How do you ease needy, imprinted goslings into staying outside full time?

cranberrychowder

In the Brooder
Mar 4, 2020
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I have 2 roman tufted goslings 11 days old, Romulus and Remus. They are imprinted on my husband and I, mainly me since I provide them with the most care. If they are awake and can't see us, they start to squeak and squeak and squeak. We have been slowly introducing them to the outside a few hours a day.

We fashioned a temporary annex outside our chicken run for them to hang out in, covered and protected and separated form our chickens. The geese are still smaller than them. Sometimes I bring them out of the annex and they follow me around our 1/8th acre fenced orchard where they will have free range once they are old enough. They are calm and quiet when we are in eye view but as soon as we get up and walk away out of sight they start to scream.

I understand they are small, but does it get better? In 2 weeks they will be too big for our brooder (we live in a small 1940s house with no barn or shed, so they have to be inside) and not sure how to transition them into the large chicken run where they will be living full time until the are old enough to free range in the orchard alone.

My plan was to set up a little A frame house/dog igloo with straw for sleeping in the run. In 2 weeks the weather here in Western Oregon changes drastically from wet/cool spring to dry/warm summer (highs in the mid70s-80s, lows in the 50s-60s)

They are just so darn cute though, but they are driving me crazy inside!
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
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Oct 3, 2009
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Parents of goslings are with them constantly and that is the protection they need. Leaving them alone at their age is very stressful for them they are separated from their flock you. As they get older they will become More independent but right now they need that security of being with the ones they have imprinted on. You could try a mirror in with them so they can see them selves and think there is more than 2 of them , my goslings went out at 3 weeks with adults who they had already been spending time With them so the transition went smooth.
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
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Oct 3, 2009
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Do you have a secure area for them outside? You might begin transitioning them out so they have room to run around. They aren’t going to like it at first but they’ll get use to it. My gosling went out with a pair of geese so they never didn’t have anyone to be with. Your guys look at you as their papa goose so they of course want to be with you all the time just like adults would be with their goslings.
 

Leader Bee

Songster
Jun 22, 2018
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I've got a 190 square foot galvanised mesh walk in run for mine that I'm going to construct over my week off, it's getting them to be calmer while I'm not around I'm working on...the back door is open at the moment so they can explore, there's still a bit of anxious squeeking but sounds like they're exploring more on their own while I'm out of sight
 

Leraje

In the Brooder
Jun 4, 2020
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Not an experienced goose owner but ours are around 6 weeks now and basically they're ok with staying outside by themselves the whole day now; however we do check in on them (very) regularly (yay quarantaine).

But we really needed to wean them into it. In the beginning they were nonstop with us, either we were outside with them or they were inside with us. Later we started leaving them alone for shorter periods, like 5 minutes, then 15 minutes, etc. We both do have to work from home so during video calls etc they just had to stay outside by themselves, no choice really. I think that was from about 4 weeks old.

They didn't like it at first, but they've gotten used to it. Nowadays I usually bring them outside in the mornings and eat my breakfast outside with them, then I go back inside and work apart from them the whole time, except sometimes checking up on them. Then sitting with them a bit during lunch, etc.

I'm curious though, an additional question: they're growing out of our backyard and will eventually have to move to my inlaws, who actually have a field for them. But does anyone know when they'll be old enough to be 'separated from their parents (i.e. us)?

So far I've been thinking when they're fully feathered, maybe when they can fly. But I'm not sure if normally geese separate from their parents then - I think they usually hang around the whole summer?
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Oct 3, 2009
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Mountains of Western N.C.
They be separated anytime but I hope they will be safe where your taking them geese are vulnerable to predators just like other poultry. They need secure night time housing and safety during the day preferably fencing. :welcome Love to see some pictures.
 

Leraje

In the Brooder
Jun 4, 2020
43
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They be separated anytime but I hope they will be safe where your taking them geese are vulnerable to predators just like other poultry. They need secure night time housing and safety during the day preferably fencing. :welcome Love to see some pictures.
Thanks for your answer! My inlaws have kept geese before and they have a hobby farm with sheep-fenced fields, so they are well-equiped to keep them. There's housing and safety. Plus not that many predators in the Netherlands that can take on a more or less full-grown goose! We're kind of hoping they might want to remain wild birds and fly south when winter comes, but if they don't, they have a home.
Pics can be found in my other posts :)
 

Leraje

In the Brooder
Jun 4, 2020
43
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36
I just saw and had no idea you were in the Netherlands. That’s awesome on the predators we’re over run with them here.
Which kinds?
We have been having wolves over in our country again, every once in a while, which I'm super excited about - but it's not so cool for livestock. But that's about it... foxes won't try and get a fullgrown goose. We've got an eagle type, but that one is interested in fish mostly (and rarely seen away from particular areas). I can't imagine a marten trying to get a full-grown goose either. We've got plenty of predators that go for young geese though, from buzzards to ehh the bitey type of fish!
 

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