Gosling with a feather fetish problem!!! Eating feathers off other gosling!


8 Years
Aug 12, 2011
Hermosa, South Dakota
This is the first time I have decided to raise geese. I thought I would give them a try after two years of raising chickens and turkeys. I bought two gosling 5 weeks ago and really love them. I had put them in with some of my chicks that were the same age, when I first got them, but I had to separate them when one of the goslings started eating the feathers of the chicks on their wings as they were beginning to grow them. I removed the two geese and created a separate pen for them. They have grown fast and now are about 5 weeks old and growing feathers themselves. However, the one gosling that was eating the chicks feathers is now pulling out and eating the feathers of the other goslings. The other one screams in pain. I tried separating them from each other and they cry and cry to be back together. I am not sure why the one gosling keeps eating the other's feathers. She doesn't eat her own. I have tried giving them some oyster shells and some grit thinking maybe she had a calcium deficiency, but that hasn't helped.
Any ideas or suggestions on what to do to break her from this bad habit.
I sure appreciate any suggestions.
thanks much
I sprayed Bitter Apple on the little goslings' backs and tail areas when I put them with my almost 3 week old goslings. The bigger ones were nibbling on the tails ( no feathers yet, but fluffy down) and the nibbling stopped. They tried it but shook their little heads like "Yuck, what is that???" Now they're all fine...I used it for kittens and puppies too and it didn't seem to hurt anyone.Good Luck!
feather eating comes from being in too small a space and being bored, and not being given enough graving time.

  1. treat picked area as suggested with a poultry no pick or bitter apple
  2. give them a bigger brooder, and give them toys to play with (such as dog ropes and other chew toys)
  3. give them more outside time 9if its too cold, get them sod to chew on, grow them fodder

its a part of goslings and can be easily turned around. Just remember a bored gosling will chew everything in their path.
Agree with the last 2 posts and you've been given good advice By Lisa and CelticOaks which should address this behaviour
Thank you all for some of the great advice and suggestions you offered! They have a good sized brooder, but I think they are bored. I also talked to someone who said that maybe they need some protein too. So I will be adding sunflower seeds to their diet and maybe some meal worms.
Will pick up some bitter apple as well.
The idea of chew toys is great too! Will pick some up as well.

I love this site because of the opportunity to learn from others!
thanks again!!!!
Geese love to graze i feed mine lost of green stuff to keep them busy, we grow all out own food here so we always plant extra for the animals and geese love heads of cabage,swiss chard,kale, beet tops and what ever alse we plant
I've also been taking mine out when we can (and it's warm enough), or cutting up long bunches of grass and dandelion greens for them when they have to stay inside. They scarf it right up!
Thanks for the ideas on the greens. We just got 8 inches of snow today, but they loved it when I took them outside the other day. I think I will let them walk around the garage a bit when I get home. I have some greens I will feed them as well. I also just stopped at Petco during lunch and got some chew toys and bitter apple.
Thanks again for the great suggestions!

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