Pilgrim selection

Discussion in 'Geese' started by NCFF, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. NCFF

    NCFF Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 10, 2011
    Hello I am new to Pilgrims and geese. I will be getting 3 or 4 pairs of geese this year from Metzer. I wanted to start to think about what I will be culling , and when I will be doing it. Any tips on what to look for in my breeders and when I can make my final selections for my Gander.
     
  2. I'd think you'd at least have to wait until the goslings matured before you decided to cull. I'd almost wait a whole year myself -- until I saw mine go through a breeding season. Then you have final call on the male geese personalities. I wouldn't keep any that are aggressive for sure . . . . It is good to plan ahead, but most of the time culling is something you do when they are grown I'd think, and all feathered out, and their personalities were clear as well.

    Be sure that you really need 3 or 4 pairs -- I would have done better to order 2 ganders and four to six females -- ganders do fight in the breeding season. If you are really looking for showing quality - get one show quality gander instead of multiple pet / production quality. Less with higher quality genetics is going to work out better for you in the long run, and for the breeding program. Hopefully then you won't have to cull any!

    I loved my geese and ducks from Metzers! You should enjoy them when they come!
     
  3. DeerRunFarm

    DeerRunFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 10, 2012
    Hi,

    I breed Pilgrims, and got my original stock from Oklahoma Heritage Poultry via McMurray Hatchery. My experience has been that you should keep two males if you are serious about breeding. Birds sometimes die, and with a rare breed, losing your only male will derail your entire breeding season-- It's not like you can hop on Craigslist and find an adult replacement for sale down the road from you!

    Cull Pilgrims hard for temperament. Also cull females that show large amounts of white as far down as the neck, and males with more than a handful of gray feathers. I only have one female with the correct double fat lobes, so I was a bit stuck on that front, but if some of yours have it and some don't, consider culling for that as well.

    I also require my geese to raise their own nests of goslings at the end of the breeding season (after I've collected enough eggs to cover my customers' orders), so it's important that they be able to do that successfully.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. DUCKGIRL89

    DUCKGIRL89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a pair of pilgrim goslings I hatched from my friends flock. She has 2 pairs, I got 1 gisling from each pair. So far, I'm in love! But I'm kinda scared mine will not end up being very good wuality, and I won't be able to hatch eggs from them, or let them raise any of their own.

    Would you order from McMurry hatchery for pilgrims? I'd like to MAYBE order a few, and keep another pair or something, or maybe 2 more females if 1 gander can "service" that many... But I want to order from a place with nice stock. Would metzer farms also be a good place?

    Thanks!
     
  5. NCFF

    NCFF Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 10, 2011
    I hear what you are saying about keeping more than 1 male. I do have a contact 1 hr away that had Pilgrims, but you never know what someone else will have when you need it. I also feel I would have more control over developing my own line if I do not introduce blood from a unknown source. I am getting a few(not sure what is hatching) asked for 4 pairs, may only get 2 pairs. I ordered from Metzer. They have their own stock as well as last season they acquired Holderreads breeding stock of Pilgrims.

    Deer Run ~
    If I end up getting 4 pairs and have 2 males to cull before winter, what other tips to look for other than good temperament
    and avoid gray feathers. If I end up with only 2 pairs maybe I will pick up 2 females from my Sacramento source, not sure what line they are from.
     
  6. DeerRunFarm

    DeerRunFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 10, 2012
    Well, there are the double fat lobes, of course... blue eyes on the males, and orange bills/legs are preferred over pinkish ones (though young birds often start out pinkish and get more orange as they age). Keeless breast, medium body size, and flat crown on the head. With only two males to cull, I suspect you'll make a decision before you get *too* far down that list! ;-)
     
  7. DeerRunFarm

    DeerRunFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 10, 2012
    Yeah, there's nothing majorly wrong with McMurray's geese... except that they always seem to be sold out! I believe Metzer gets theirs from the same place as McMurray-- there just aren't many major producers of such a rare breed. For what it's worth, if you're looking for goslings this spring, PM me or drop me an email at deerrunfarmmeats at gmail dot com. I've had two buyers back out, and I'm actually just about to go post goslings in the buy-sell-trade section.
     
  8. DUCKGIRL89

    DUCKGIRL89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 28, 2011
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  9. DeerRunFarm

    DeerRunFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 10, 2012
    They look fine to me! Don't see much white on the females or gray on the males; no knobs on the bills... can't see if they have the double fat lobes though.
     
  10. NCFF

    NCFF Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 10, 2011
    My Pilgrim order came in right on time. They only had 2 pairs available. They are almost 4 weeks old. I have noticed the following differences so far. One of the Ganders is noticeably bigger and lighter colored. He also seams to respect my authority more than the other male. With the females One is larger, but she has yellow feathers( fuzz) on the tips of her wings, quite a bit I think. In comparison the other female has only gray on her feathers and is only slightly smaller. Temperament wise with the females, the only with the yellow on tips postures a little more. I was thinking about where to go from here. Keep all, sell a pair, or sell the extra male ?
     

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