How to calm terrified young geese?

Lduvet

In the Brooder
Apr 8, 2021
42
31
46
Hi everyone, I picked up my first geese yesterday - two 12 week old sebastopols (male and female). They are lovely, but it seems that they haven't been handled much at all - they are truly terrified of everything! Since putting them into their shed (on their own, very quiet rural area, peaceful as can be) they have not moved from one corner and have been huddled together for over 24 hours. I am worried as they haven't touched the food we put in with them and I am not convinced they have had a drink or anything. They seemed terrified of the breeder when he picked them up to put them in our carrier. It is really sad to see them like this. We have just been softly talking to them and sitting on the ground facing slightly away from them, but just for short periods. We have mostly left them alone to decompress but we just really want them to eat and drink. Any tips?
 

Goosebaby

Crowing
Nov 10, 2019
2,002
2,624
346
Northern California
You’re doing exactly what you should be doing, it will take them along time but gradually they’ll relax, there’s no timeline I can give because it really depends on what trauma they’ve been through and their personalities. Eventually they will get a drink, probably sometime today, if they don’t eat try putting their food into a bowl of water, it might encourage them to investigate.
 

Lduvet

In the Brooder
Apr 8, 2021
42
31
46
Thank you, we have a basin in with them that has water and some sinking pellets in. Also scattered some cut grass near them and on the surface of the water. Think I heard one of them taking a dabble so fingers crossed. I think they were handled like livestock really, the guy was quite rough when grabbing their necks I thought and they were really shrieking when he did it. But as I say they are my first geese so not sure if that is 'normal'?? They have been softly chatting to us and they have seen us at a distance with our imprinted young orpington who follows me about, hopefully they get the message from him that humans are OK haha.
 

Hannahnic14

Songster
Apr 29, 2021
912
1,630
216
Tennessee
Oh this breaks my heart😔 I bought a roman tufted and a toulouse from 2 different people and I could tell they were handled vastly differently! My roman tufted loves to be cuddled and my toulouse screams everytime you pick her up.
 

The goose girl

Crowing
11 Years
Jul 7, 2010
980
476
272
Denmark
Happy to learn they made the trip! With patience I'm sure they'll grow more confident over time.

Is there any way you can let them out on grass? Geese tend to be very sceptical of any food item they're not used to, but grass is the great uniter. Also, grazing will let them be active; do something other than being scared, so they can put their "traveling trauma" behind them.

Leitting them see you with the duck is a great idea. A friend of mine bought two almost feral runner ducks once. For the first half year, they hid behind a building whenever they saw her and only came out in the yard when no people were around. But then I brought over my goslings, and we would spend a couple of hours every day in the yard with the ducks. The ducks were curious, and within weeks they gradually came closer and closer, until they were nibbling on my shoes. They never turned cuddly, but when I came to visit I would call them, and they'd quack back and come running for a treat. I could even hand feed the drake.
 

Lduvet

In the Brooder
Apr 8, 2021
42
31
46
So good news, they eventually got brave enough to come out onto the grass with us and they have made a real turnaround, I have sat within 4ft of them and they have been preening/lying down so I am surprised at how quick that was! We had given them access to grass since they got here but they only exited the shed today. Not sure what convinced them to come out in the end but we are in love. <3 We just sat on the ground and chatted to them, gave them some watermelon (tiny piece - mainly as it has high water content and wanted to make sure they were hydrated) as bribery and they loved that, had a very good munch on the grass so we are happy. Just putting the finishing touches on their temporary pool before we line their big 10x15m pond so they will be happy when that's done! Thanks all
 

Boomerwaffen

Chirping
Jun 28, 2021
78
112
86
Hi everyone, I picked up my first geese yesterday - two 12 week old sebastopols (male and female). They are lovely, but it seems that they haven't been handled much at all - they are truly terrified of everything! Since putting them into their shed (on their own, very quiet rural area, peaceful as can be) they have not moved from one corner and have been huddled together for over 24 hours. I am worried as they haven't touched the food we put in with them and I am not convinced they have had a drink or anything. They seemed terrified of the breeder when he picked them up to put them in our carrier. It is really sad to see them like this. We have just been softly talking to them and sitting on the ground facing slightly away from them, but just for short periods. We have mostly left them alone to decompress but we just really want them to eat and drink. Any tips?
Geese are lovely sensitive and intelligent birds. Take it slowly with them and they will acclimate. Make sure to offer them plenty of green treats. Our gander Tony loves romaine lettuce and sweet cabbage. After they get used to their new surroundings they’ll be fine.
 

Boomerwaffen

Chirping
Jun 28, 2021
78
112
86
So good news, they eventually got brave enough to come out onto the grass with us and they have made a real turnaround, I have sat within 4ft of them and they have been preening/lying down so I am surprised at how quick that was! We had given them access to grass since they got here but they only exited the shed today. Not sure what convinced them to come out in the end but we are in love. <3 We just sat on the ground and chatted to them, gave them some watermelon (tiny piece - mainly as it has high water content and wanted to make sure they were hydrated) as bribery and they loved that, had a very good munch on the grass so we are happy. Just putting the finishing touches on their temporary pool before we line their big 10x15m pond so they will be happy when that's done! Thanks all
Yes they LOVE watermelon 🍉!
 

Boomerwaffen

Chirping
Jun 28, 2021
78
112
86
So good news, they eventually got brave enough to come out onto the grass with us and they have made a real turnaround, I have sat within 4ft of them and they have been preening/lying down so I am surprised at how quick that was! We had given them access to grass since they got here but they only exited the shed today. Not sure what convinced them to come out in the end but we are in love. <3 We just sat on the ground and chatted to them, gave them some watermelon (tiny piece - mainly as it has high water content and wanted to make sure they were hydrated) as bribery and they loved that, had a very good munch on the grass so we are happy. Just putting the finishing touches on their temporary pool before we line their big 10x15m pond so they will be happy when that's done! Thanks all
It’s funny our big Embden gander Tony won’t swim in the pond unless we swim with him.
 

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