One of my ganders is getting into the habit of biting me

Leader Bee

Songster
Jun 22, 2018
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They're hand reared so im a little suprised but i think its mostly associated with a water bucket he has taken a dislike to - normally id fill it up and he would run away but he has now taken to agressively biting my hand while i carry it ( i don't know if it makes a difference, but he definitely goes for my hand on the handle rather than anywhere on the bucket which makes me think he knows he is attacking me and not the bucket) and even after id finished with the bucket he still had another go by jumping at me and flapping his wings while trying to get my hand again

I appreciate that they probably consider the garden their territory seems they spend most of their time there but i brought the little bugger up!

I tried to talk "goose" to him and gave him a few hard shoves on his chest without backong down and said "No! Im the boss" in a stern but not angry voice, bit other than this, o do t know how i can teach him that its not appropriate???

His brother is adorably well behaved though and even rarely honks to disturb the neighbours
 

Callender Girl

Crowing
Sep 18, 2018
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North Central Iowa
I don't know what to do, but I think -- based on the size of my American Buff girls -- having him attack your hand sounds like serious stuff. I would likely try what you've tried to discourage him. I hope someone gives you a good solution.

Is it all water buckets? Is there something about the shape, size or color of it that annoys him?
 

Leader Bee

Songster
Jun 22, 2018
439
495
136
Not sure, i just have the one red bucket lol. He's really only like this in the garden though so i do think its a territory thing
 

The goose girl

Songster
Jul 7, 2010
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Denmark
My gander is prone to biting, too, especially in spring. Shoving him or holding his bill only seems to fuel his excitement.

What works for me is to scoop him up, hold him for a few seconds until he's quieted down, and lob him a couple of feet away from me. In spring I may have to carry him to the pond (away from whatever the source of his excitement) and lob him in the pond.

He does not like to be picked up, so apart from spring it's usually enough to just bend down a little, hold out my arms as if to pick him up, take a slight step towards him, and ask him "you want a hug?" He really doesn't, and he backs down immediately. I've taught visitors to do it, too, and if they're brave enough to act as if to pick him up, it works like a charm.

It doesn't seem like territorial behaviour to me. Except of course for the nest area during mating season. He's just very easily excitable, and when his excitement reaches a certain level, it turns to aggression that he can't snap out of. He's done the water bucket biting thing as well, and I interpret it as his "oh, wow, fresh water" wave of enthusiasm simply reaches a point where he can't contain it and it breaks into a surf of aggressiveness.
 

Leader Bee

Songster
Jun 22, 2018
439
495
136
I might have to give the picking him up thing a go then, but it's difficult when you're carrying a bucket full of water in one hand; I've been punched in the nose by flapping goose wings before too and even though it's a myth they can break your arm, I can certainly believe they could break your nose if you got caught at the wrong angle, and I can imagine him flapping quite a lot if I picked him up when he was angry :lol:
 
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Callender Girl

Crowing
Sep 18, 2018
1,458
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North Central Iowa
Oh, I can't count the number of times I've taken a wing to the face! I completely understand your reluctance to get your nose too close to his wing. My Gussie will allow me to pick her up with no reaction; Golly flaps her wings like a windmill to let me know she is Not To Be Picked Up. Ever.
 

Leader Bee

Songster
Jun 22, 2018
439
495
136
It's funny how geese each have their own little personalities about things, not being picked up, liking cuddles, or not wanting to be touched etc.
 

ColtHandorf

Crowing
Feb 19, 2019
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Klondike, Texas
Oh, I can't count the number of times I've taken a wing to the face!
How interesting! I have never been hit in the face by my geese anyway. Guineas and some crazy chickens yes. Golly will come right to me for love if I'm bent down or squatting. He doesn't allow anyone to be photographed if he isn't in the frame. Except for mating season and visitors, he's usually fairly calm. If I'm with the new people and tell him no, he backs right down and just yells for a while. Georgia on the other hand has always been shy. I can pet her breast now if I'm also touching Golly and he's closer than she is. Beau and Beatrice, the pair I held back from this year, were parent-raised and didn't bond with me. They are much more nervous. I've never touched one of them without having to chase them down to catch their siblings when they found new homes. They aren't even a fan of me walking by/towards them with the hose. I guess we'll see what I've gotten myself into next year when both girls have eggs...
 

Callender Girl

Crowing
Sep 18, 2018
1,458
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466
North Central Iowa
Lucky you! Once, when Golly didn't want to go into their shelter and pen, I got winged in the face so hard that I hit the fencing and ended up with a big bruise. People either laughed when I told the story or thought I was making it up.

Looking forward to hearing how it goes when your girls lay next spring!
 

ColtHandorf

Crowing
Feb 19, 2019
2,650
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Klondike, Texas
That's crazy! The worst thing mine have ever done was trap me in the hen house during breeding season. I was trying to stop her nest from flooding and Golly managed to pinch my inner thigh above the mud boot before I could scramble out of the way. lol I ended up blockading the whole door with milk crate nestboxes from the chickens to finish the nest move. Then I had to wield the nestboxes like shields. lol Now he's a total pest when it comes to other birds.
 

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