happened, and go about her life. If you keep taking her eggs, she'll keep laying them. That's another reason I'm thinking she's part Embden, they are prolific egg layers, usually.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by