Integrating new geese - what could possibly go wrong?!

anvia

Songster
May 7, 2014
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Wales, UK
Hallo everyone,
We have a pair of 6 month old Toulouse geese, and they are a joy! & we’d like to have more.... these are our first geese and we know we don’t have a lot of experience.
We’ve been offered another pair of Toulouse who are 12 months old and so I’m asking for advice & wisdom please.
Is adding another adult bonded pair a good idea? What would be the best way to integrate them? Ideally in time I’d like them to share housing.... is that feasible|sensible? What could go wrong at laying time (neither pair have laid yet) will they nest separately or together, will they need separate housing then? Will the ganders fight?
Our existing geese are very protective of our other birds (ducks, quail & chickens), could adding more geese potentially cause any upsets there?

We’d like to say yes to the pair we’ve been offered, but.... much as we’d love more geese we don’t want to upset things as they are.... is this a terrible idea?! & what do we need to do /know to do this successfully?

Be grateful for advice & experience please! Thank you!
 

anvia

Songster
May 7, 2014
126
296
186
Wales, UK
I am no expert, but I believe if you want to get them you should be prepared to separate them from the others.
Thanks for your reply

That’s my gut feeling too..... but my expertise is more chickens & I know I default that way & then then our lovely geese cheerfully demonstrate they aren’t chickens. I know I’ve got a lot to lean about geese still...

Space isn’t an issue, housing isn’t an issue..... but access to water is - whilst I can separate them on land they’d be able to meet up on the water and travel to each other that way. I know cockerels will put quite a lot of effort and distance into locating a rival and picking a fight.... will geese?
It’s not possible to fence off the water without denying access to all. & that would be counterproductive for all of the waterfowl!
Whilst I’m fully prepared to go through an integration process and introduce them slowly separate housing ect...they’d need to live in the same field in the long term (about 2 acres) to have access to the water.

Much as these new geese need a new home & it’s very flattering to be offered these beautiful birds (& we’d be very happy to have more geese!) - I don’t want to create a bigger issue & upset our happy flock. I’m suspicious that there is more to it than just chucking them in & hoping they all get along.

Is it territory that’s principally my issue... ie. water feed space housing.... or is it more gender based? Ie. will one gander try to create a harem & send the other packing? Geese are clearly social birds... how do they create social flocks?
Or Is my logic completely off & I’m overthinking things & treating them like chickens again! (If I am please set me straight! No offence will be taken - ha ha!)
 
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Miss Lydia

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I’d only separate when first bringing them home. Geese are very social and just need time to adjust to each other. Place them side by side so they can see each other but can’t get to each other. Then gradually let them have time together. Only problem might happen when breeding season starts In late winter if you have more ganders than females but just keeping them apart helps then.
 

Isaac 0

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Jul 19, 2016
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Sadly, no one here can give you a straight answer if they will fight or not because what you're asking is a very variable question. Whether the two pairs will fight or not depends on several factors including the number of birds you have, the personality of the birds, that amount of space, genders, etc.

If you have a decent amount of space for them, so when they're penned with each other they're not right next to each other and can move around, do other things, etc. That will tremendously help with any fighting.

Providing multiple feeders, and waterers, and places for them to swim will also help limit any fighting over resources. Offering treats, or hanging lettuce/cabbage will help keep any hostile birds occupied with that instead of attacking the new ones.

Now even doing all of that, they may still fight. In which case, you'll need to set up a pen for the new geese so they can see and hear the old flock, but can't physically touch. Over time, just by watching each other all day, they will become fairly used to each other in which case you can try bringing them out together. A little fighting will be expected at first, but if it gets out of hand, you'll need to separate them longer.
 

anvia

Songster
May 7, 2014
126
296
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Wales, UK
Thank you miss Lydia & Issac O,
Your replies are really reassuring and helpful! & that’s exactly how we already integrate chickens, see & no touch, plenty of resources & lots of time. We can easily do that for the geese they can get used to each other from adjoining fields with separate housing. We can give them plenty of time to integrate and just see how they get along, and judge when they are ready to be together. My next concern is breeding season and everyone needing to have access to the water, ideally they need to be socially integrated by then but we’ve a fair few months to take things at their speed.

So my next question if you don’t mind..... lets assume all goes well and they accept each other and end up sharing housing - will that all change come laying season? I would not expect a broody hen to share a house without someone getting injured - should I be providing separate houses at laying time for each pair?

I appreciate they’ll have individual personalities & traits which will dictate what actually happens! (love the lovely birds!) but do you have any guidance as to what I should I prepare for? We’ve plenty of housing & space but they’d need to be in the same 2 acres for access to water. Is it a house for each pair? Or is it always a house per pair all year around? I am I wrong in assuming they’ll ever share housing? We free range. Once they’ve (hopefully!) accepted each other they’d only be shut in together at night or in extreme weather.
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
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I housed 4 adult geese together but they started out as two adults two goslings. Turned out one gander one goose of the goslings adopted by my two adults, even as the two gosling matured my 4 got along great my youngest gander played second fiddle to my older gander and never saw any fighting between them. My only problem was the 4 of them together became a gang of bullies and began picking on the chickens and ducks to the point I felt I need to rehome the two young ones since my older pair had been here so long and my older gander is not nice. My yong gander was Toulouse and was very laid back personality. My older female is Toulouse and she is laid back also. My old gander is Embden and he isn’t a bird I’d rehome because of his personality. But I hatched him here 13 yrs ago so he’ll be here till the end of his life. Which sometimes I threatened is every breeding season!😂
 

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