Just for fun - Hybrid geese!

Discussion in 'Geese' started by btwhitaker, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. btwhitaker

    btwhitaker Out Of The Brooder

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    I thought I'd share this story because I find it very interesting.
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    This little lady has been stuck at the park across from my house for as long as I can remember. She can't migrate due to her right wing. She was never able to find a Canada goose gander that would stay with her.
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    After the last of the domestic females died, this old gander took the little female as his mate. When I realized that they were together, I was pretty surprised because they never interacted much before that. This picture is from early spring 2009.
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    She proved to be an outstanding parent, and raised four of the five goslings she hatched. All four have the same father, but all look considerably different. The one on the left was the only male, and all four have very distinct honks that are a combination of a Canada goose call and a domestic goose call. All four can fly, and the females can cluck like a domestic female. The gander, and the dark female both left with Canada goose flocks, the two white females live permanently at the park.
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    Spring 2010 came around and the pair bred again. She successfully hatched out six goslings, but lost one after a few weeks.
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    Out of her 2010 clutch, there were three males, and two females. Another dark male and female, two gray males, and one white female. Both females still live at the park, as does one of the gray males. The second gray male was hit by a car, and the dark male left with a Canada goose flock.
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    This is one of the grey males, with mom in the corner. An absolutely beautiful bird. Again, all five can fly but I'm pretty sure they're all sterile.. but they're nice to look at!
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Several years ago someone released a Toulouse goose at a local park. She mated with a Canada gander and they raised 3 goslings. All look like the young gander in picture # 4. They fly with the Canada geese and are now 6 or 7 years old.
     
  3. GardenerGal

    GardenerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They look so much more like Anser than Branta. It's remarkable that one species' physical characteristics seem so dominant over the others (at least in the photos). Great pictures!
     
  4. btwhitaker

    btwhitaker Out Of The Brooder

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    I think the color has a lot to do with the domestic parent. Their father was gray and white with blue eyes. The dark offspring all have brown eyes, but the graynand white offspring have blue. I find it fascinating. The dark offspring seem to get along with canada geese the best.

    Does anyone know for sure if these offspring are sterile or not? One of the 2009 white females is incredibly broody and has tried to hatch eggs but im not sire if her lack of success due to her being a novice or infertility.
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    I believe that all are sterile. I do know for sure that the 3 that I am aware of have never raised goslings.
     
  6. JasoninMN

    JasoninMN Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes, they would be sterile.
     
  7. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps





    That's interresting. I'm interrested in your reasoning, or experience, as I have 2 domestic crossbred ganders. I have located a source for females that I plan to purchase in the near future. The ganders are White Chinese X Emden and for some reason predators seem to like my females better than the males. Any thoughts? After decades with chickens, it never occured to me that crossbred geese could be sterile. Thanks for your comments.......Pop
     
  8. GardenerGal

    GardenerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are sterile "mules." The offspring have an odd number of chromosomes (like a zipper that has "zipped" off-kilter so the two sides of the zipper don't match up), so it can't breed with either species nor even with other mules. It's remarkable how much they look like domestic geese, though.
    Take a look at this Wikipedia page with a photo of a AnserXBranta (Canada) hybrid that looks so much more like a mix of both species. Scroll to the part on Goose hyrids: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamebird_hybrids
    I wonder why there such a pronounced difference? Maybe has something to do with which parent is the Canada and which is the Anser?

    I have read some interesting information on the nature of "mules." The Wiki site above stated that in mammals, a mule male is sterile but the female can produce an embryo (resulting from mating with a "pure" species not another mule). I have seen pictures of a pregnant female mule or hinny that had been bred to a stallion. But the embryo will not survive to produce a live, viable offspring. But, in birds it's the male that may have viable sperm while the female is sterile. Fascinating.

    Found a site with cool photos: http://www.gobirding.eu/Photos/HybridGeese.php
    And another with some discussion on mule waterfowl (scroll down the page to see "The Mongrel a Superb Goose): http://www.summagallicana.it/chatteringongallus/correspondence/286.htm
     
  9. btwhitaker

    btwhitaker Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 1, 2012
    Raleigh, NC

    All domestic geese are derived from the Greylag goose (Anser anser) except for the Chinese and African geese, which are derived from the Asiatic Swan goose (Anser cygnoides). Correct me if I'm wrong, but it is my impression that anser x cygnoides are fertile and can produce viable offspring.
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    This male has a tuft, a dewlap, the slightest sign of a knob on the base of his beak, and the shrill call of a Chinese goose so it's clear that his lineage is diverse. This is the first breeding season he's been present in "my flock" at the park and he bred with a young Pilgrim goose, so I'll have to wait til the eggs hatch to see if he is fertile or not.

    Here are a few more pictures of the hybrid geese.
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    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
  10. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Great pics and info, bt. Thanks for sharing...........Pop
     

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