Pilgrim Goose- winter babies?

learycow

Crowing
10 Years
Apr 1, 2011
3,075
1,225
356
Southern Maine
This is my first year with pilgrim geese. I adopted a trio (2 geese, 1 gander) from a friend about 3 months ago. The gander is under a year old and the geese are 1 and 2 years old.

One of the geese has been missing off and on for the past week. Yesterday I found her in our hay barn sitting on a nest. She has 11 eggs under her.

First things first, I thought Pilgrims only laid eggs in the spring? I am in Maine and it's already cold and threatening snow here, so I was NOT expecting eggs from any of my geese until warmer weather.

I have seen the gander doing the dirty deed, but I didn't think much of it since they aren't typically winter layers. What are the chances her eggs are fertile and will even hatch? I candled them but didn't see anything (it may be too early to tell since she hasn't been on them long)

I'm not looking for answers, simply wondering if this has happened to anyone else, and if so is there anything I should do/watch out for? I have let my ducks hatch their own but I am new to geese!
 

CelticOaksFarm

Family owned, family run
10 Years
Sep 7, 2009
12,307
278
323
Florida - Space Coast
I would pull the nest and not encourage the sitting. Block off the access to her hidden spot. Not unheard of to having laying, but you really dont want to be rearing a clutch of goslings in the house most of your Maine winter I am sure. her energy is needed to go towards weight gain for the winter ahead.
 

learycow

Crowing
10 Years
Apr 1, 2011
3,075
1,225
356
Southern Maine
I would pull the nest and not encourage the sitting. Block off the access to her hidden spot. Not unheard of to having laying, but you really dont want to be rearing a clutch of goslings in the house most of your Maine winter I am sure. her energy is needed to go towards weight gain for the winter ahead.
Thanks for the info and advice! I had no idea that they would lay this time of year. Especially this breed of goose.
I think I will let her try. I have a few people who want some goslings (don't worry, I have made sure they know what's required to raise them this time of the year!) and I also have a heated coop for them should any hatch and not have a home ahead of time.
She is in my cattle hay barn which I can't close off anyways. I have put food and water somewhat close to her that way she won't have far to go (my coop and everything is a ways away so I figured the closer the better. That way if she gets off to eat and drink she won't have far to go and the eggs won't get chilled)

I wish I was in FL right now, haha. It's about 35 degrees here and we are expecting about an inch or two of snow tonight. Gross
 

Going Bhonkers

Songster
7 Years
Apr 12, 2012
1,325
61
168
SW Florida
I candled the eggs today and have 7 growing babies!
Should I remove the bad eggs or leave them with her?

How did you candle the eggs, just by holding them in front of a flash light? (I've never candled eggs before, and I suppose I could search for the answer by looking through threads, buuuuut, it'll probably be quicker if you tell me
big_smile.png
)
 

learycow

Crowing
10 Years
Apr 1, 2011
3,075
1,225
356
Southern Maine
How did you candle the eggs, just by holding them in front of a flash light? (I've never candled eggs before, and I suppose I could search for the answer by looking through threads, buuuuut, it'll probably be quicker if you tell me
big_smile.png
)
Haha, not quite! But if you get a really bright flashlight you can do it that way!
I had to run an extension cord out (her nest is in the back of my hay barn) and I brought out a bedside lamp (one that clamps onto a bedpost). I have a very bright LED light in it. I used cardboard and cut out a small egg shape and put it over the light. Then I hold the eggs up to the light (put the egg over the hole in the cardboard). Basically the card board allows you to see through the egg. Without it it is too hard to see as the light shines around the egg if you simply hold it up to the bulb.
Thats one of the more complicated way as you can buy special candling lights that work great as long as you are in a dark room. But I don't have one so the lamp and cardboard is my homemade egg candler
big_smile.png
 

CelticOaksFarm

Family owned, family run
10 Years
Sep 7, 2009
12,307
278
323
Florida - Space Coast
any small flashlight works for candling eggs. you place it at the top (fat end) of the egg and viola you can see inside.


Newly set egg no growth yet



Candled showing internal pip of duckling

 

Going Bhonkers

Songster
7 Years
Apr 12, 2012
1,325
61
168
SW Florida
Wow, very cool. Celtic, thanks for the pictures! (Ps. you helped me learn another thing, I thought a "pip" was a variation of peep, and figured it meant the noise coming from inside the egg... now I know it refers to 'little body' or something like that. )
 

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