1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

how do they imprint?

Discussion in 'Geese' started by sydney13, May 9, 2010.

  1. sydney13

    sydney13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2010
    Massachusetts
    im getting a gosling with some of my baby chicks from a hatchery. so do you think that she will imprint on me or the baby chicks? Do they imprint on whatever they see first or whoever is always with them as they are chicks
     
  2. b.hromada

    b.hromada Flock Mistress

    I've only got one gosling, and he/she thinks she is one of us! Actually, right now, she is scared of my girls, the hens! Funny, she's afraid of everything! [​IMG] She is about a month and a half old right now. My hubby seems to be the one she loves the most. Enjoy, I think you're going to be pleased! [​IMG]
     
  3. Kim65

    Kim65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    625
    4
    131
    May 29, 2009
    Washington state
    She will imprint upon you and the chickens she's raised with. The more you handle her and spend one on one time with her, the stronger her imprint will be on you, but if she's around chickens all the time, they will be part of her "flock" and she'll hang out with them happily.

    They will imprint on you as hatchlings, by the amount of exposure they have to you. It's not that they have to see you the moment they hatch lol, a new hatchling will clamp onto you very easily.

    The interesting thing about imprinting is how utterly powerful it is. If you have a single gosling, with no other companions but you humans and your family, the goose will not know it is a goose but will "think" it is another human being. The downside is that the goose will be very, very unhappy if it is away from you for any length of time. They never are alone, by nature, it is unsafe for them and they know it. So if you have a human only imprinted gosling, you will have a close and needy companion following you EVERYWHERE for the next 30 years (some live longer).

    I've always had pairs, so they have someone else besides me to bond with, and feel safe with. If I was constantly home all day and willing to use diapers on them, I would enjoy a human imprinted goose very much [​IMG] But right now, my male/female pair are very tame, follow me everywhere outside, but are happy with each other (and the chickens, ducks, and turkey) when I am at work.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Kim65

    Kim65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    625
    4
    131
    May 29, 2009
    Washington state
    Sorry, a little more (this subject fascinates me a bit) . . . imprinting is a social mechanism that improves their ability to survive. Geese don't have claws and fangs and the domestics can't fly, so they are toast and they know it. They make up for some of it by being obnoxious and aggressive, but still against a large dog or dogs or other predators, they are toast. So the bonds they share within the flock assure they stay together and in numbers they keep themselves safe.

    When a gosling hatches, it is ready to imprint on something, it is vital to their survival that they follow their parents because a gosling is an easy snack. That amazing tendency gets exploited by us humans (in a good way) and it sort of goes both ways. YOU get imprinted on THEM, too, ask me how I know. I got my first geese four years ago and have never been the same since. They bewitch you somehow, and I think that it has something to do with how powerful imprinting is. One little yellow fluff ball yearning for you and nibbling your nose and falling asleep on your neck, acting SO HAPPY to be with you was enough to make me a goose fiend for the rest of my life.

    Sorry, I could go on and on [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Kim, that was beautiful, and truly I wish you would go on and on.... I am new to geese, and have month olds (2), and I am imprinted, I feel sorry for my real children, they are being ignored... I have also been told on this blog several different things about imprinting, so I want to know exactly also. Mine are in your same situation, as they live with the chickens. I'm wondering when they will go to the pond without me and swim w/o me... I'm still mamma. Give me more! and pictures... jennifer
     
  6. goosedragon

    goosedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    [email protected] acres farm :

    Sweet/Neat Observation Kim. They really are awesome creatures.

    Yes report back about late September when the hormones start to kick in. That lone goose is going to want to mate with somebody (guess who) and if you have a pair, the gander is programmed to fight with you for top place on the pecking order. Geese get the reputation for being mean and aggressive from people that impress them without considering what it could mean in the Future. They are little yellow fluff balls for only a few weeks They are adults for a few years plan on that.​
     
  7. Kim65

    Kim65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    625
    4
    131
    May 29, 2009
    Washington state
    So true Goosedragon. Breeding season is tough whether you have a goose or a gander. My gander is back to his normal affectionate self but he really REALLY was in love with my boots and legs this spring. And he was irritable. When I picked him up he would bite my arms and leave nasty bruises. Now he nuzzles affectionately, but for a while there it was trying.

    The female has become a grumpy beyotch and very independent during her egg laying. She also got very smart, somehow, in IQ points. The moment she sensed I wanted to put her in the pen, she would run to the pond and jump in because she knew I would not wade out to get her. Her normal behavior was meek and submissive and for a while I thought she was a bit dim lol. Nope. Also, if I come within fifty feet of her nest she will bite my legs until I retreat.

    They have huge amazingly strong wings that will knock you silly if you get one upside your head. I've gotten a nosebleed from a flailing wing, had my glasses smacked off my face and the lens fly out.

    They poop gallons. The gander only likes me and will go agro on any other human. He fights with my dog, he deliberately fights with him. I have to warn the dog that the goose is coming. Petey does understand "no" and will sometimes stop stalking the dog if I holler out at him.

    But I love them SO much, I am hopelessly in love with them and cannot be upset or irritated by their stinky behavior. I would spend my last dime on them if they got sick. My daughter suggested (after a Petey attack) that I get him a spike studded collar to go with his nasty attitude. I looked at Petey and all I could see on him was a little red bow tie and his angelic halo. So truly I'm hopeless, but it's a pleasant kind of insanity [​IMG]
     
  8. Kathalene

    Kathalene New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Sep 10, 2015
    Florida
    My geese fly o_O. If they see me on the other side of the field they will fly over to me. They get way up in the air and land gracefully. We have a 60 Acre field and they fly clear across it. I have 5 white embden and 3 roman tufted. They all fly.
     
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    68,133
    4,055
    648
    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    I bet that is a pretty sight . My Embden gander has never flown nor my Toulouse gander but both my females fly. Toulouse and Buff I had to clip their wings though since we live so wooded I didn't want them to fly outside the fence and a pred get them. It would be nice to have open land like you have so we could watch them fly.

    Welcome to BYC
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by