Sad loss of a gallant gander


In the Brooder
7 Years
Jun 5, 2012
West Cork, Republic of Ireland
I would appreciate some advice regarding the sad loss of a wonderful Embden gander.

About 5 months ago, I was given a family; gander, goose and 3 goslings. They have been magnificent and have integrated so well with my hens and guinea fowl.
When they first arrived, they had obviously not been afforded much human company or gentleness, but I never had any peoblems with them and as the goslings grew to become almost as big as parents, so did the gander and wife calm down, accept us and even would come up and take food from my hand.

However, the tragedy is that 4 days ago, between 5pm and 5.45pm, I lost the wonderful gander. As you all know, as family, they stick together, walk, sleep together and so on. I had been cleaning their house, went in for a cup of tea (very Irish!) and went out at 5.45pm to put them to bed - it gets dark early up here in the mountains.
The gander was missing! I looked everywhere. All the other birds were there and they all seemed quite calm and not at all spooked. Even my 3 cats were acting normally. There had been no alarm calls from the geese or guineas, no feathers, no markings and no blood, but there was no Boyna!

Mrs Goose and children are ok, but are quite subdued, not walking around the expanse of land as if they would when dad was around, they are eating and drinking, but I wonder if they need another male, by the way, the "babies" are all apparently female as they all have the same "pouch" between their legs, just like mum.
Is it possible or advisable to find another adult Embden, if so, how does one go about introducing a new male.
Would the family accept - would the new male assume the role of husband/father/protector.

Or should I leave as it is?

By the way, there is a fox trap winging it's way to me and I WILL catch that animal! But then, do I kill it, or do I drive it 20 miles away into the mountain and let it go?

My main concern is the happiness of the geese - should I get another gander for mum, or should I get a younger gander for one of the daughters?

Thanks in advance for your time.

1. So sorry for your loss
. Your gander sounds like he was a excellent father!

2. Lobes are not a accurate way to really sex geese. Chances are you probably have at least 1 male in the bunch of babies.

3. You can add another male but I would give it some more time first. They can still be in shock from the loss of their father/mate. If it hasn't changed in a few weeks then I would consider adding another male.

4. They will not most likely accept another male right away. However, I would make it where they could see the new male but not get to him. After awhile they will warm up to each other and establish a new pecking order.

5. You would have to look at local ordinances. Most people would euthanize the predator instead of releasing it into a area where it could become another person's problem.
Thanks Kevin565.
Yes, the "babies" are probably only about 5 months old (when we received them they were about small duck size, covered in yellow fluff) even though it is almost impossible now to see at a glance which is the mum as they have shot up growth wise!

I guess you are absolutely right about the fox. I know a friendly farmer - well he is actually the postman BUT, here in Eire nothing is simple or logical! He is only the "temporary" postman who covered for a friend some 20 years ago and is still doing the job, "but I am only temporary.....I have 2 farms to run!"
-who lives below us in the valley, I know he and his barn door size son have guns........
So sorry. The other geese sound like they are grieving. It always takes some time when one of their clan is lost. I agree with Kevin, you likely have a boy in the juveniles. Its not often easy to introduce a new family member, so if you do need one, best to wait til they are over the loss first.
So sorry to hear about your gallant Gander - it may well have been a fox! My gander Boss was the guardian of six goslings and one night all returned except for Boss, I knew instantly that he was dead... two days later a hunter shot a large dog fox very near to where Boss was killed - we found very few remains - mostly feathers and I was distraught at the thought of his demise... thankfully our friends here on BYC supported me and I have wonderful memories of the best gander I could ever have wished for - he didn't have a female mate - we purchased him at a local market and his life was spent looking after others.

I agree with all here who say to wait and see what evolves - it can be very hard to introduce a grown male into an existing family - we have adopted geese that were not wanted and it takes a long time for them to integrate - if ever!

Mourn your loss and know that there are many of us here who feel something of the hurt you are going through.... is fox hunting banned in Ireland? Sorry, I left the UK some years ago and am not up to date with the latest laws - best to adopt the methods I have read on here....S.S.S. .the fox needs to go NOW!

I am sitting here with a cup of tea right now.... best drink of he day!

Take care!

Thank you Suzie.
What a wonderful part of France, the nearest I have been was Lyon when driving for Wallace Arnold Coaches in UK.

In Ireland there is not really a "fox hunt" as we know it in UK, with horses and "gentry" in colourful riding gear and hounds. Here, it seems, that farmers all have shot guns and there are also people you can call on with trained dogs to get rid of the fox.
We are a strange country in as much as most of the laws are only put there to keep EU happy, but the Irish, in the Republic (Eire) where I am live about 50 years in the past in the majority of the population. Only FIFTEEN years ago, there was still the old fashioned telephone exchange in my local village post office! Yes, where a lady would sit at a switchboard with cables going all over the place, ready to connect you to the town exchange who would then connect you to the person you wanted to talk to - 15 years ago!

Yes, I will take on everyones advice and wait a while and see how they cope.

Best wishes,

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