Help with breed/gender identification -- And what mess have I gotten myself into!?!

Discussion in 'Geese' started by IronEagle, Nov 30, 2015.

  1. IronEagle

    IronEagle Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 22, 2014
    QR, Mexico
    Hi There,
    Over a year ago I posted requesting help sexing my goose, Gansy. Gansy came by way of a friend without a companion. My neighbors and the original owner swore Gansy was a goose. Everyone on this forum decided Gansy was a gander. I had been on a search since then for a suitable goose for him without any luck. He's not a common breed of goose where I live and I kept coming up with smaller breeds. I had friends, vets and farmers in a two state radius all on the lookout.

    Here is Gansy:
    [​IMG]

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    Well, you can probably anticipate where this story is leading, First, my friend found Kahn. Looks very similar to Gansy (a little too similar). Same coloring and only a tad bit smaller. He was told that Kahn is under a year old and still has some growing to do. Kahn has the same bright blue eyes as Gansy but the voice is much higher pitch. I think Kahn is another gander!

    [​IMG]

    Four days later, these two show up! Both also have the same bright blue eyes. They are a bonded pair and under 6 months old. The darker one (presumably the goose) is very meek and quiet. The white one (presumably the gander) has the most unusual honk I have ever heard. When his lady is out of eyesight, he screams like a banshee. Not like a goose honk, it's more like a woman being attacked. The first time he made the noise my husband ran out expecting to see a car accident on the street. The problem is that when my neighbor saw these two, he swears they are a different breed that will not grow much bigger than they are now and are more like a duck than a goose. (I named them Kirk and Uhura)

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    For the moment everything seems to be fine. Kahn really enjoys hanging out with Kirk and Uhura. Gansy seems to be quite indifferent to all three but they all four have frequent "chat sessions" where they honk softly with their necks stretched out at each other. There have been no fights for dominance at all, only an infrequent bump when Gansy wants the pond to himself and so far they've cooperated with it. I have 2 small ponds and all of my birds are in a fenced corral area of a little more than an acre. (they used to be fully free-range without a fence but I had a lot of problems with stray dogs and had to fence in the property to keep dogs out) They sleep together with the chickens, ducks and turkeys in a small barn.

    Here are my questions:
    1. Are these all the same breed of goose?
    2. What is going to happen in spring if this ends up being 3 ganders and one young goose? Is all hell going to break loose?
    3. Can I even keep them all? Am I insane?
    4. What are my options? Is Kahn the assumed odd-man out?

    And just to finish this story the day after the pair were dropped off at my house I got a text from a vet in the neighboring state that he had found another trois (two ganders and a goose). Luckily I replied before he bought them for me. After a year of goose related drought, I'm now up to my eyeballs in geese! I have now sent out an all-stop message.

    Thank you so much for any help.
    IronEagle
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Females have the lower pitch honk the ganders can most likely break glass with their high pitch honks. Actually have never heard any of my 4 geese "honk" except my Toulouse female the other 3 scream 2 ganders and one other female. Your geese make me think a cross between Pilgrim and maybe Embden? of course just a guess but gorgeous. Pure Pilgrim ganders are solid white with blue eyes and females are grey and white but no way of telling female from male with mixes. your one solid white makes me think of my gander[Embden] other than stance and honk. personality when getting close to breeding season. Your ganders are going to get all protective and won't want anyone around their females. As for how they will react to each other I can't say hopefully other with more than one gander can say since I am going to be going through my first breeding season with 2 mature ganders and 2 mature geese. last breeding season my youngest gander took a back seat to my older one so there wasn't any problems. If your female is already bonded with this gander than he will most likely defend his mate but hopefully it won't mean much. @Iain Utah maybe able to help with breeds and multiple ganders.

    Or @jchny2000 she has many ganders and geese.
     
  3. IronEagle

    IronEagle Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 22, 2014
    QR, Mexico
    Miss Lydia,
    Thanks for the reply! Yeah, I think the larger two might be mixes but the young two look a lot like Pilgrims. I'd love to keep all four but I'm just not sure how mating season will go. The only female is already bonded to the youngest (smallest) male so I'm worried that the two older males will fight with him. For the moment they are doing well together.

    I can't believe that all of your geese scream instead of honk. Until two days ago I had no idea that some geese do that! Now it makes me laugh when he does it.

    I see you are in western NC. My husband went to school in Boone and my MIL will be moving there when she retires. Such a beautiful area and I'm looking forward to visiting more often!

    Thanks again,
    IE
     
  4. jchny2000

    jchny2000 Goslings are precious!

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  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    And you can always let her hatch some gosling so your extra gander will have mates!! [I know that's enabling but always glad to do so] [​IMG]

    True about your female though you def don't want them abusing her. with over breeding.
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    How'd you end up in Mexico? lol Yes it's a beautiful area I love it here. Since they are all doing well together now I think I'd just enjoy them and make decisions when the time comes if anything other than pushing and shoving happens. You could always fence off the pair from the other 2 ganders so there wouldn't be any fighting. If need arises.
     
  7. IronEagle

    IronEagle Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 22, 2014
    QR, Mexico
    My husband and I both work online, so we can live anywhere. That's how we ended up in Mexico. It's a wonderful place to live and all of the necessities (housing, food, utilities, health care) are much more affordable (outside of the tourist destinations). We live off the grid here (although we do have internet) in a tiny village that is also a protected national park. It's a really nice life. We actually considered North Carolina prior to moving here since my husband has roots there, but just could not make the numbers work. But we go once a year to visit family and really enjoy it.

    That's a good idea, to just fence them in if needed. Right now I have some Rouen ducklings in a pen made from roll-up plastic fencing so I could use that to fence in one of the ponds if I need to.

    One thing I wanted to ask you, have you ever seen one of your ganders making a nest? Our original goose, Gansy, did this thing last year that made us think he was building a nest to lay an egg in (hence, we thought Gansy was a she) He'd take leaves, little sticks and anything he could find and then put it in a circle around himself and then lay on it. My husband got a kick out of handing him items and he'd add it to the stack. Sometimes he's put it on his own feet and then sit down on it. But after all of that he never laid an egg! Is that something ganders do?

    Thanks again!
    IE
     
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    That is awesome you can work for a company in the US and live anywhere as long as you have internet. Sounds like a beautiful place you are living in.

    I have never seen either of my ganders do what you described on my 2 females even off breeding season they will gather things around them. It's pretty sweet. Only thing I have seen my oldest gander[8yrs] do is go in and look at the eggs and make lil noises. Was Gansy a baby when you got him?
    This is just my experience with mine someone else may have had their ganders do the gathering I remember someone back in spring had a gander actually sit on the nest of eggs. I haven't seen that here either.

    I use plastic fencing to separate my mamas and ducklings from the rest of the flock while they are still tiny its some great stuff for things like that.
     
  9. ducky 13

    ducky 13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    There are few ways I know of 'sexing' geese.

    Vent sexing:
    I'm not good at it and you can actually hurt the bird by doing this so I don't recommend this method.

    Behavior:
    This is how I tell. The female usually grazes beside her mate, her head low and tends to lead the male around. The male usually keep their head high and walk slowly as if strutting their stuff. The male seems to rarely graze with his mate, he rather be her body guard than her buddy. Usually if another smaller type of bird approaches them the male will crane out his neck and nip whatever seems to be harrassing them.

    Sound:
    The female doesn't usually make too much noise, but the male will make occasional honks which I suppose is trying to say "This is my territory!!!" They seem to have long piercing honks or 'screams'. The female is usually quieter, and doesn't seem to make nearly as much noise.

    Hope this helps!! :D
     
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  10. ducky 13

    ducky 13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ganzi looks like a gander... or at least the dominant gander.
     

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