Our goose tried to kill a chicken!!

Discussion in 'Geese' started by erinszoo, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. erinszoo

    erinszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2011
    North Central Oklahoma
    We have a pair of Embden geese that are about 5 months old. In the last month they have had some serious attitude problems hissing and biting, etc... We took care of their attitude towards us by always picking them up when they hissed at us, then we hold them for a few moments and put them back down. They don't hiss at us again while we are in the yard. They had started playing together in the water figuring out the mating situation along with a drake we have but had always left the chickens alone. However, yesterday we heard a wild noise in the yard and went out to find our goose attacking a chicken along with our duck. They had it held down on the ground and our goose had it by the throat. When I ran out towards them screaming and waving my arms, the goose threw the chicken across the yard. It was rather frightening.

    So we have kept them separated since it happened but we can't keep them that way because we just don't have the space. All the birds are used to ranging the whole yard and we are having to keep the chickens in their yard now.

    I don't know anyone around here to take the geese but I don't think I could kill them. I am too attached.

    Is this a normal behavior for geese or should we start advertising for a new home for them? Any advice on what to do?
  2. Poultrybonkers

    Poultrybonkers Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 22, 2011
    I wish mine would teach my roo a lesson since mine get bruises from him.
  3. Cottage Rose

    Cottage Rose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 24, 2008
    Mid west Michigan
    Geese will bully ducks and chickens although my Sebastopols don't go out of their way to do it but I'm raising 2 Embdens for the freezer this year and they are both very rowdy and aggressive. I'm not sure if this is a trait of the breed or not but this has been my experience.
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    My emden hasn't actually put a chicken in his mouth but he came close. now he just lowers his head and they stay clear of him, alot of what your seeing is coming of age and thats when my gander is at his worse during the mating season. hopefully your chickens will learn to stay away from the geese. mine are all in the same fenced in area and have learned to stay away from each other, but I have a small rooster that my gander is terrified off and will stay clear of him. lol
  5. You will have to watch them and see . . . when our goslings were younger they did grab and hold one of the hens for some reason (it is usually when the chicken was making noise, or flapping around weirdly - geese don't like commotions). We were out there and rescued her. I grabbed the goose that was doing it, detached the chicken, picked the goose up and looked him in the eye and told him NO NO NO. and continued to hold him for awhile. It hasn't been an issue since but that may also be because:

    a) The chickens stay away from the geese and know to stop squawking and run off if the geese come near.
    b) The geese are older and don't feel like disciplining chickens for being chickens : )
    c) The chicken was from a new batch of mostly grown pullets that I had just put in the chicken yard in a small separate house -- she'd escaped and because the geese were all standing around me, watching what I was doing, they decided to deal with the intruder . . .
    d) The drake was trying to breed the chicken (I've heard that might happen if you don't have any female ducks) and the goose was offended by the noise and came over to break it up. My geese took a long time to get used to the breeding ducks - they were always trying to break them up and they would grab them by the back of the neck. Sometimes the poor female duck would be flapping around with a drake or two, and the flock of geese in pursuit AND the jealous female duck that didn't want to share her mate . . . it is like a soap opera in the chicken yard sometimes.
    e)All of the above . . .

    Geese are also hard for the chickens to get away from - they grab the feathers at the back of the neck and they don't let go -- not at all like the chickens fight. So I'd be careful - I've heard of geese killing chickens. My American Buffs pretty much leave the chickens alone right now, but in December I'm moving them into a separate area so that I can deal with any breeding aggressions without inflicting the chickens with grumpy geese.

    If you don't have lots of predator pressure - particularly stray dogs (or neighbor dogs that are AWOL), or coyotes, you could try some of the portable plastic chicken fence -- my geese never fly over mine (it is 4 ft tall, but for them I probably could have gotten the 3 ft) and just move them around the yard so they have their own space. The basic plastic stuff is cheap and would let you know if it worked for you - however, my geese do chew on everything, so you might have to replace it. I have the electric moveable fence, which is expensive, but I have too many loose dogs and coyotes around. The bonus is the electric shock keeps the geese from chewing on the fence.

    It could be a personality thing -- I have American Buffs and a pair of Toulouse, and the Toulouse are more watchful than the Buffs - however, they are adults and the Buffs are about 8 months old. Don't know what everyone will be like during breeding season, which is why I will separate them BEFORE. As a child when I was growing up we had Embedens though, and they lived just fine in a very large fenced area with chickens/ducks/and even turkeys. So it will just depend on whether you want to try to make things work, or if you decide to not worry about it and put an ad up . . . geese are unusual so I'd think someone would want them!
  6. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    The only time that my Embden geese will attack the other animals is when the "see" a rooster breeding with a hen and when my drakes breed with my hens. My geese do not tolerate breeding "of another species". They only approve of their own breeding. [​IMG]
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    Quote:I agree 100% it's allabout them. [​IMG]
  8. Goose and Fig

    Goose and Fig Grateful Geese

    Apr 19, 2009
    Fall Creek Falls TN
    My toulouse sleep and nest in the attached run of my biggest chicken coop. During the early spring when they had a nest, one of my welsummers wandered in and was subsequently tossed about til she was 1/2 bald, and died a few days later. Most of the birds know to stay away from them, and they usally aren't a threat. But during breeding season.....watch out!
  9. FarmrGirl

    FarmrGirl MooseMistress

    Jul 1, 2009
    Southern Maryland
    Quote:2X I call them my "morality police" I have Americans and they never mess with the chickens or ducks unless they're breeding.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
  10. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Quote:2X I call them my "morality police" I have Americans and they never mess with the chickens or ducks unless they're breeding.


    LOL @ morality police . Sounds just like mine.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by