my geese's social dynamics

Discussion in 'Geese' started by StephieC, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. StephieC

    StephieC Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 22, 2012
    Hi all~
    Ever since we got our geese (well, goslings back then) 29th June 2012, can't believe how long it's been!
    Never kept any pets really, had a couple of budgies when I was like 8-9 yrs old
    had a chinchilla for a few months (it's really our grandpa's but we foster care it for a while)
    then we got Geese~~~~~ !!!

    Anyway, today I just wanna share with you all how our three babies have come along and just how confused I am about their gender
    For those who'd like to get to know our babies, please visit this link to see their story and pics
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/718025/my-3-pet-geese-sweetness-fights-and-bullying-with-pics

    Guardian, who we are very sure is the gander
    I would say I have a better relationship with him than my sister (only us two looking after them)
    He is the one who lets me give him a cuddle sometimes and he's really gentle towards me too
    we "talk" to each other all the time and if I hold out my hand to his bill, he would very very gently give me a few ticklish nibbles
    he's always the first to respond or come running when I call for them too
    He honks in a funny squeaky sound, like someone's broken the voilin, but he doesn't do that very very often

    Milk, who we are very sure is a goose
    when they first came, Milk was the middle size one, smaller than Guardian but bigger than the other (Sugar)
    she used to hiss A LOT A LOT, but never attempts to bite anyone
    She honks in a lower tone, and she's actually very quiet most of the time, even if the other two are making crazy amount of noise
    During the summer, just one day, we noticed that Sugar and Guardian stick real close to each other
    Sugar then went on to bully Milk all the time, making her go away when there's food out, make her get out from their paddling pool, etc
    Poor Milk never fights back. Whenever Sugar pecks her, she stretches out her neck and make this noise like "why are you mean to me??"
    After a little while Milk got skinnier and skinnier, so we took to giving her some special treatment
    we'd block Sugar from pecking Milk during feeding times
    I noticed I only had to hold my hand out to block Sugar's vision between them, it's like if Sugar can't see Milk then it's all OK
    Interestingly, Guardian seemed to understood what we were doing
    when he saw Sugar bullying Milk, he would give Sugar a mild nudge, as if telling her to behave, then Sugar would really stop
    Gradually, Guardian took to stand between Sugar and Milk at most times, then it became that Gaurdian & Milk would go everywhere together
    when Milk gets scared by a sudden noise, she would rush next to Guardian and stand very close to him
    Then the action started to kick in......one morning Guardian climbed on top of Milk and "grabbed" her head with his bill
    we read in the books that this is how they do it...
    By now, I should mention that over time, Sugar had out-grown Milk in size and she's now the smallest and the shortest
    so there's nothing Milk could do, sometimes Milk would notice that Guardian was moving towards her in a very suspicious manner and she would move away
    BUT this is where things gets real intrigueing, every time Guardian mounts Milk, Sugar would come running, then climb on top of Guardian
    like they are trying to make a Geese sandwich, with Poor Milk being squashed at the bottom by two big fat geese now
    then Guardian could no longer carry on his business and he would get off
    when Milk gets free, she would then run up to Sugar and stay close, Sugar's never tried to mount Milk as far as we can see!

    Now, Sugar...Sugar first took to sticking with Guardian when they were still little fluff balls
    then Sugar began to act like Guardian too...stretching its neck to strangers, hissing very fiercely and always run to the front with Guardian towards threats
    when it was younger, it use to scream like murder whenever we tried to hold it & run away with the speed of lightning
    now, it has developed a habit of honking really really really loud, most of the time, just on its own
    Guardian & Milk are often startled by Sugar's sudden bursts of extremely loud honkings (which is actually quite funny)
    Sugar is even fatter than Guardian now, though they are roughly the same height
    it seems to have a relentless appetite and can eat eat eat
    Sugar, I would say, is the most clever out of the three
    it always leads them into the pen when it's time, she knows to stop when I give a stern "Uh" or "No",
    it's always the one to figure out a way to escape their enclosure, etc
    On several occasions, Sugar was seen pulling Guardian back, when Guardian wanted to charge our neighbour
    It absolutely hates it when I try to hold her, struggling to get away (a little better lately, actually)
    I've never seen Sugar trying to climb on top of Milk, but it's very protective of her
    If I'm holding Milk, both Sugar and Guardian would come up to me to protest
    I'd give them each a single very gentle bump in the chest & they would stop protesting and just stand there and wait
    back when Sugar was the smallest of all, Milk & Guardian would do the same, when I tried to hold Sugar

    Now now, when Milk successfully avoids Guardian from his advances each morning
    Guardian would actually move up to Sugar
    they then start this "dancey" thing, Sugar & Guardian would each take turn to dip their heads into water, flapping their wings (like they are copying what each other does)
    and they do this facing each otherI thought this looked one of those mating rituals seen on nature documentaries
    Guardian doesn't do this with Milk though, he just mounts her without "asking"
    after a little bit, Guardian would try to mount Sugar, but Sugar would then turn around and make him back off
    I've only seen Guardian tried to mount Sugar twice, usually before he gets a chance, Sugar would tell him of go first

    At this moment, we haven't had any eggs yet
    I am inclined to say the Sugar is probably just a very bossy gal
    I raelly hope Sugar is a SHE. I love a gal who stands her ground [​IMG]
    OMG OMG OMG~ I just realised I had typed SO MUCH
    to those who were kind enough to read the whole thing
    Thank you so~

    Lately, Guardian has took to being really aggressive towards my sister
    for no reason whatsoever
    he just hisses at her whenever she appears and bites her real hard too, leaving bruises & all
    when i see that, I would go over & stop him
    most of the time he would not be mean to me
    I'd hold him for a little bit, then he'll settle down
    just a couple of times, he tried to bite me too, but I can see he was upset (though I don't know why) so I just let him be
    afterwards, he'd be fine again
    He would still eat out of my sister's hands, very gently
    but two minutes later, he'd suddenly want to bite her again
    my sister is now really upset and started to develop a dislike towards Guardian
    I tried to explain, it's probably just a hormonal phase and he probably can't help it himself
    I'm really puzzled by Sugar's LOUD honking too, that goose has got a pair of lungs on it!!!

    OK I'm gonna shut up now
    or this post will go on FOREVER~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
     
  2. Going Bhonkers

    Going Bhonkers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    SW Florida
    Congrats on your geese, I remember reading about them a while back, can't believe they're 7 months old already! From the way you described Sugar, I would say he sounds like a gander. Another way to find out gender in geese besides waiting for an egg is to get them DNA tested, the price is fairly reasonable if you just want to confirm who Sugar is. Here's one place that does it http://www.avianbiotech.com

    Good luck & please visit us more often!
     
  3. RURU

    RURU Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 25, 2011
    Troy, Missouri
    My Coop
    You need to tell your sister when your gander goes after her for her to spread her arms out and flap them this stops the gander from coming. A bit of advice is you should not hand feed geese this can make them bite...
    It does sound like you have 2 ganders by the actions. You may not get eggs until the geese are 1 year old or older.
     
  4. StephieC

    StephieC Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 22, 2012
    Oh~ I live in the UK...I should've mentioned, hehe~
    not being a sexist, but I'd be so sad if Sugar is a boy
    does that make Guardian a Bi if he tries to mount Sugar too?
    how kinky!! :)
     
  5. StephieC

    StephieC Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 22, 2012
    we always use to joke that Sugar is a She-Male, hahaha
    This morning, I saw Guardian stretched his neck out towards my sister, but literally 1 second later, he turned away as if nothing happened
    my sister didn't even know it happened
    I find hand feeding helped me get close to the geese, coz they were already several weeks old when we first got them and they were very afraid of us.
    but maybe u r right, they think hand is part of the menu :p
     
  6. Going Bhonkers

    Going Bhonkers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2012
    SW Florida
    StephieC, if Sugar is indeed a gander, you many want to look into getting another female goose. 2 boys with 1 girl is not going to be fun during breeding season - not fair for the poor female, and probably more fighting among the males.
     

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