How old before geese are fertile?

Discussion in 'Geese' started by cassiadawn, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. cassiadawn

    cassiadawn Chirping

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    Apr 13, 2009
    SK, Canada
    How old do geese have to be before laying fertile eggs? I know some breeds can start laying before they're a year old, but are they likely to be able to hatch out goslings? I'm particularly wondering about the medium breeds, as I have American Buff goslings right now, and I'm looking for Pilgrims.

    I know it'll be next spring before I (may) see eggs from them. I'm just wondering if they do lay next year, if I should prepare for goslings... or prepare omelets. [​IMG]
     
  2. Goosehaven

    Goosehaven Chirping

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    Apr 24, 2010
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    Next year expect to be cooking omelets [​IMG] Their eggs are generally not fertile their first laying season. The youngest female I've had that had fertile eggs was around 16 months and my gander wasr around the same age.
     
  3. OmaBird

    OmaBird Songster

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  4. Kim65

    Kim65 Songster

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    My near year old goose and gander only made sterile eggs this year. I saw him mate her once (mostly he's interested in me). Even if very young geese complete the act, the gander might be shooting blanks, or "missing" the bullseye [​IMG] . The second year, I hear, is pretty solid for fertility.
     
  5. blissdragon

    blissdragon Chirping

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    All of my Sebastopols did a wonderful job with laying and babies this spring...they were all born last spring.
     
  6. Hillside

    Hillside In the Brooder

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    Mar 20, 2010
    Quote:I'm going to disagree with this idea. Even heavy breed geese can be fertile the first year and it is the expected norm with light and medium class geese. In fact many times geese hatched the year before, both sexes, are breeding the following season when they themselves are only 9-10 months old. Blissdragon, I see you have smooth breasted Sebastopols. No curlies? Do your own birds have feather like the bird on the HWF website? I'm wondering because sometimes there are smooths advertised that really are smooth. Look just like a normal goose which I didn't think was the right idea? Sebastopols are one of the breeds that first year fertility isn't even wondered about. They just are.
     
  7. epona4

    epona4 Songster

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    I have a pair of American Buff and a pair of Pilgrims that were hatched april 21st of last year. And right now I have 12 goslings running around. A set that is 2 weeks old today and a set that is 2 days old!

    I had read that they are rarely successful their first year, so I was collecting all their eggs. Then they started hiding them (in plain sight no less). By the time we figured it out Lily was sitting on 9 eggs and Betty was sitting on 6. We decided to let them give it a shot. Lily (the pilgrim) hatched 7 out of 9 and Betty (the buff) hatched 5 out of 6. The 6th had started to hatch, but died during the process. [​IMG]

    From what I understand, this is rare...but my girls are proof that it does happen.

    I need to add that the only gander I saw mating with the girls was the buff. He and the pilgrim would play dominance games with each other around feb. or so...but that was as "manly" as the pilgrim got. So I am pretty sure that all the babies are the buff's. However, the pilgrim is still acting like a proud papa. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2010
  8. OmaBird

    OmaBird Songster

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    Those that did have yearlings that did produce, do you think your feed is better than what the averege person feeds? Do you have good pasture or grass? For example I do not have grass or pasture for them to eat, I live in the desert. What is your feeding program?
     
  9. epona4

    epona4 Songster

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    We have 4 acres in Indiana and they pretty much have the run of about half that. In the winter we supplemented with (if I remember correctly) 15% poultry feed from TSC. But they were out running around every day.
     
  10. Puddle Foot Farm

    Puddle Foot Farm Songster

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    Aug 20, 2008
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    My 4 chinese geese, hatched in mid-August last year, have always laid fertile eggs. I remember their first egg; it definitely had the bullseye before I ate it for breakfast. That was in about March. Their gander was hatched in late June or early July last year. I am currently incubating 12 of their eggs, which are on Day 12 and doing amazing. They are also still laying strong.

    Our geese are ridiculously spoiled brats. They get basically free choice food - 16% protein, I believe - and free reign over our acre of land. It is in a valley, so the grass is very lush and plentiful. Over the winter, they still had free range, despite A LOT of snow. I believe we took them inside at one point because of a giant snowstorm. They also got daily organic greens if there was no pasture for them.

    Here is a picture of our happy geese from last year after it rained, so you can get an idea of our land.

    [​IMG]

    However, this is our land in the winter (January, between our two biggest snowstorms of the season)

    [​IMG]
     

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