Mom Assist Or Me Assist


12 Years
Apr 18, 2007
Does the mother goose assist when they are hatching at an egg that is having trouble - I would think she would know more about peeling and helping than *I* would for sure....

In incubator world people get involved at the point of no return and assist - some sucessfully some not -- but when they're under the goose, she should know what to do right? I'm not under there looking around like the incubator people can....

LOL - sounds funny but I'm serious!
I think they do help. I think that's why the baby starts peeping. Mom can tell what is a normal peep and what is a frantic 'help me' peep. That's my story and I'm stickin to it.

It is very difficult to answer this questionas most birds stop normal incubation behaviour when they are being so closely observed. However I have seen Toulouse pick off loose pieces of shell when the goslings are beginning rotate and also our parrots. I am uncertain if they would 'assist' beyond this. Certainly the peeping of the chick is used in communication with the parents as they begin to vocalise nearer to hatching. A study showed that in Precocial chicks (species that are quite mature and capable of running about) the peeping was also between the eggs and a means to communicate to synchronise the hatch.

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I was also wondering if simply the goose sitting on the eggs "helps" them.
Once the initial pip opens and the gosling starts to rotate the wide part of the egg becomes pretty fragile.
I watched my females co-nesting this year. (I was worried the extra activity on the nest might injure the goslings.)
Their eggs hatched twice as fast as any eggs in my bator. And the geese were constantly up circling, rolling eggs, and re-settling on them.
I'm beginning to wonder if this activity doesn't help the goslings break out of the eggs.

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