Lets Discuss Gander/pair management/Breeding

Discussion in 'Geese' started by mominoz, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. mominoz

    mominoz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 17, 2009
    North Georgia
    You can pm me if you want too.But I have read DH book, had couple geese years ago with chickens. Read everything I can find ...So how do you manage breeding flocks? I see the website with them all together, or in groups... want to know how you manage ganders and if , when they fight? (I mentioned I caught my 2 ganders fighting and hosed them, and I'd found some breast feathers and a bin(nesting box ) turned over in their night aviary first. They are almost 2 now, and I guess they are maturing. I plan on adding more geese, (another breed)...but need some management hints. If I'd known fighting would be a problem,I'd have fenced and divided differently. So now I have to refence, redivide and will be adding other pens for new birds.
    [​IMG] So how do you manage gander fighting , breeding groupsetc.?
    1)Is it reasonably safe to let them together in the day on free range on pasture?(I have ducks too, Show quality Runners from Holderreads and don't want them killed either, they run from the geese, if the geese chase them.(which is usuallythe geese saying "I want THAT pool, NOW!"
    2)Is this an individual personality problem? I have one gander that is more aggressive than the other..... DO you tend to CULL what you think is an aggressive bird? What is too aggressive? Is it just seasonally?Or is there a "pecking order" and they "work it out"/ Just an occasional squabble?I haven't seen any serious damage, but don't want to either....
    3)Do you divide ALL breeding groups into separate night pens?and day yards?
    Does it help to have more females than just pairs?
    4)Are all these nice photos I see at all the websites, just to mess with my head, of groups of birds together? [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011
  2. goosedragon

    goosedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    Quote:First make up your mind do you want to select the fathers for your next generation? Do you want a gander to mate a particular goose? If you do you set up breeding pens, The only females in each will be the ones you want mated by that gander, and there is only one gander per pen
    Flock breeding is different the ganders fight and the alpha gander mates who he likes. then the beta gander does the same and right down the line. Natural selection is the force here the best gander has the best chance to pass on his genes. In this setup ganders WILL fight if they want to breed, plan on it! In most cases once the pecking order is established, peace returns to the flock untill the next breeding cycle when some ganders will try to move up in rank. As a side answer you should range your ducks elsewhere or provide places where they can get away from the geese Since ducks are much smaller than geese I used to provide spaces with entrances that a duck can enter at a run but a goose could not get in.
    2. It is a personality proplem if you make it one. If you don't like agressive ganders, cull them and in 2 or 3 generations you will have all wimp geese.
    3. heck yes, what else would you do, provide condoms? LOL Second half If you really READ DH he will tell you how many females a male will service, Despite all the Mate for life stuff. when the favorite goose goes broody and the gander is cut off he usually selects a new mate or mates.
    4 did you ever consider that the mating season is brief and someone took those pictures outside of breeding season? It is like compring saturday night party pictures with sunday morning church pictures. Or someone is messing with your head, which do you think? ~gd
  3. TennesseeTruly

    TennesseeTruly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Church Hill, TN
    As I said yesterday, last year, we penned up pairs. This year we didn't. Last year we had gander madness and they were beating the tar out of one another. Over the last year, they have learned to live cohesively and they respect the Alpha gander. He has a mate and he has a second. He doesn't allow fighting among the other ganders either.

    If they get too rowdy, he'll step in and separate them, honk, nip, and do what's necessary to make sure they realize he's the boss. I've been watching our flock dynamics for a year now and one of the great things is that they're right in the front of our home so I very often sit outside with them, even in the middle of winter, and watch what goes on.

    There have been a few upstarts who will try to challenge our Alpha but he quickly puts them in their place and maintains order.

    I have pictures of my flock, all together, even today, although they're a bit muddy. The only ones who aren't in the picture are the geese that are sitting on eggs.

    They're all getting along, peacefully. And yes, we are in the middle of breeding season here.

  4. mominoz

    mominoz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 17, 2009
    North Georgia
    So maybe they work it out? OR, you separate pairs...[​IMG] Like experiment [​IMG]
    If you do separate pairs at night. Do you need a solid barrier? or just fencing? I know I put a tarp piece between the geese and duck pen at night as the geese were nipping at the fence and it intimidated the ducks from sitting in that side (where wind breaks were.)
    Most of the time the ducks and geese keep some distance when turned out in the pasture. Only squabbles are when the geese decide they want to take over a pool (have 5 in different places) and the ducks vacate quickly. Or when I come out with a bucket to put everyone to bed. Pretty much the geese seem territorial and the Runners are more timid. I can yell"GOOOSE" loud and they will stop and move away from their bad behavior(like eating forbidden plants or chasing the ducks)don't know why that works , but it does:idunno
    I like having the geese near the ducks seems to deter the raptors....Anyone know why DH has a pair of geese with his ducks?To deter predators?Are they a specific breed? Are they only together outside and not at night?
    My ducks and geese are in the same building at night , but are separated by fence and net....
  5. TennesseeTruly

    TennesseeTruly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Church Hill, TN
    I think they actually worked it out but they've been together for a year, there's enough females to go around so there's been no problems this year. Like I said, last year was much much different.

    We left the gander choose his mate and then we separated them by fencing. Each pair had their own house, run and pool. This year I thought I would have to put the fencing back up again but nope, not at all. It's worked out for us but that's not saying it will for everyone.

  6. JordanFamily

    JordanFamily Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2008
    Harrisonville, MO
    Qoute: "It is like compring saturday night party pictures with sunday morning church pictures. Or someone is messing with your head, which do you think"

    TO FUNNY!!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  7. mominoz

    mominoz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 17, 2009
    North Georgia
    [​IMG] Well 1/2 finished their division of night pen(low fence and a gate. Boy were they unhappy about me changing their sleeping arrangements [​IMG] Of course, been watching them and everyone is getting along peaceably while in the pasture.....go figure. I just wished I'd planned this when I built the aviary and day yards, as there are a stump and tree and the mini-pen blocking reconfigurations:th...so for the future I need to assume each gander and his girl or girls will need separate quarters for a couple months....and the ducks....but they have theirs....and have never seen the Runners bother at each other, one is fixated on trying to bite a mini-drake thru the mini-pen, not possible....[​IMG] but i have 2 mini-drakes with a duck, which hasn't been a problem yet, but need to get one of the drakes out of there before it becomes a problem....
    Between my birds, digs and horses all I do is fence and re-fence.....[​IMG]
  8. Cottage Rose

    Cottage Rose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 24, 2008
    Mid west Michigan
    If anybody is going to breed geese and you have more then one gander, stout, secure separate pens are a MUST!
    Ganders are aggresive during the breeding season to varying degrees from just hissing to all out attacking.
    There is no getting around it, this is their NORMAL nature.
    If people can't handle this they shouldn't have geese.
    If you aren't set up properly its one big headache.
    Even during the off season you might not always be able to put them all together.
    It just depends on the ganders individual personalities but you are
    always taking a chance when you leave them together unsupervised.
    You have to know your gander's personality and know it well but even if
    you think a peticular gander will do no harm you could very well go out there
    someday and find that a fight or "gandercide" has occured.
    Currently I have 3 - 50' x 100' and 4 - 30' x 30' pens for my geese
    that cost me hundreds of dollars (well probably over a $1000. if I added it all up)
    and many hours of work.
    They are utilized year round and my breeding geese take turns free ranging in
    their own separate groups.
    My geese are too valuabe to me to risk them injuring or killing each other
    when I'm not there to supervise.
    I have even had a gander kill a goose and attempted to kill a duck
    had I not come upon the scene in time.
    A friend of mine recently lost a beloved older gander to a group
    of young ganders that BROKE DOWN the gate and killed him!
    That's why you need SECURE, STOUT fencing and gates...no thrown together,
    rickety stuff. You also need fencing they cannot stick their heads through and fight.
    They can kill each other through fences.
    When a gander latches on to another one when fighting all hell breaks loose
    and its not something to taken lightly. Necks are breakable through fencing.
    All too often people buy cute, fuzzy goslings that follow them around like puppies
    for 6 months then they don't know what to do with them when they quickly become
    sexually mature and a force to be reckoned with.
    Ganders are very noble and will fight to the death to protect their females
    and offspring.
    They need confident owners that can handle their breeding season
    behavior and the proper facilities to keep them from harming other
    geese or ducks.
    Hope this helps.
    See my website for raising geese tips.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011
  9. Shiloh Acres

    Shiloh Acres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2010
    Well, much more experience here than I've had. All I can say is that it definitely must depend on individual personalities. And I wish I still had my "former geese" !!!

    I raised Chinese and Africans before, just as weeders and alarm-raisers. I loved them and they were great! Small flocks, but multiple ganders, and I never saw more than a little chest bumping and neck wrapping. The adults would allow me to inspect nests, handle eggs, etc. They even came up and begged to be "hugged" as adults, and even during breeding season. Zero aggression to me (aka Mama Goose) and never seriously aggressive to each other. Even when it turned out at times that ganders outnumbered geese.

    Now? Now I have Toulouse geese, Emden ganders and geese, and a pair of Pilgrims. I was going to separate out the Pilgrims and allow the others to breed in a flock to produce table birds. And ... Let's just say my previous "experience" did not prepare me for handling THIS flock. I'll manage, but it's not what I expected, and there's definitely a new learning curve.

    So yes, it can depend on individual geese. I'm beginning to think I had some VERY strange geese before! But they sure were enjoyable ... When I wasn't having to rescue them from the Terrible Indian Runner Drake. [​IMG]
  10. Cottage Rose

    Cottage Rose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 24, 2008
    Mid west Michigan
    I had a group of Runner Ducks (both males and females)
    gang up on a much larger Muscovy drake and tried to kill him.
    Had I not found him in time I'm sure he would of died.
    His wounds weren't mortal but he was in shock and it took him 3 - 4 days
    of quiet recouperation and laying low in his stall before he would come out.
    The Runners (new for me & gorgeous things from Holderread)
    really disrupted the harmony around here.
    They were constantly harrassing my Muscovies so I got rid of them.
    Even ducks and chickens will kill each other.
    Everybody has to find what works for them.

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