Goose Shenanigans

ColtHandorf

Crowing
Feb 19, 2019
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Commerce, Texas
I’m sorry for your poor Roo, I really hope he pulls through, from my own expierience with hormonal ganders I can say truthfully the flap is worse than the bite so I hope his internal injuries aren’t to extensive.
Thank you. Golly is an experienced chicken killer. He goes for their head, wattles, face, comb, eyes, etc are all fair game. Last year he did enough damage to a submissive hen (instead of running she'd squat and take the abuse) she was unable to open her eyes for three weeks or so. I kept her in a kennel with a huge food and water bowl she couldn't miss. Once the swelling went down and the lacerations from his bill healed she was back to her normal self. Before this he unknown to me killed a young cockerel. I found him with his head crushed in the middle of the yard. I thought something had grabbed him while they were out "free ranging" in the fenced back yard. Golly had a little blood on his face, but he's always into everything so I assumed he'd checked the youngster out and gotten annoyed when it didn't run from him. After the damage to Duchess though he was locked up in a pen by himself. He did the same thing to Suede, but I caught it much sooner. Suede's issue I think was compounded by him spending the first day in thirty degree weather in the rain and then the three other male chickens (and possibly that turkey jake who is getting his big boy hormones and thinks he can take on an angry gander) took advantage of him being "off" to the point where he did that thing roosters do when they lose a bad fight and just give up. So Golly physically wounded him and shattered his pride a bit. The other young roosters went after him and he lost the last bit of confidence spark he had. He's getting minimally better each day. He's certainly better than he was when I got him inside.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Great Horny Toads
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Thank you. Golly is an experienced chicken killer. He goes for their head, wattles, face, comb, eyes, etc are all fair game. Last year he did enough damage to a submissive hen (instead of running she'd squat and take the abuse) she was unable to open her eyes for three weeks or so. I kept her in a kennel with a huge food and water bowl she couldn't miss. Once the swelling went down and the lacerations from his bill healed she was back to her normal self. Before this he unknown to me killed a young cockerel. I found him with his head crushed in the middle of the yard. I thought something had grabbed him while they were out "free ranging" in the fenced back yard. Golly had a little blood on his face, but he's always into everything so I assumed he'd checked the youngster out and gotten annoyed when it didn't run from him. After the damage to Duchess though he was locked up in a pen by himself. He did the same thing to Suede, but I caught it much sooner. Suede's issue I think was compounded by him spending the first day in thirty degree weather in the rain and then the three other male chickens (and possibly that turkey jake who is getting his big boy hormones and thinks he can take on an angry gander) took advantage of him being "off" to the point where he did that thing roosters do when they lose a bad fight and just give up. So Golly physically wounded him and shattered his pride a bit. The other young roosters went after him and he lost the last bit of confidence spark he had. He's getting minimally better each day. He's certainly better than he was when I got him inside.
I did not know this was a possibility. Thank you for educating me.
 

ColtHandorf

Crowing
Feb 19, 2019
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I did not know this was a possibility. Thank you for educating me.
I didn't either. And I don't know that it is super common, but he's always aggravated new birds for a couple of days and relentlessly seems to pick on one bird during breeding season. After hurting Suede he didn't go after anyone else, but they all run. I think Suede probably went for it, and Golly laid into him. When he realized he bit off more than he could chew he ran but by then he'd actually pissed Golly off so he finished it.

The young birds are like kids. They don't necessarily run intelligently, so I imagine that's how he killed the little cockerel. I don't tell anyone this to scare them, but it is definitely something to watch out for. It may just be a Golly thing, because Georgia doesn't act like that, or maybe it was how they were raised. When I picked them up at a year old, they were in a large pen by themselves. I didn't notice any chickens on the property so maybe they are just a bit socially retarded?
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Great Horny Toads
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I didn't either. And I don't know that it is super common, but he's always aggravated new birds for a couple of days and relentlessly seems to pick on one bird during breeding season. After hurting Suede he didn't go after anyone else, but they all run. I think Suede probably went for it, and Golly laid into him. When he realized he bit off more than he could chew he ran but by then he'd actually pissed Golly off so he finished it.

The young birds are like kids. They don't necessarily run intelligently, so I imagine that's how he killed the little cockerel. I don't tell anyone this to scare them, but it is definitely something to watch out for. It may just be a Golly thing, because Georgia doesn't act like that, or maybe it was how they were raised. When I picked them up at a year old, they were in a large pen by themselves. I didn't notice any chickens on the property so maybe they are just a bit socially retarded?
It's good information to know. I don't currently have a gander, but do have one ordered for this year. I do notice my female geese will chase new cockerals that I'm slowly releasing into my flock. So I will watch a bit more closely. It didn't occur to me that a goose could chase down and kill a chicken. I always want to know all the possibilities to avoid problems.
 

ColtHandorf

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It didn't occur to me that a goose could chase down and kill a chicken.
I think it’s more about them cornering the chicken than it is actively running them down. And with the exception of the young cockerel who probably ran into danger versus away, he’s never injured them when they are “free ranging” in the fenced back yard. It’s like 100 feet by 60 or 70 feet. I forget now. But when they are penned in the smaller area, that’s when they can’t get away from him.
 

DiYMama540

Free Ranging
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Jun 25, 2019
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Glad Suede is recovering! Sounds like it could have been much worse!!

BB decided to make her nest in the chicken coop, so I'm trying to figure out how I need to rearrange things to avoid the same thing at my house! I want Chance to be able to be penned with Mama and babies. The birds are all fine together when they free range and can get away from each other, but they can't be penned together or...yeah.
 

ColtHandorf

Crowing
Feb 19, 2019
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Commerce, Texas
BB decided to make her nest in the chicken coop, so I'm trying to figure out how I need to rearrange things to avoid the same thing at my house! I want Chance to be able to be penned with Mama and babies. The birds are all fine together when they free range and can get away from each other, but they can't be penned together or...yeah.
That's where Georgia nested last year. They had no issues sharing the space with Sterling my original SLO rooster. For my own sanity though I did end up penning Golly separately. I didn't want to do that this year. Congrats on the egg though. I'm hoping I get home to one, or at least her building the nest up. Preferable in the litter pan to keep the eggs dry and not moving all the hay to a corner by a vent so the whole nest gets soaked like last year.
 

Goosebaby

Songster
Nov 10, 2019
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I have two that can be like that, brothers Darby and Strawberry. They were with their dad Leo for a few years until they tried to kill Leo. Two of my dogs “Betsy, mini Aussie, and her Aussie golden mix daughter Bailey” are pretty good with breaking up fights, but the geese were in the old dog run when it went down so they couldn’t get in and stop it. They’re smart dogs and let me know when something’s going down so I knew something was wrong when I heard all the barking.
I ran out and found those two beating poor Leo who’d collapsed, the dogs chased Darby and Strawberry off, he was alright after a bit but if it weren’t for the dogs I think it would have turned out differently.
Darby and Strawberry apart are more rational, less violent, together they feed off of each other’s energy so I don’t trust them around the others, they live together away from the others. They get along just fine together.
Leo is a really massive but sweet gander who doesn’t like fighting with any bird he sees as his “child” no matter what age they are. He can be aggressive towards other birds if they challenge him or he views them as a threat to his “children” but once they give up he leaves them alone, recently he adopted a gander he used to fight with as his new “child,” “he didn’t know Parsnip was already his kid” so I think Leo is fairly big hearted guy.
I wasn’t as hands on with raising him as I was with the others so his view of me is less benevolent, one time a couple years ago when he and Parsnip didn’t get along Leo came after me after I pissed him off doing something dumb and I had to grab Parsnip and Thor who I didn’t want to get hurt in a fight with Godzilla Gander Leo for trying to defend me, but it left me open to Leo’s attack and he grabbed my leg and got me four times in the back of my knee with his wing.
Let me tell you this gander hits hard! I almost fell over and I couldn’t breath, luckily I was saved by the dogs. My leg turned sickly black from the back of my knee halfway down my calf and I couldn’t fully bend my knee for two weeks, I feel for any animal who gets the wing treatment.
Despite that I still love Leo, the way he is with the other birds amazes me. Even though his two kids Darby and Strawberry are so nasty to him he still tries to protect them.
 
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