Imprinting Question

Discussion in 'Geese' started by tigerluv700, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. tigerluv700

    tigerluv700 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 3, 2010
    Hello everyone,
    I have had my white Chinese goose (gander) for the past year. He just turned 2 years old last month and is quite a character! We love him dearly. I am his main caretaker (he's my goose), but he is living at my mother's place since she has the privacy fencing in her backyard. Every night I go over to clean his overnight garage pen and give him fresh water and scratch food for the night. I also change his baby wading pool 2-3 times a week, depending on the need. As he has grown and matured, I have noticed as well certain changes taking place:

    1) He has definitely imprinted on my mother.
    2) He has definitely NOT imprinted on me (even though I took care of him since he was 8 months old at our local pond). In fact, just the opposite. He seems to take joy in attacking and biting me! He has also imprinted on another lady friend of mine (she's older like my mother). He idolizes both of them! Would NEVER hurt them, but with me it is not that way. Why does he continue to attack me???
    3) At present, we have an average-sized, hard plastic, child's pool for him. It's about a foot deep and maybe 5' in diameter. I really want to get him something where he still has decent circumference but deeper so that he can really get down deep to dunk. Any suggestions? All the deep pools I've seen are inflatable and run the risk of being pricked by his nails.

    Anyway, his name is "Mambo" and he is a very handsome little man, and he DEFINITELY knows it! :)

    Any advice you could share with me would be much appreciated.

  2. mominoz

    mominoz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 17, 2009
    North Georgia
    Hopefully you give him more than scratch, it does not have enough protein and vitamins for geese, like it's usually 8% and geese need around 14-16%. It is full of fat and geese love it, but they need less fat and more protein. (fresh grass is best).Flockraiser, oats, alfalfa pellets, wheat...
    He is getting mature and will begin to have his own ideas about things (think teenager). It may be your body language, or frankly, he just doesn't see you as much as them, so they are "family" and you are "the other ". Also he may be asserting some dominance about the food. There are lots of stories here, just look up ," aggressive geese", "mean" etc.[​IMG] Sometimes they just are having 'hormone attacks' like now , in breeding season, sort of like "'wolfman, in the full moon"[​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2012
  3. The goose girl

    The goose girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2010
    I've had a somewhat similar experience with my goose.

    As my grass area is pretty small (and she keeps it closely shaven), I often take her to her "goose sitter" - a retired man, who loves to spend time with her. For a while she seemed way more imprinted on him than on me. She will still run to greet him as soon as she sees him and then she'll completely ignore me.

    I'm guessing it was partly due to his spending way more time with her and partly due to the fact that I sometimes had to do stuff that she didn't particularly care for. Like when she broke a nail, I was the one who used a soldering iron on her toe to stop the bleeding. It took several days for her to forgive me and not run away from me.

    She perceives all strangers as potential threats - honks loudly, ruffles her feathers and assumes attack position. If they back away from her even one tiny step, it seems to confirm her belief that they are indeed threats AND that she can chase them away, and she'll attack their shoes. If they move toward her, she'll still find them dangerous, but she'll try to run away from them. And keep a close eye on them to see if she can figure out a way to chase them off. If they stand their ground, talk to her and move very calmly, she gradually accepts them. She met my sister-in-law for the first time last Christmas, and within a half hour she could even pet the goose.

    When she was a baby, she wore a diaper and went with me everywhere. She didn't always want to have her diaper changed when it needed to be, so I used treats to get her closer to me. Sometimes she needed a butt rinsing, which she hated, and I was always the one making her. She then seemed to figure out that treats from me always included a following "nasty experience". I started giving her a treat once in while - with no ulterior motives. That really helped, and I still do that every day.

    I've had her since she was only 8 days old, so she has never been aggressive with me.

    I say try to observe how your mother and your lady friend interact with him and copy that as far as you can. Never back off when he's in attack mode - act like a friendly tree, rooted to the ground.
  4. tigerluv700

    tigerluv700 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 3, 2010
    Thanks so much for your responses.....

    mominoz...yes, I do give him more than scratch. He only gets scratch in his overnight pen in the garage. During the day he has plenty of grass to graze upon. I used to give him an excellent nutritional pellet when he lived at our community pond, but he doesn't really like those, and since they're expensive, I've stopped buying them (a waste).

    goosegirl...some good thoughts there! I have entertained that possibility that because I don't live where he resides he thinks of me as an outsider. I am there every day, but I guess he senses since I don't "sleep over" I'm not part of the pack. It saddens me because I love him so much. I will try to not run away when he tries to bite me. It's just that he has given me some really bad pinches to the point of breaking blood vessels. One time I was simply sitting in a chair and he came up fast and got me....then again, there's always the hormone issue...

    Thanks so much to both of you for taking the time to help me out....


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