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One goose is being bullied - pls help!

Discussion in 'Geese' started by happydog, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. happydog

    happydog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 22, 2009
    Western NC
    I have 4 Roman geese. I bought them as sexed pairs so presumably it's two girls and two boys but I don't know for sure. They live together with 10 Indian Runner ducks. They are all about 8 months old and raised together from day olds. They all get along well except - they've recently decided that one of the geese is an outcast and won't let it near. The others will chase/bite/pull it's feathers and just generally bully the poor thing. Now it just mopes around looking longingly at the flock but not daring to get too close.

    When I let them out of their house in the morning I started noticing they've pecked a bloody spot on the back of his/her head. The next day it was worse. So now I'm putting it in a separate house, which involves a lengthy chase and capture every night in the dark and the mud/snow. And that's getting really old. I don't know what the poor thing did wrong that they all hate him/her now but it doesn't seem to be getting any better.

    I'm thinking of culling it just to put it out of its misery. Or before my husband gets too mad to chase it inside one night and a fox gets it. Or maybe I should cull the other male (or one of the males if it's a female.) Is it a breeding thing do you think? They all look alike and I don't know what sex they are. I'm going to put different colored zip ties on their legs so I can tell their sexs when I see them mate. I thought about putting a female in with it so it doesn't have to be alone but I'm afraid she'd still be mean.

    Any advice? Thanks!
     
  2. TennesseeTruly

    TennesseeTruly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Church Hill, TN
    Well I'll tell you from personal experience that one that was chased out is probably a male. I had the same thing happen last year. You have a choice. You can either take one of the females from the other male and put it with this male or you can rehome this male.

    I had 2 males and 2 females and my alpha male chased off the other male and the females joined in. They beat the daylights out of the male and he stood looking longingly at his flock. They had been together for quite a while.

    Personally, I would take one of the females from the other male and give it to the picked on male. What you do is watch this threesome. See which one is the alpha female. The alpha female will be the one that walks closest to the male most of the time. Leave her with that male. Take the other female and give her to the other male. Find a way to separate the two pairs from one another.

    The reason that I say to do this instead of getting rid of the male is because after a few weeks, my alpha male chased off the smaller female too and he stayed with his alpha female. If you get rid of the lesser male, you'll then end up with a lone female. This way you'll have 2 pairs.

    After breeding season, and this is the reason that this is happening, they will all be able to live together with no problem. Its just that right now, the alpha male is choosing his mate and its his job to run off the competing male.

    If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

    Laurie
     
  3. happydog

    happydog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 22, 2009
    Western NC
    Thank you so much Laurie, I think you nailed it. Tonight I'm going to go in their house (while they're hopefully asleep and calm) and band the trio so I can keep tabs on who's who in the cast of characters. That sounds like a good solution. Thanks a million!
     
  4. TennesseeTruly

    TennesseeTruly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Church Hill, TN
    You're more than welcome. We went through the exact same thing. I was so puzzled and someone told me the same thing I told you. It worked wonders!

    When breeding season is over, our flock gets along wonderfully. Its just during breeding season that the ganders get their feathers in an uproar!

    Laurie
     
  5. Silver Spring Waterfowl

    Silver Spring Waterfowl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mine do it, too. It's just the way Nature works. After the hormones calm down, everyone will be okay again. I find it helpful to separate the less dominant families while the pheremones are flying, but I have the space for it. Even so, it happens sometimes. Don't give up!
     
  6. goosedragon

    goosedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    Quote:Geese and many other birds will drive a sick/injured/weak bird out of the flock as a matter of self protection. They know that a weak bird will attract preditors. If you have a 'outcast' watch it closely, maybe you can see what is wrong with the bird and take steps for it to regain strength. I would isolate the bird while I was trying to discover what was wrong. I once had a huge African that suffered a leg injury in battle with another gander. The bird was lame for life but he became the King of the ducks because he would let them hide behind him when other geese or ducks were chasing them and he was a great fighter that just couldn't move fast. I finally lost him to a dog attack but he had prevented any of his ducks from being taken. I remember him fondly.
     
  7. happydog

    happydog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 22, 2009
    Western NC
    Update: I isolated the bullied one and watched the remaining three closely. I found it exactly as Laurie said, two of them were mating and the third was a "third wheel." I put "Third Wheel' in with "Picked On" and now have two happy (separated) pairs.

    I'm also very thankful I had a spare house available. Otherwise I would've had a tough time. That spare house has come in so handy. I bought children's playhouses cheap on craigslist and converted them to house poultry. I've found it invaluable to have extra housing, to isolate birds for observation or just so they can be alone to heal.

    Anyhow, just wanted to say thanks a million for the advice!
     
  8. TennesseeTruly

    TennesseeTruly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Church Hill, TN
    You're most welcome! If it wasn't for the advice that I had gotten I wouldn't have known what to do either. I'm glad that I was able to help and that you now have 2 happy pairs! Once breeding season is over with, around April or May, you'll be able to let the 4 of them back together again. There will be no more problems because there will well established pairs. Once in a while your alpha gander may chase the other one but its only to show him who's boss. There shouldn't be anymore fighting once breeding season is over with.

    Now you can relax and watch for signs of active mating and nesting.

    Good luck!!

    Laurie
     
  9. babalubird

    babalubird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 21, 2008
    This was really an interesting discussion, from one who hopes to have a few geese in the future. Thanks so much for posting the question and thanks for those who posted answers to the problem. Connie
     

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