How much can geese eggs take? can geese share one nest?

cat1994

Songster
9 Years
Sep 12, 2010
1,065
6
153
Southeast MO
I have 3 African geese, 2 females and 1 male. I found 1 nest in my cow/horse pasture in a big pile of old hay. I could not find the other females nest so I thought maybe she was really a male. But then I saw that female get on the nest and I realized that both the females are using the same nest!? Is this normal, will it be ok when they both go broody on the same nest, will they take turns or something? I was also wondering how much goose eggs can take. It has been raining a lot, there is no roof over the nest, the hay is all old and dirty, the eggs are turning yellow, and they are layered on top of each other. Is this normal for a goose nest? Will the eggs hatch? There are 13 eggs in all.
Thanks for any help
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cat1994

Songster
9 Years
Sep 12, 2010
1,065
6
153
Southeast MO
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So no one knows how much cold and wet goose eggs can take? and if it is normal for two female geese to share the same nest? thanks to anyone the replies
 

Goose and Fig

Grateful Geese
10 Years
Apr 19, 2009
8,603
63
308
Fall Creek Falls TN
Mine all share the same nest. They have yet to go broody, so I am not sure how that's going to work out. When they first start laying fertility isn't very good, so those eggs might not be fertile anyway. If nobody is try to set them I'd take them away and put something in the way so maybe they'll find a dry place to start over.
 

Shiloh Acres

Chirping
9 Years
Jul 16, 2010
211
2
99
I was interested too. I have FOUR geese sharing one nest. I think those have quit laying. They do take turns setting but sometimes no one sets. The most dominant one will force the others off. There are 24 eggs, in a good dry safe location (kind of a porch, which is why I didn't stop them) but ... One goose can't adequately cover them all and I'm wondering how much they can take too ...

I never had this trouble with my other geese. So I have no answers.
 

Goosehaven

Chirping
9 Years
Apr 24, 2010
208
5
99
Indiana
Yes, they definitely make "community" nests. The females will take turns kicking someone off so they can lay/sit and somtimes they all bunch up to sit all at once. The eggs do pile up on each other when the nest gets full and they do turn a dingy yellow during parent hatching. When the nest gets too full it is hard for one goose to cover them all when sitting and you will find some sticking out. You never have 100 percent hatch so don't worry about it. They rotate and roll the eggs during the day so the same ones won't be out all the time. It would be good if you could scatter some new straw in the area of the nests and they can mix in with the old. Good luck!
 

goosedragon

Songster
10 Years
Mar 28, 2009
2,351
24
171
Central NC
Quote:
In my experience a shared nest only works if the dominate goose is the one to go broody, Otherwise she will force the broody off the nest so she can lay her egg every other day. With luck there will be a big hatch but all those late eggs creat a problem. the geese can hear and feel a egg about to hatch and will be torn between hatching it or caring for the ones already our of the egg.
 

Shiloh Acres

Chirping
9 Years
Jul 16, 2010
211
2
99
Thanks, y'all make me feel better about my siuatiion. I did give them LOTS more nesting material and they built the nest up about twice as big as it was. They've also lined it with a good bit of down.

As far as mistimed eggs, I'm somewhat worried about that. They used to set on the nest at night only when there were only a few eggs. After two weeks, one of the less-dominant (I'd say she's number two) started brooding. She was quickly joined by two others, and I think only 2-4 eggs were laid after that time. I didn't check daily and the only way to count is to remove them all since some get hidden.

What really worried me was the part about some sticking out. If that can happen and a percentage still hatch, I should be ok. I wanted 15 goslings this year, if possible. They are setting on 24. I gave 12 to be incubated for half the hatch, but I'm not sure he'll be able to hatch any. I have only 2 more eggs laid off the nest after setting began, possibly by the another goose. She seems not involved in nesting and setting. I am not sure if I'll be able to get them hatched or if any of them will lay later.

I guess I'll have to be happy with whatever I get. I had just hoped it wouldn't be zero. Though I tried not to count on anything, since they are mostly heavy breeds and are only 10-1/2 months old as of now. Maybe some will mature a bit later and still lay -- I dunno.
 

cat1994

Songster
9 Years
Sep 12, 2010
1,065
6
153
Southeast MO
Thanks everyone for your help
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but unfortunately my horses found the hay and destroyed the nest braking all the eggs
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so maybe my geese will find a better place next time
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Shiloh Acres

Chirping
9 Years
Jul 16, 2010
211
2
99
Awwww. Well, this early in the season maybe they will try again. I have one goose I thought had given up but she's back to building her OWN nest now and started laying in it. Maybe yours will.
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SabastapolGoose

Hatching
Mar 14, 2015
1
0
6
Thank you for answering my question. We have Sabastapol geese, two females and one male. I just watched the two females do the switch on the nest. It was a smooth transition with one pushing the other out. The eggs were never exposed . The brooding female was off for about 15 minutes. She went to the pool and drank some water and too a bath. We started with 8 eggs and just counted 10. I was shocked to see two double eggs. Babies are due 3.27.15 and just in time for Easter!
 

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