Is this even a pilgrim?!

TwistedTayy

Songster
Apr 30, 2021
199
252
111
Douglasville, GA
So in April I purchased some pilgrim eggs to incubate. They arrived (marked with a P, so the seller did have multiple breed flocks) and I hatched out a female and male, Bam Bam and Pebbles. Well I have twice seen male parts on Pebbles as she was mounted onto our White Layer duck. I thought perhaps a sex change as I had heard of it in ducks with an off ratio (we have 1 welsh drake, 6 welsh ducks, 1 white layer duck, and the two geese) but my BYC peeps suggested perhaps a different breed and it’s actually a gander. She looked like a stereotypical female pilgrim gosling as a baby. The white gander is slightly smaller, but has the blue eyes. So does it look like a female pilgrim or a male of something else? “She” is only slightly larger than the pilgrim gander.

2 days:
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2 weeks:
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4 weeks:
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8 weeks:
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4 months:
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CURRENTLY 6.5 months:
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TwistedTayy

Songster
Apr 30, 2021
199
252
111
Douglasville, GA
If you're sure that you saw male parts on this bird, which should look something like a corkscrew, then I would guess you have an American Gray gander. American Grays are very much like Pilgrims or Buff geese, except in color.
I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me the first time but then the second time I saw it, there was no doubt.

That’s pretty interesting. The reason I brought up the fact that the seller marked the eggs is because I got accidentally given one marked with a B and when I asked about it the seller said they didn’t mean to send that because they are trying to build up their Buff geese which is kept separate. That egg didn’t get very far in incubation. However, after doing some research, I suppose they could have hatched out some buff geese with the grey gene and, thinking they must be pilgrim females, stuck them in with the pilgrims… whether they were ganders or geese, that could explain the weird genetics. I read thst 25% of buffs/blues/lavenders could hatch grey as grey is they dominate color and the common colors are recessive. Slightly more plausible than a hermaphrodite! Maybe someone experienced with buff genetics can confirm that figure?

If I think about her/his personality in relation to a pilgrim vs buff, I’d say it’s more like a buff. The pilgrim gander is VERY protective and will attack anything bigger than a rabbit (occasionally me also if I’m doing something he deems “weird”). Whereas Pebbles will stand back with the ducks and hiss loudly unless backup is required . Otherwise she is much more friendly and tolerant than bam bam, though more standoffish. I had heard that buffs were friendlier than pilgrims but only slightly and I’d say that’s been my experience.
 
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TwistedTayy

Songster
Apr 30, 2021
199
252
111
Douglasville, GA
I tried contacting the seller through eBay to get more info but as @FoodFreedomNow told me, I was unable to message them. They were also selling chicken eggs at the time so that’s a year round business. This kind of leads me to believe my theory is right and they messed up their breeding pens but figured it out before the buyers and went dark. I choose to believe it wasn’t intentional but it’s still a big screw up if you’re selling for $100/half dozen hatching eggs. I didn’t figure it out until the “gander” reached sexual maturity and by that time, in breeding pens, it was likely too late for them.
 

FoodFreedomNow

Crowing
5 Years
Aug 11, 2016
3,910
4,849
472
I tried contacting the seller through eBay to get more info but as @FoodFreedomNow told me, I was unable to message them. They were also selling chicken eggs at the time so that’s a year round business. This kind of leads me to believe my theory is right and they messed up their breeding pens but figured it out before the buyers and went dark. I choose to believe it wasn’t intentional but it’s still a big screw up if you’re selling for $100/half dozen hatching eggs. I didn’t figure it out until the “gander” reached sexual maturity and by that time, in breeding pens, it was likely too late for them.
Right - I had arranged to buy a dozen hatching eggs from the same seller (I found out from you later), they were very responsive and were supposed to post a special auction for me, but, instead, I heard nothing from them, even when I followed up. Your bad experience makes me very glad that I didn't get any eggs from them. If it was, indeed, a mistake, they should have contacted you and made it right, but the fact that they aren't responding to your messages makes me question whether it really was a mistake at all. 😒

I feel your pain on receiving something other than what you thought you purchased. Pilgrims are difficult enough to find without people like this seller messing lines up, seemingly without repercussions - shame on them. I hope that this wasn't too much of a setback to your breeding plans.
 

TwistedTayy

Songster
Apr 30, 2021
199
252
111
Douglasville, GA
I feel your pain on receiving something other than what you thought you purchased. Pilgrims are difficult enough to find without people like this seller messing lines up, seemingly without repercussions - shame on them. I hope that this wasn't too much of a setback to your breeding plans.

Well it was lol, two fully grown ganders = no goslings to sell when spring comes. But I think my plan is to go to the large poultry show in my area in Feb and try to get some adults... for a lot more money and a lot less fun than hatching eggs. But at least I can have some baby nibblers running around. I like pilgrims for their auto sexing traits and at least the white male looks purebred. They are amazing guard geese. My German shepherd is scared of them. So they can still protect my ducks. So hopefully I can find a female pilgrim or maybe a proper buff pair or a proper pilgrim pair. Buff was always my second choice breed. And I want to eventually get into showing (im like that, competitive) so I knew I would eventually have to get better stock but I thought it would be better to make learning mistakes with less investment.
 

FoodFreedomNow

Crowing
5 Years
Aug 11, 2016
3,910
4,849
472
Ouch. You seem to have a good plan B and a surprisingly positive attitude, given what happened. :)

At least at the poultry show, I'd expect the breeders who attend to be concerned about their reputations in the goose community. Best of luck in finding quality stock and realizing your goals!
 

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