If a goose doesn’t want to be picked up much does that mean it is not imprinted?

CatMoonfire

In the Brooder
May 9, 2020
18
5
10
I’m raising four baby geese, they all hatched at different times. My two oldest imprinted pretty well on me I thought, but are still reliant on eachother as siblings. (I can’t say much for the other two yet as they just hatched in the last few days!) They follow me around from inside the cage they’re being raised in and peep and peep and peep excitedly when I come near the cage/am near them. (And when I sing to them lol! They don’t have this same reaction to my girlfriend either.) I’ve been holding and cuddling and kissing them as well but every time I actually open the cage door and go to pick them up they scramble away and peep in fear. Once they’re actually being held typically they’re fine (the oldest one was rowdy the last time I picked it up and didn’t want to settle with me like usual :( ) and they’ll muzzle me, etc. I was wondering if this still means they view me as mom? I want them to be self sufficient which is why they’re being kept together so they imprint on each other too, but does that mean I’ve failed to imprint them on me if they scramble away when I go to hold them? And is it normal to want to be held less the older they get?
 

Goosebaby

Crowing
Nov 10, 2019
1,145
1,520
256
Northern California
How old are they? Goslings usually love being held, as they get older some lose interest and actively dislike it, others always love it.
If they’re still very young it may be because you’re moving to fast? Sometimes it could be that they have flighty personalities too.
 

dbabendererde

In the Brooder
May 3, 2020
32
40
33
I have one that loves being held and another that doesnt unless im holding her with her head out and making helicopter noises.

but like Goosebaby said it can be a vary of different reasons
 

Leader Bee

Songster
Jun 22, 2018
576
693
166
I have an approx 4 week old who doesn't mind being picked up at all and infact will lower his body into my hands when i put my hands under his chest and bum when I say "Are you ready?" he'll still flap his legs around when i lift him up but usually if i support his feet this doens't last long.... his younger brother by 10 days often runs away when i try to pick him up but is less likley to do so if i've already moved his brother and they are not together, seems he knows that he'll just be lifted up second to join him.....they both still follow me around.
 

Leraje

In the Brooder
Jun 4, 2020
43
45
36
In my experience our goslings don't like the action of being picked up, but they love sitting on our lap. I think it's just the 'somebody's trying to get me from above' thing that bothers them? Since the start they've run off when you want to pick them up, but when you sit down on the floor they literally come and snuggle up against/on top of you. So for ours it's definitely not an aversion to physical attention - they just don't like being grabbed.

Must add that they definitely imprinted on us, they still follow us around everywhere at 6,5 weeks and as said, they love sitting on your lap and cuddling.
 

albertthegoose

In the Brooder
Jun 23, 2020
12
18
23
Mine do the same thing, and they’re merely a week old. They dislike the action of being picked up, because it mimics being snatched from above, I think. If they’re scooped up from the side or front with their feet supported, they’re much better, and don’t protest at all. That said, once they’re being held, they nestle into my hands and fall asleep.

I don’t think it’s that your geese aren’t imprinted, but rather that the action of being picking them up triggers instinctual impulses. Mine follow and love to curl up around me when they’re tired, but similarly are nervous about being pet while they graze. They feel more vulnerable when outside. They also seem to appreciate being pet by a single finger on their side, more than a hand on their back. They’re still tame and love/seek attention, but when they feel vulnerable their instincts kick in, and it’s easy to startle them.
 

Goosebaby

Crowing
Nov 10, 2019
1,145
1,520
256
Northern California
Mine do the same thing, and they’re merely a week old. They dislike the action of being picked up, because it mimics being snatched from above, I think. If they’re scooped up from the side or front with their feet supported, they’re much better, and don’t protest at all. That said, once they’re being held, they nestle into my hands and fall asleep.

I don’t think it’s that your geese aren’t imprinted, but rather that the action of being picking them up triggers instinctual impulses. Mine follow and love to curl up around me when they’re tired, but similarly are nervous about being pet while they graze. They feel more vulnerable when outside. They also seem to appreciate being pet by a single finger on their side, more than a hand on their back. They’re still tame and love/seek attention, but when they feel vulnerable their instincts kick in, and it’s easy to startle them.

That’s exactly how I pick mine up, I also say “Scoop” when I’m about to pick them up, as they grew older some grew out of liking being picked up at all, others continued to love it, especially my gander Thor, he would even do this little squat in preparation if I said “Scoop!” I have a duck named Henry that does that too.
 

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