Imprinted goslings as they grow....

Discussion in 'Geese' started by alaskan_crew, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. alaskan_crew

    alaskan_crew Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 5, 2007
    Wasilla, AK
    I adopted imprinted goslings at 5 days old and found I could only be with them a few hours out of the day. They are now 4 weeks old and still a little needy but way more independent. They come to me when I call them but no longer want to be held, which is ok with me since they are huge now! Yet they shy away when I try to touch them and they absolutely hate to be held. Will they be tame adults or will they shy to their wild instincts? Should I force them to be held more? HELP! I just don't want mean adult geese! Tips?
     
  2. The goose girl

    The goose girl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 7, 2010
    Denmark
    Geese have excellent memories when it comes to likes and dislikes. If you regularly force them to be held, they will grow to distrust you and shy away from you even more. I don't think that's a good idea.

    However, sometimes you probably will need to hold them for some reason or other. I think you should try the "carrot method" and reward them with treats.

    My own goose absolutely adores cat kibble and he will do anything to obtain a piece.[​IMG] Whenever I want him to something he is initially reluctant to do, I have a small handful of kibble ready. They can make him go where he didn't want to go or distract him from fears.

    For example, he was afraid of my cats and peeped loudly when they got close to him. That would scare the cat, it ran away quickly and scared the goose even moore. One day, when one of the cats was lying peacefully on my bed, I took the goose to the other end and started luring him closer to the cat with the kibble. Every time he seemed nervous about the cat, I fed him another piece. Five minutes later, he was sitting comfortably right next to the cat, no worries at all except trying to find out if he missed a piece of kibble.[​IMG]

    I don't know if cat kibble works on all geese, but I've heard from other poultry owners that both cat and dog kibble is widely regarded as a treat among their chicken, muscovies and geese. One guy used kibble to train his muscovy drake to come when he called its name.

    If you sit down on the ground and use the treat to get them on your lap, you can probably soon advance to start petting and holding them while feeding them treats. That way they will connect your hands with something good and hopefully not shy away from them.

    Good luck!
     
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  3. jennifer@couplandtx.org

    [email protected] Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2010
    Coupland, TX
    But wait, I have heard to never hand feed geese as it makes them mean?!?! However, my geese do love dog food. And it is just their instincts that make them shy away from being petted. One of my geese loves being held and petted, but I can't really pet him unless he's on my lap. And he will only let me put him on my lap when I sit on the ground on a certain porch. But once he's on my lap, he LOVES to have his head rubbed, but that's about the extent of it. Sometimes I rub their feet and they like that. Once they are imprinted, they will always love you and be imprinted, but they just get more independent. Try to have a special time each day with them as you sit onthe ground, they will come up to you and want love... jennifer
     
  4. Kim65

    Kim65 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 29, 2009
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    Hand feeding geese does not make them mean [​IMG] They are NATURALLY mean [​IMG] . Some are, anyway.

    Geese instinctually fear things that come down on them and grab them. My imprinted geese have never enjoyed being picked up but have grown to tolerate it somewhat. They calm down considerably when I hold them, especially the females, if I sit and pet them. The gander will only sit on my lap for a short time (it is probably humiliating to him in front of his wives).

    Geese don't have an equivalent instinct for being cuddled and held, but they do want you around them and want you close by. They only sit under their mother for a few weeks anyway. It's natural they wouldn't want to be held after a certain age.

    A single pet goose with no other goose contacts will probably acclimate well to being held and cuddled, but when they have other geese to flock with, this tendency is diminished.

    Each goose is different. I had a gander in Idaho that loved to sleep on my chest. One of my current females, the one I've only had for a few weeks, is especially cuddly, once I catch her [​IMG] . She seems to really enjoy being held and petted. Her sister wife that I had reared is much more restless and wants to get down long before Lilly does.
     

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