Goslings, excessive cleaning/sucking?????

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by missionsix, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. missionsix

    missionsix Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 15, 2009
    Sunriver , OR (Bend)
    Both my goslings have chosen a spot on their backs that they tend to suck on alot. The spot is always wet now. Is this like a baby sucking their thumb, or, a sign of stress? Is it an itchy transition into feathering?
  2. Omniskies

    Omniskies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2008
    Are you sure they're sucking on it and not cleaning it? Goslings without toys (or at least something to chew on, like grass) will nibble on anyone else in the brooder with them. Normally they'll pick a spot to gnaw on and keep gumming away until the down is chomped off and the spot turns red, which just draws their attention even more.

    After its been gnawed on, the gosling will try to preen the drool out of his down.

    A good indicator that this is happening is the cropped down that looks like someone went over it with a miniature lawn mower. Another good sign is hearing panicked crying from the brooder when there's no reason anyone should be crying. A bullied gosling won't defend itself - it will just keep crying until mom shows up to rescue it.

    Slapping the offending gosling - even when he's caught in the act - will NOT help. It will just make the gosling hand-shy. The babies don't put together that they're being punished - just that they're being hit.

    Hope that helps [​IMG]
  3. missionsix

    missionsix Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 15, 2009
    Sunriver , OR (Bend)
    Yes, that is very helpful. Thank you very much. And a random question. Should I discourage the nibbling on my hands/fingers?
  4. Duck Keeper

    Duck Keeper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2009
    Out in the Boonies
    If you don't want to be pinched yes you should. Geese CAN have a terrible bite, but they usually show some restraint with their friends and keepers. [​IMG]

    My goose is fine, she just nibbles and doesn't bite.

    Unless it's by accident when you feed her grass!
  5. BlueLagoonRabbitry

    BlueLagoonRabbitry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 17, 2009
    Western Iowa
    Should I discourage the nibbling on my hands/fingers?

    If you dont want to get eaten alive every time they see you i would discoruage it lol. I let mine nibble and they dont bite hard they usually nibble on my coat and pant legs. Most of mine quit when i sit in the grass because they get to lay on my lap.​
  6. nettie

    nettie Enslaved by Indoor Ducks

    Nov 20, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    I have to disipline biting with my ducks since they live inside and get picked up often.... My method of disipline i got form Nancy townsend, who was the first person to keep ducks/geese indoors. In her book, "Duck, there's a goose in the house", she says you can disipline them. Here's how to do it....

    You have to start the disiplining while they are babies in order for it to stick with adult ducks. I don't disiplin normal nibbling or "tasting". I only disiplin them when they do that big "stirke" move and the other duck yelps or moves away. (So, in other words only hard bites or bites that are causing harm to another duck/goose). I point at the offending duck and say no loudly and firmly. That usually distracts them from their biting. You'll have to do this over and over and over again... You will NOT see results right away. You can also tap the beak with your finger (not hard) and say "No BITING!" again in the firm voice. I also use my index finger and thumb to hold the beak closed (lightly, if the duck struggles, don't hold it down, it could hurt itself) again with a firm voice saying no biting.

    If you are still having problems after a day or two of non stop biting, you can also pick up the goose and hold it lightly around the neck (not restricting blood/air, just loose enough to make the goose look you in the face without wiggling away. I make my finger/thumb into a ring right under their chins. then they can't get away or move their head out and they don't get hurt). Make the goose look at you in the eye, and without laughing lol (that's the hard part), tell the goose again "NO BITING!"

    You'll have to do this many many many times, without results... Then sometime in the future, you'll just notice that they stopped biting. It takes about a week with my ducks. If you keep up on it they should stop. MAke sure also spend some time holding them nicely and talking sweetly to them so they don't get scared of you. Don't disipline them if they are just nibbling on your finger or each other. That's a normal behavior. Just disiplin those big strikes. I had to majorly disipline my little duckie vinnie two days ago when he bit my neck really hard. Little bugger almost drew blood. I did the holding of the neck thing and told him no biting.

    I used this method with my two oldest duckd and niether one bites people/each other/ or even the baby ducks who bite them! They are very good about it now. Hopefully this'll help!

    Note: If you are uncomfortable holding the goose's neck/holding its beak/tapping/etc then don't do it. You don't want to hurt your babies.
  7. missionsix

    missionsix Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 15, 2009
    Sunriver , OR (Bend)
    So, now the feathers that "June" has been paying attention to appear to be ragged at the ends. Is this a sign of stress???????? Should I be concerned?
  8. goosedragon

    goosedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    Sounds like stress, do you provide any grass or other rough food to them to chew on. (I am assuming June is a gosling) it is an instinct to chew, they graze naturally. If they can't get anything else they will chew or down or feathers, theirs or others. You want to act fast before it becomes a habit like nail chewing in humans.
  9. missionsix

    missionsix Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 15, 2009
    Sunriver , OR (Bend)
    Quote:They are goslings. And I try to provide something for them to chew on as much as possible. They are in a transition to the outside now. They have only been sleeping inside the last few days. So, much grass to graze on during the day with green treats throughout the day. So, this behavior should go away?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by