Urgently Need the Voice of Experience

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jessi, May 19, 2009.

  1. jessi

    jessi In the Brooder

    May 19, 2009
    I just purchased four week-old goslings from a feed store. Talouse goslings were mixed in with White China goslings in the bin, and several of the Talouse were picking badly on the Chinas. Four of the Chinas had the down completely picked off their backs, and one looked like it might have bled. You could actually see the little offenders viciously chewing on their victims.

    I HAD to rescue those four goslings, so they are the ones I picked. I also gave the store owner a piece of my mind, insisting he separate the Talous from the White Chinas, which he did. But now I'm concerned. Did I just buy four ganders? Why were those four, out of the ten or fifteen Chinas in the box, being especially targeted? Is it because they are ganders, and now I'll have four ganders with no females? Or is it because perhaps I just purchased four females - so timid that they were targeted?

    My bottom-line question is: does anyone know what prompts one breed of gosling to pick on some of the goslings of another breed? Is it likely to be a gander thing, the little males sensing these are their rivals? Or what? There was no mistaking the fact that THESE four babies were the ones being heavily hit.

    Any experience anyone has with goslings, ducks, or chicks picking on other babies would be most appreciated. I'm sure the reasons could be related, whatever the species.

    Best regards,

  2. DiVon80

    DiVon80 Songster

    Feb 23, 2009
    Pearl River,Louisiana
    Good Question![​IMG]
  3. MSHEN

    MSHEN Songster

    Feb 13, 2009
    I wish I could offer info but I have chickens only! I can offer a welcome, however. You are in the right place for the answer. [​IMG]
  4. ShadyGlade

    ShadyGlade Songster

    These four picked on babies are not the smallest I take it? If there are no obvious physical differences then I would guess that they may be the "lowest in the pecking order". Waterfowl also have an order to their social structure.
  5. Quote:Well, said! [​IMG]
    I don't think that because they were being picked on makes them ganders. I think they were just the lowest in order. Sad, but that's the way of it. Good for you for buying them. You will be giving them a better home! Congrats on your new babies. And...........[​IMG]
  6. goosedragon

    goosedragon Songster

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    I don't know all the causes but one is definitely color! I had one gosling I called the Klansman because he would not leave black or brown marked young ones alone! I had to seperate him in his own little area where the other goslings/ducklings could come visit with him or shun him which ever they prefered.
  7. adrian

    adrian Songster

    May 12, 2009
    Regina, SK
    If they weren't hatched together, and the toulouse goslings are from a particularly aggressive strain, they will likely attack the other goslings because they are "foreign" and not recognized as clutch mates. Think about it this way – if a few goslings walked over to an already established family of geese, both parents and goslings alike would peck at them and chase them away. It's just likely an instinct to protect from disease and so on. Gender has little to do with it, but it's likely your geese will be less aggressive than the others. [​IMG]

  8. jessi

    jessi In the Brooder

    May 19, 2009
    Thanks for all the comments, folks, and I'm relieved none of you think I have 4 ganders! Let me explain what I'm dealing with exactly, as another issue has developed today. Here's the story:

    I am an owner of 5 pet geese. Daddy Goose, the eldest, has been with me for 15 years. About 6 years ago, the 3 females quit hatching out in the springtime. Babies would develop to term in the shell, then never break the egg.

    I tried changing what they ate, and when it happened a second year in a row, I resolved to create no more dead babies. Since then, each year I import eggs from somewhere for my ladies to sit on.

    This year, Priscilla, who absolutely loves babies, started sitting on only one egg. When I saw she was sitting tight, I removed it and gave her three very fresh ones from our "eggs donors." She sat on these very faithfully, but on day 30, hatched nothing out. That was last Thursday, and today is day 35. I thought I'd give her 4 or 5 extra days just in case. The vet said to do this, though it made little sense to me, since I know exactly how many eggs she has and exactly when she started sitting on them.

    But back to the story. I started calling around trying to find a few goslings I could get to put under her, so she wouldn't be broken-hearted having no babies after all her work. To my surprise, I found some, one week old. I knew there was a small chance she would not accept them, so I had a Plan B (giving them to the family they are destined for when they grow up).

    At nightfall, I put them beside her wing quietly, one by one, and one by one she lifted her wing and accepted them. That was last evening. But this morning, when the babies wanted to come out to play, Mama wouldn't leave the nest! She's still sitting on those darn eggs!

    I wouldn't have a problem taking them from her, but what if she is actually hatching something out? How much longer should I give her before I interfere?

    What I did do was allow the babies out of the goosehouse this morning. Daddy was very paternal, and they all ate a little grass, ate some grain, and drank a little water together. I then cleaned them up with a warm, wet rag and gave the babies back to Priscilla. They were pretty wet from their cleaning, and got right under her again.

    Then Daddy Goose and I left them in peace for the rest of the day, with a little wet gruel for the babies to eat/drink if they wanted it.

    This evening I went out, and Priscilla is still is sitting on the nest. Two of the babies came out and ate some grass, etc. for about ten minutes. Then I put them back. I was worried about the two other babies. Has Priscilla smothered them? But when she moved a bit, I saw one furry butt moving around underneath her far wing, so I'm guessing they're okay.

    The big question is, how long is it reasonably possible that those eggs could be hatching? Should I pull her off the nest tomorrow morning? Tomorrow evening? If she's just hung up on those eggs, she could sit there forever, unless I interfere.

    Any thoughts based on experience are appreciated.

  9. adrian

    adrian Songster

    May 12, 2009
    Regina, SK
    I would certainly candle the eggs. Go into a dark room, and use a strong, preferably LED flashlight to shine through the egg shell to see what is inside of them. If you see movement or veins, you know there is life. Otherwise, there may not be. Also, I would give each egg the "sniff test" to see if any are rotten.

    Here's a good site for candling photos.


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