My Embden attacked a little boy today and then attacked me twice...

Discussion in 'Geese' started by WyoChickenMamma, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. WyoChickenMamma

    WyoChickenMamma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2011
    I have only had this goose and the chickens for a few weeks. Until tonight they have been a pure joy. Yesterday I noticed that Phil (the goose) was really following this one black hen around everywhere. He was honking and she would sing, he would honk and she would sink. He would always be within a few feet of her and would nudge her and fun his bill over her back. I thought it was cute. Then this afternoon my folks came out to see them and my mom commented that it looked like Phil was "in love" with the black hen. We watched him snap at a few other hens if they got to close to the black one. We all just kind of laughed and commented about who needs a rooster when you have Phil. Well then later this evening our friends came over and we were out in the hen yard and Phil "goosed" and then full on attacked my friends 6 year old son. We had to grab him to get him off of the boy. It was unprovoked and very odd, Phil has never even hissed at me. Much less tried to bite any of us. Then tonight I had my camera and was down in the yard snapping pictures of my girls. I crouched down to get a picture of the black hen and Phil came at me, right at my face. I had to push him back, then he came right back at me, this time jumping off of the ground and coming back to my face. I grabbed him and held him for a bit and tried to calm him down, when I put him back down he came right back at me. It was awful. I had to kick at him to keep him away so I could get out of the hen yard. I had to go back in there though to do a head count of my hens and close their coop for the night. I went back in there with a stick and he was jut fine, acted just like he always does...the black hen was already to bed, asleep on her roost. My heart is just broken that I had to be physical with him. I feel so bad for him anyway, he lost his mate to a vicious dog, we moved him 180 miles from his original home and now this. I have been trying to find another goose for him to be companions with, but now I think it might be best for him to go. Tomorrow I will have to move him completely away from the hens. However when we did this before, he just drug his bill back and forth across the wire fence, pacing to be in with the hens.

    I can't have this aggression and I certainly don't want to have to carry a stick every time I go into my hen yard. This is just awful. [​IMG]
  2. The goose girl

    The goose girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2010
    I'm guessing from Phil's point of view, he was trying to protect his flock against an unknown approaching enemy (the 6-year-old). Then you you turned against him, and later you tried to do unspeakable things to his favourite hen with a camera. Naturally, he again tried to protect her, and you had a fight. With his mate safely out of sight, he tolerated you being around.

    It seems Phil has bonded with the chickens more than with you, and he's just being a goose about it. Geese seek company, and Phil will be lonely by himself.
  3. WyoChickenMamma

    WyoChickenMamma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2011
    I am actively seeking a new home for him. I have thought all along he needed to be with at least another goose. I tried to find one for him, but can only find other mated pairs. I don't have room for three. This morning, he was back to loving up on his black hen. The problem with that is she is probably one of the most social hens in my bunch, she wants to be right under foot and wants to come eat out of my hand. As soon as she gets close to me he comes undone. This morning my husband came to the coop with me to keep him at bay. I don't want to be afraid to go check for eggs, feed, water etc. But I really don't know if I will go in there alone today. He didn't physically hurt me, but it was scary and I don't want to be physical with him to restrain him. And when a goose is getting airborne to try to go after you face it is a bit unnerving. He is big, his wingspan is probably 5 feet and he is strong.
  4. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    I agree, just being a normal goose/gander, being protective, and not recognizing you as a dominant figure.

    If it bothers you that much, you should rehome the bird. But don't let it upset you so much, its just nature. I know, easy for me to say, it didn't happen to me.
  5. Speceider

    Speceider Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2011
    Was he imprinted? Sounds alot like an imprinted gander who does not know the difference between humans and geese.

  6. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    Put your hands on your hips and approach him in a straightforward, unafraid and matter-of-fact manner when you come around him. Just walk right toward him and back him down like that a bit when you first go in. If he gets the idea you are dominant in an unoffensive and unaggressive way, you may be able to calm his fears.
  7. n4zty

    n4zty Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 22, 2011
    imprinted or not geese only imprint to their owners any unknown person somes into their terrtory and its on likes theres no 2morrow.sadly ill even say if owners like myself come and visit them in the backyard wearing clothes they have never seen before they think im someone else and even take a poke at me but i laugh and pet them while they are still trying to hit me with their wings. im used to it but ouch them wings are like a baseball bat.
  8. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    I think you are making a sensible decision by finding him a new home. Regardless of the cause of his behavior, which is fairly normal protective gander behavior, he will continue to be an aggravation to you. Time for a new home with other geese.
  9. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    Quote:Working with the 3 I hatched this spring, I am definitely taking the approach that I am the boss. Gentle but firm, I make sure they do what I want them to do, not what they want to do. And, I do pick them up and hold them in strange but not harmful or uncomfortable positions once in a while, and make them calm down and settle down.

    I did this with various puppies of the years, and I think it does help to establish dominance.
  10. erinszoo

    erinszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2011
    North Central Oklahoma
    I echo a lot of other posts here in that he was just doing what a gander will do. When my gander comes at me with his wings spread honking loudly, I flap my arms at him and walk towards him very steadily. He'll then tuck his wings back in and drop his head and go back to nibbling grass or whatever. We always carry a long piece of river cane into our pen with us or when we are grazing them in the yard to herd them with. Our daughter has a little trouble getting them to do what she wants them to but she is only 14 and kind of short and she gets scared if they come towards her and runs. They've learned that she's afraid of them. We're teaching her to stand her ground and not act afraid around them and they've backed off some.

    We had a chicken attack our son when he was small. I think small kids just seem so close in size that they are perceived as a threat to the birds and your gander, who I'm assuming had had no contact with children before this, just did what comes naturally.

    I'm not sure if your gander will settle down without a mate or not. I have a pair and a duck and ten chickens and they all follow the gander around like he's boss but he doesn't get particularly upset about any of them, even the goose. She doesn't like to be picked up or made to go in the house at night and will scream like she's dying if we touch her and our gander just kind of rolls his eyes and walks in the house. They all have such different personalities, it's hard to tell.

    Good luck in whatever you decide to do!

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