Made a "mistake", now need advice

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by OptionScout, Oct 4, 2008.

  1. OptionScout

    OptionScout Hatching

    Oct 4, 2008
    Ellis County, Texas
    Hi Folks,

    Let me start by saying how much I like to read this forum. My "problem" is as follows:
    We live on acreage and have a soil conservation lake on it. For over fifteen years we have had Canada geese use the lake year round. They are totally free and come and go as they please. I have a floating nest on it which is about the only way they can raise any goslings due to predators. This past May we rowed out to check the nest after seeing the new hatchlings swim away with their parents. You guys know where this is going, right? One egg was cracked but the baby could not get out. I made the decision, (not my wife who said to let nature take its course) to have her crack out the gosling as I did not want to think about it expiring in the shell. I won't bore you with the details but the bottom line is that "Francis" is now about four months old and we really love her. She has some issues such as one angel wing and her neck is a little crooked but she gets along pretty well. She can't fly and probably never will but she swims well and still likes to dive under water. She has spent the last months living on our front porch but that can't go on forever. So, I am about to build her a permanent pen where she will spend the night. I expect her to "free range" in the backyard and the goat pen during the day. However, when we travel she will have to stay in the pen for up to ten days at a time. Of course someone will be coming to the place to provide feed and water for all the stock (including Francis) when we travel. I plan to make the pen about 8 x 12 with a hardware cloth covered roof. Does that sound about right? Also, I have read on this forum that I need to get her a companion. What suggestions might any of you have for species of companion? We have considered a rabbit or a duck as Francis is not at all agressive and we don't want anything that will pick on (or at) her. Given how timid she is, wouldn't that rule out a chicken, goose or guinea?

    We sure will appreciate any advice, suggestions or comments from the wealth of experience that is out there on this forum. Thanks in advance.


  2. Ugly Cowboy

    Ugly Cowboy Songster

    Apr 25, 2008
    Corn, OK
    Well, that would definately rule out a guinea, I had some one time (and one time only, I gave 'em away) that completly ripped stuff apart, I've also had geese chase me (like swans do) so I guess not them either. I reckon some breeds of chickens are genlter than others for sure, I got a cochin roo who's just the bee's knee's (I dont know if all cochins are that way, I only have one so far, folks was givin away a free roo!) Most the ducks I've had have been relatively gentle, especially the Rouens. I'm sure folks here can tell ya a little more about stuff no doubt. Oh yeah, and welcome to the forum!
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2008
  3. miss_jayne

    miss_jayne Lady_Jayne

    Jun 26, 2008
    Columbiaville, MI
    if the geese are not your pets, and wild that use your property, then 'assisting' the goose was probably not a good plan. now that you have it, you should contact a local wildlife extension to get help. hope the little one does well!

    the following is from

    Wild Canada geese are classified as migratory birds and, as such, are subject to Federal wildlife laws. According to these laws it's illegal to adopt wild Canada geese as pets. While they can be easily domesticated, and probably would make fine pets, it would hardly seem fair to keep them in captivity against their will. Exceptions, of course, would include those that are crippled or otherwise unable to fend for themselves in the wild. Wildlife rehabilitators frequently rescue injured geese that get hit by cars, are injured by fishing line, or crippled by hunters.

    Other varieties of geese, so-called domestic geese, can be kept as pets. Of course, whether you can keep them on your property is subject to local town, village or county laws.
  4. DuckyBoys

    DuckyBoys Songster

    Apr 2, 2008
    You could get her a nice duck to hang out with, I only have calls and runners in the domestic department, if I had to choose I'd pick a call. They seem to get along with eveything, including the mandarins and woodies.

    You could also get her a calm breed of domestic goose. I have buffs and they are pretty nice. The giant dewlaps are the tamest geese I know.

    In my experience chickens, depending on breed of course, can be rather naasty comeapred to my ducks and geese.

    Don't get an aggressive breed of goose like chinese, african, and embden if your little girl is a sweetie. If you were in Colorado I'd give you one of my buffs! I have a few too many.

    Good luck! [​IMG]
  5. klf73

    klf73 Mad Scientist

    Jun 1, 2008
    My banty cochins are very friendly also. I don't have any other advise as I don't have geese or ducks
  6. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    It sounds like she might be crippled from your description, so perhaps you're ok caring for her.

    I'd get her a duck as a friend - they can swim together, and a chicken can't do that.
  7. M@M@2four

    [email protected]@2four Songster

    Mar 12, 2008
    Quote:I agree! And a duck will be the most friendly with her as other geese can be aggressive--and you want something that can swim with her. Where do you live? I would post a wanted add for a nice duck friend...we have some great people on here that might just be able to help! [​IMG] I know myself, I have som, "extra" ducks. [​IMG] You might want to consider a larger breed duck, like a pekin or magpie. I'd get her a female...that way there's no cross mating. [​IMG]

    Also, [​IMG] Please come back and continue to post! [​IMG]
  8. OptionScout

    OptionScout Hatching

    Oct 4, 2008
    Ellis County, Texas
    Thanks so much for all of the quick replies. I'm feeling better already. It sounds like the concensus of opinion so far is to get her a duck. I was thinking that whatever I got for her should be younger than her so the friend can grow up around Frances. (My wife tells me I spelled her name wrong in the first post. Who knew?)

    The "angel wing" and neck problem do seem to be preventing her from flying as her sibling from the floating nest has already done. However, we still have hope. We take her to the lake most every day and let her mingle with the resident flock of Canadas. She mostly avoids them and they mostly ignore her. Frances may not fly but she is a swimmer. She follows us around as long as we care to paddle in jon boat or kayak. And she still dives and swims under water unlike any grown Canada I have ever seen.

    To Miss Janye's point of not assisting, she is absolutely correct. I should have been stronger about that. My wife tried for many hours to get Frances' real family to accept her the day following her artificial hatching. They just would not do it. I have learned my lesson on that point but now that we have her we want her to have as good a life as possible.

    I sure appreciate the offers of friends for her. We live in Ellis County near Waxahachie which is south of Dallas. I will look on this website and Craig's list and see if I can find a gentle duck for her after I get the pen constructed.

    Thanks again everybody. We really enjoy reading the forum.


  9. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

    Aug 4, 2008
    Fuquay Varina, NC


    Try posting a Want To Buy advertisement down in the Other Poultry section in BST. (Its at the bottom of the index page.)

    I know there are quite a few people from TX here, and I'm sure someone will jump in to help ASAP! Good luck.
  10. verity

    verity Songster

    Sep 8, 2008
    I would've helped her hatch also -- and I, too, would have 'known better' but turning your back is hard to do --

    You should not feel guilty as you have taken her to be part of your family and are doing what you can to provide her with a 'mini-flock' --

    Good luck and let us know when Frances has a friend --

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