How to Introduce New Goose (Unknown Sex) to Goose and Gander?

The Dim Side

Songster
Mar 16, 2021
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Hi, again! I've been having a number of questions here lately, lol. I was trying to look through some other threads but wasn't finding a similar enough situation. I have one gander (Roman Tufted) and one goose goose (unsure of breed, supposed to be Roman Tufted but is gray instead) who are a little over a year old. My boyfriend's coworker has to get rid of all of his birds because of his town's restrictions, so we're considering taking his goose (we just keep taking any animals in need at this point, like our new ducklings with deformities, haha). We're not sure what breed it is or what sex it is, but it's about 3 months old.

My concern is that this new goose may be a male, and I worry about my gander and it fighting. My gander can be hot and cold with his temperament. Sometimes he's a sweetie, but he'll also just want to attack your boots or broom or anything yellow/colorful or bags, etc., lol. Just seems like his instincts take over, and he doesn't know what he's doing and calms down a little bit after and goes back to normal. He does like to try and follow after the wild geese and ducks that stop by our pond though. He's never been aggressive with them, just tries to get closer while they always waddle away. So I don't know how he'd take to having a new goose/gander around.

Is there a way to ensure they all get along? I'm hoping that at 3 months old, this new goose may be young enough that they consider it more like a child rather than a threat? Also, the geese are also confused by the new ducklings. They hiss at them but stay by their pen the whole time they're outside, more so the girl goose at least. Thanks in advance!
 
3 month’s is a good age to introduce to them, they’re basically still babies. Also breeding horomones are cooling off now that it’s summer “assuming you are in the northern hemisphere” so it’s the best time to introduce new geese.

If you have a separate cage to keep the youngster in that the older birds can view them from for a day or two that might be good, then you could let them mingle all at once or introduce them to each other one at a time.
There could be some squabbling and sorting out who’s in charge, but the baby isn’t going to be engaging in that so it shouldn’t be too bad. A lot of it depends on personality so ultimately it’s hard to predict how your gander will react.

Sometimes it’s the female that can instigate fights, when the girls start rage cackling “the high pitched rapid cackle” ganders lose all ability to think rationally and just react, so often it’s the girls who start fights.

Once breeding season starts “winter” if you have two males they probably will fight, it can’t be helped, but ganders can be bonded and form wonderful relationships with each other, usually they will squabble during breeding season but as long as they have enough room that one can get away it isn’t a big deal. They’ll be friends again not even minutes after the fight’s over.

Sometimes unfortunatly you just can’t get two geese to get along, males or sometimes even females, and all you can do is make sure they’re in separate enclosures or rehome them.


If it helps give you a better idea of some of the relationship dynamics you could end up with I have several mixed groups.

Helios (Gander) Roxby (Gander) + the girls Apricot, Dandelion, Tuesday, and Friday are one flock at the moment and get along all right, in winter I have to separate them into two groups at night so that the ganders don’t fight, the rest of the year they’re just fine.

Then I have Darby and Strawberry (both ganders) they squabble in breeding season but are fine the rest of the year. They adore each other but can’t be around the other geese or there will be blood.

Then there is Parsnip (Gander) Leo (Gander) and Delphi (Goose) in their own separate group. Delphi gets along with the first group but the ganders in both groups not so much so the flocks don’t usually mix. I have some ganders with health issues from each group so I intentionally don’t let the groups interact, they could probably get along if I worked on it but it’s not worth the stress on the sick ones.
Parsnip and Leo sometimes squabble in breeding season but not often, Delphi’s presence doesn’t seem to effect it either way. She came into their relationship later.

Parsnip was bonded with his brother Thor before Thor passed away, they never fought. Neither of them was more dominant than the other, their moods and personalities just always balanced each other perfectly. If you’re lucky you could end up with something like that but it is more rare to see that.

Parsnip was paired with his sister Friday for a short period after Thor passed, they never got along, she would attack him and he would attack her. So even male female pairs don’t always work out.
 
Sometimes it’s the female that can instigate fights, when the girls start rage cackling “the high pitched rapid cackle” ganders lose all ability to think rationally and just react, so often it’s the girls who start fights.
This is EXACTLY what mine do!!! The goose will start yelling loudly, and the gander starts freaking out and gets mad but has no idea why he's mad, just attacks. So we always just say that she eggs him on but never knew for sure what the situation actually was. So it's nice to confirm that this is really what they're doing (although annoying since she starts it up SO much, lol).

The more my two geese interact with the ducklings, it seems less like they hate them and more that they're young parents who don't understand what they're doing. My goose (Tooey) sticks by the pen the whole time, wanting to eat the feed that they have inside the pen. And my gander (Lemongrab) wants to nibble on them if given the chance. The Cayuga duck is very skittish though, so even if the nibbles don't hurt, it panics and runs around, making Lemongrab want to bite even more. At least I thiiiink that's the dynamic of what's going on, haha. But maybe that's a good sign if we bring in a younger goose, that they'll take it under their wing, pardon the pun. At least it'll be bigger that it won't get stepped on (both geese are not aware enough to not step on these ducklings, so I have to be careful, especially since the Runner can't walk).

Thank you for listing your flocks and their dynamics! It's definitely helpful to see how different groups play out. And I'm glad to hear that depending on the personalities, there is a chance that they all could be friends over here! My geese met when they were 4-5 weeks old, so they became friends pretty quickly. Lemongrab was actually a little more attached to humans at the time (but lonely if we weren't around), while Tooey just wanted to be with another goose. Sometimes it seems like they'll do their own things and not always stick together, but they can be defensive of one another.

At least if my two don't get along with the new goose, we'd probably just end up getting more and have separate flocks like you have. We have enough property for animals, just need to get more housing setup for them. We're not exactly sure what to do with the ducks yet either, since they have special needs. (At the moment, I'm trying to convince my boyfriend to agree to my taking the Runner to the avian vet to see if they have any better prognosis than the first vet. He just knows that they'll probably want to do surgery if they think it's worthwhile, and that I would say yes at whatever chances of fixing the legs, lol. Which will be a lot of money, I imagine.)
 
Well, I wasn't expecting this goose quite so soon, but he came home with her, lol. I don't know what breed she is (or sex still, she just looks like a girl to us arbitrarily), but she's white with bluish eyes. But her bill and feet are VERY pale. Her feathers are still growing in, so I don't know if that's attributing to her looking sort of sickly. But the paleness is definitely concerning. Are there breeds with naturally pale bill and feet? Or is she malnourished?

From the sounds of things, I don't think she's been out eating as much grass as we would have her eating at 3 months old. There's a possibility the previous owner just had her on all flock or something, too, since he had turkeys and chickens. She doesn't seem sickly otherwise, energetic and walking around a lot.

(Hard to get a good photo since she moves so much.)

signal-2022-06-16-175147.jpeg
 
So, to update a bit, the older geese are not taking a liking to the new one very much at all. At most they might have ambivalence, but usually they'll want to attack her if they're close enough, lol, trying to get through the fences. I'm hoping they'll just get used to her over time, though it's been a few days so far. She gets lonely easily, but she seems better when the ducklings are with her (plus the older geese stay near the ducks much of the time). I just worry because she's still so much bigger and clumsy, and the Runner can't walk. So I keep an eye on them as much as I can if I'm not just hanging out in the pen with them (usually exercising the Runner's legs with standing).

She also seems to be a bit afraid to be in the water and takes some coaxing to stay in. I'm not sure what exactly her living situation was before, but I'm doubting she had much of a chance to bathe or even eat grass. (I was told the previous owner exclaimed, "It loves grass!" As if it was surprising?) If the other geese don't accept her into the flock, I'm hoping she'll be content with the ducks. Otherwise, we'll have to look for another goose to partner her up with, haha.
 
So it's been a couple weeks, and the older geese still won't accept her into the flock. They don't always attack, but they will chase after her sometimes, and the gander clamps down on her wings if he can. But sometimes they can hang out in the vicinity of one another to sleep and graze. But she doesn't follow them as they wander around the yard and ends up getting lonely and crying. I'm not sure at what point to consider getting a fourth goose to partner up with her or to wait and see if the other two will accept her. @Goosebaby Do you have advice on how long to wait?
 
So it's been a couple weeks, and the older geese still won't accept her into the flock. They don't always attack, but they will chase after her sometimes, and the gander clamps down on her wings if he can. But sometimes they can hang out in the vicinity of one another to sleep and graze. But she doesn't follow them as they wander around the yard and ends up getting lonely and crying. I'm not sure at what point to consider getting a fourth goose to partner up with her or to wait and see if the other two will accept her. @Goosebaby Do you have advice on how long to wait?
Unfortunatly with geese it’s impossible to say how long it will take, after breeding season horomones disipate, which is when they start molting, they’re more understanding and accepting of each other, so late summer and fall is the best time for integrating, but it depends on them ultimately.

After I lost one of my ganders “Thor” it took ages for his brother Parsnip to bond with anyone else. I lost Thor in November of 2018. I tried pairing him with his sister Friday, on bad days they’d fight, on good days they’d ignore each other at best. I tried a few attempts at pairing him with Leo “his dad” because they seemed like they wanted to hang out with each other but it always ended with Parsnip attacking Leo or Leo attacking him.
I got two female goslings for Parsnip in March 2019, he ignored them like they didn’t even exist and kept obsessing on Leo, same thing even when the girls matured. This lasted until fall and then out of nowhere Parsnip and Leo just clicked and have been buddies ever since.
It took so long that Parsnip’s health suffered as a consequence, he ended up with pancreatitis from the ongoing stress and self induced bouts of starvation.
So you can try and try to figure it out for them, sometimes it will work, other times it won’t, and other times they just have to figure it out themselves, cost what it may.

You could try splitting the group up, for a few days put the new goose in with one, then put her in with the other, shake up their dynamic and try to force them to sort out their issues. It might work, it might put them on better terms, or it won’t, but it’s something to try at least.
 
Unfortunatly with geese it’s impossible to say how long it will take, after breeding season horomones disipate, which is when they start molting, they’re more understanding and accepting of each other, so late summer and fall is the best time for integrating, but it depends on them ultimately.

After I lost one of my ganders “Thor” it took ages for his brother Parsnip to bond with anyone else. I lost Thor in November of 2018. I tried pairing him with his sister Friday, on bad days they’d fight, on good days they’d ignore each other at best. I tried a few attempts at pairing him with Leo “his dad” because they seemed like they wanted to hang out with each other but it always ended with Parsnip attacking Leo or Leo attacking him.
I got two female goslings for Parsnip in March 2019, he ignored them like they didn’t even exist and kept obsessing on Leo, same thing even when the girls matured. This lasted until fall and then out of nowhere Parsnip and Leo just clicked and have been buddies ever since.
It took so long that Parsnip’s health suffered as a consequence, he ended up with pancreatitis from the ongoing stress and self induced bouts of starvation.
So you can try and try to figure it out for them, sometimes it will work, other times it won’t, and other times they just have to figure it out themselves, cost what it may.

You could try splitting the group up, for a few days put the new goose in with one, then put her in with the other, shake up their dynamic and try to force them to sort out their issues. It might work, it might put them on better terms, or it won’t, but it’s something to try at least.
Thanks! I'm sorry to hear about Parsnip's health though. Right now everyone is still eating and drinking and everything, so that's good at least.

I try and sit with the new one as the others get close. The young one is so skittish and afraid of them now though, so she always tries to run away. Definitely doesn't fight back, but it's hard for them to really get to know each other when they just chase and run, lol. The surprising thing is that my two older geese are now apparently in breeding season again. The gander started mating with the goose recently, and then she ended up laying an egg yesterday! I thought they were all done, so I didn't expect this to happen. But I'm assuming it's also affecting their willingness to accept a new goose among them, too. I guess as long as everyone's eating and staying healthy, I can keep trying to see if they'll end up as friends.

I just feel bad that the new goose gets lonely. The ducklings are getting older but still much smaller, and the one can't walk, so it's risky having them together sometimes. Plus I'm not sure how much they substitute in for entertainment compared to a goose. I think she wants to be friends with the older ones but is also scared at the same time, lol.
 
Thanks! I'm sorry to hear about Parsnip's health though. Right now everyone is still eating and drinking and everything, so that's good at least.

I try and sit with the new one as the others get close. The young one is so skittish and afraid of them now though, so she always tries to run away. Definitely doesn't fight back, but it's hard for them to really get to know each other when they just chase and run, lol. The surprising thing is that my two older geese are now apparently in breeding season again. The gander started mating with the goose recently, and then she ended up laying an egg yesterday! I thought they were all done, so I didn't expect this to happen. But I'm assuming it's also affecting their willingness to accept a new goose among them, too. I guess as long as everyone's eating and staying healthy, I can keep trying to see if they'll end up as friends.

I just feel bad that the new goose gets lonely. The ducklings are getting older but still much smaller, and the one can't walk, so it's risky having them together sometimes. Plus I'm not sure how much they substitute in for entertainment compared to a goose. I think she wants to be friends with the older ones but is also scared at the same time, lol.
The skittish behavior is half the problem, when one acts shy and runs away for some reason the others can’t help but chase and scold them. There’s no real way to solve that one besides time and hoping, it’s hard to try to explain to a goose that they need to grow some thicker skin and stand up for themselves.

Goose dynamics don’t make it easy!
 

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