Sebastopols. A cash crop?

Golden Valley Farm

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 12, 2009
What is going on with the Sebastopols? I have a few and went to the internet to learn more. They look to be everbody's cash cow. Like puppy mills but with geese. Buy my eggs, buy my gosling, buy my crop of youngsters in the fall. Step right up and get your Sebastopols here. Big splashy websites full of as much sellers hype as a used car salesmen. Pet quality whites, which to me is non breedable. Colors galore, regardless of the quality of the colored bird, they sell at a premium price . Smooth breasted Sebastopols with NO feather. I mean how do we know they come from Sebastopol breedings when they look like any other barnyard goose exept for the huge price tag? British Waterfowl Association has a description of a smooth breasted type and it is not a bird with no long feather or curl. It just seems weird to me that such an interesting breed of goose is so represented on the internet with the goose mill mentality. Doesn't anybody breed quality birds as a hobby? Is it ALL the hatchery mindset?


Spruce Creek Waterfowl
10 Years
Apr 20, 2009
Sandusky, Ohio
I agree I have seen some expensive ones out there and they aren't very good quality. I am just now getting into them. I got a pair of goslings from Holderreads, which are known for their sebastopols and other geese alike. I plan to keep quality and health the top factors when I breed mine.


10 Years
Sep 7, 2009
Southeast texas
Any time there is something new on the market and there is an intrest it is going to cost you if you can not wait till they take off, It is human nature to want something not everyone has and there are people that can cash in on this.

I personally like the sebastopol geese, but i can wait till the price goes down and it will when more people have them, you will also have a better selection if you wait.

However you should expect to pay a higher price to someone that have taken the time to selectively breed quality birds.

Me i just like eye healthy eye candy


There is no "I" in Ameraucana
Jan 18, 2008
Newman Lake, WA
I wish, I'd be rolling in the dough.

There are alot of sellers out there that do sell poopy birds and most are none the wiser. I guess I am too honest about the quality of my birds.....

But hopefully next year I will end up with all show quality animals as I have been selecting the best birds for the past four years. It's really going to help when I get my gander directly from Audrey this fall.

Golden Valley Farm

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 12, 2009
Holderreads price according to the quality of the birds. But some of the websites I have seen are wanting you to buy a smooth bird for an outlandish price and some websites are selling goslings at a premium price trying to use breeders names as a selling point. Not all goslings or adults are breeder quality and would make great pets for someone just wanting pet quality. In order to get good quality birds, selection of breeder geese is a must.


In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 20, 2010
I mentioned something along these lines in connection with someone who started out their post saying they wanted to get Sebastopols and wondered which colors were the most popular because they wanted to sell eggs and goslings. I've done the same thing as Golden Valley. Gone to the internet and get bombarded with all the hype and salesmanship you could ever hope to see. The sad truth is that in many or most cases the birds are just not all that great. I understand where the person is coming from that thinks it's fairly normal to pay a premium price for something new BUT I would still expect, especially for a big price, quality enough that I can advance my own flock. There has to be a certain amount of quality to build on and when someone wants me to pay a lot for a bird with nothing going for it I can't help but feel that they themselves are very ignorant or am hoping that I am. Case in point and it may not have been Sebastopols. Somone said a bird honestly described as quite mediocre and not good enough for the breeder was still being offered for sale as a starter gander. Whatever that is which was the point that had them amused. Birds not good enough to breed from still being offered as breeders instead of lawn ornaments or table delicacies. People don't cull if they have even bothered to raise anything instead of selling it all as it hatches. Whatever they raise up and feed has become like gold, at least according to so much of what is on the internet right now.


9 Years
Apr 5, 2010
Viroqua, WI
"Smooth breasted Sebastopols with NO feather. I mean how do we know they come from Sebastopol breedings when they look like any other barnyard goose exept for the huge price tag? British Waterfowl Association has a description of a smooth breasted type and it is not a bird with no long feather or curl. "

A breeding between two smooth breasteds does create 25% curly, 50% smooth breasted, and 25% normal feathered offspring.
Smooth-breasted Sebastopols are as wonderful as curlies...definitely more practical, imo. They are necessary, too, for the most genitically wholesome curly offspring (fewer defects).
Even normal feathered Sebastopols who may have great qualities, including good color, can be useful to breed back into curlies.
It ain't all about the curlies, if you ask me!

Edited to add: I dont think that a high-price for *live creatures* is out of line or anologous to a "cash crop". Perhaps more of this kind of problem are the hatcheries who sell most birds for next-to-nothing pushing quantity, not quality, for profit--Animal-beings have inherent value that is literally priceless. There are many good reasons to price birds, especially birds who are bred responsibly, well.


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10 Years
Mar 21, 2009
Nothing anyone is describing is unique to Sebastopols (which incidentally have been bred for not only decades, but centuries). With any type of poultry or waterfowl (or animal period), you are going to see a variation in quality. You are also not going to see most breeders selling off top stock. It just doesn't happen. Breeders typically sell off what will not fit into their breeding program. It is up to each individual to purchase the best stock they can afford and selectively breed from there. Instead of worrying about what other breeders do with their "culls", worry about what you will do with yours. Will most people make a meal out of a bird that can be sold for $50-$75? Not likely. It is simply a case of supply and demand and what the market will bare. Sebastopols have been bred for many, many years and have always commanded fairly stable prices probably for numerous reasons not the least of which is their unique beauty. It is the same way with several other varieties of poultry that I can think of.

As far as the issue with rarer colors/varieties, again lower quality in the newer varieties is not something unique to Sebastopols. New varieties are generally developed through outcrossing to a different breed. This leads to many subsequent generations of selective breeding being required to reestablish type. Enjoy your birds and your breeding projects. Do not worry so much about what other people are selling and for how much. Focus on your own flock. If someone is selling something that you personally do not believe to be worth the price, happily move on and find someone else that has what you are looking for. Nobody puts a gun to anyone's head and forces them to purchase anything. If you don't feel there are enough websites adequately promoting what you consider to be acceptable quality Sebastopols, then start your own website. Just realize that, like everyone else, you will eventually encounter someone that doesn't like your way of doing things either.


11 Years
Mar 3, 2008
Raymond Maine
Bravo City Chicker! One must look BEYOND the feathers. Like fur in dogs, They are the focal point in Sebs and are a main consideration, but the rest of the bird must be considered. Most of the top breeders are keeping both smooth breasted, all curly, AND YES, a few almost smooth-especially in the colors. There is a reason for this-body , head, fertility and stamina can peter out with too much focus on the feathers. It's hard finding Euro sites, they disappear overnight, but I have seen many of them over the past 3 years, andthey have been keeping their gene pool strong using all types. Do your homework before you buy a Seb, and don't buy what you don't want.


10 Years
Mar 5, 2009
Church Hill, TN
I have both smooth and curly Sebastopols. Someone looked at my one smooth female and told me that she is NOT a Sebastopol. Well tell that to Dave and Millie Holderread then because she came from them. She is COMPLETELY smooth, no curly feathers at all, except when she's wet. Then you can see the curl. I was guaranteed by Holderread's that she IS a Sebastopol.

25% of her babies are smooth. I have had buyers tell me right up front that they didn't want any babies from her, (even though she's paired up with my SQ male), due to her smoothness. Smooth or curly, her babies are gorgeous, have great personalities, and WILL produce curly babies. Their loss.


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