What Was Wrong With My Goose?

Discussion in 'Geese' started by adrian, May 19, 2009.

  1. adrian

    adrian Chillin' With My Peeps

    736
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    May 12, 2009
    Regina, SK
    I had a goose – an embden gander – who, since birth, seemed to have digestive issues that couldn't be attributed to any infection or disease. From only a day old, his poop smelled terrible – only growing worse as he aged. It had no shape or substance, and not even a white urate as should be present in all birds' waste. When he was only a few days old, I took him out to graze on short, clean grass and he did so eagerly. However, when I brought him in later, I noticed that his stomach was making, quite clearly, these loud "popping" sounds. In fact, my mother was very concerned, and when she saw the goose asked me whether he was sick. I'd never heard of this happening in other goslings, and no one knew what it could be.

    Later in life, his digestive problems only worsened. I had to put him on a special diet just to keep his waste smelling less like sulphur. He couldn't digest normal pellets, nor could he digest oats or grains very well. For him, it was an all-vegetable diet and fresh grazing grass. If I recall correctly, every time he would expel waste, his vent would make this terrible squishing sound... Very disgusting. He was taken to an avian vet many times, and all tests came up negative... He was on medication for all sorts of infections and diseases. For that matter, his food would also come out hardly digested. I fed him peas, once, and they came out the other end fully formed. Chopped carrots and even lettuces and individual blades of grass would come out undigested.

    His feathers were never properly water proof, and he shed an unbelievable amount of feathers. So many, I could pick up handfuls every day. His feather quality improved only after I began feeding him organic, whole flax oil and an avian vitamin + probiotic supplement. It sounds crazy beyond belief, but as his skin was dry, I was rubbing baby lotion into his feet and legs every night.

    To make a long story short, his aggression was so terrible I had to rehome him. Handling him was impossible, and I had bruises all over my arms. Now, I would love to have anyone's opinions on what this might have been.

    I'm not sure where the little guy is now, but I miss him even despite all his problems. It breaks my heart to think that something would have happened to him. I have no doubt he may have been turned into meat because of his aggression. But he was an individual, with feelings that I witnessed firsthand. I have never experienced emotion in an animal as I did in him. Fear, for him, was gripping and real. He would gasp, his eyes would dart around, and his heart would race. And when he wasn't biting me, he'd tuck his head under my chin and his blue eyes would swell with affection.

    I know many of you raise waterfowl for eating, but my experience with "Moody" was too strong a one to see rationale in eating animals that are so emotionally complex.

    As I am getting off-topic, I would like to just say that I wanted to make people aware of these problems – likely common in factory-farmed, embden bloodlines. Also, shedding any light on what may have been wrong would be great.

    Sorry for the long post, and thank you. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2009
  2. Big Chicken Little

    Big Chicken Little Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think he had some kind of parasitic infection that never went away. Many animals poop hardly smells at all due to proper diet, so when it starts to stink something is not right. I had 10 African geese and their poo did not smell too bad
     
  3. adrian

    adrian Chillin' With My Peeps

    736
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    May 12, 2009
    Regina, SK
    Yeah, and this was just one goose. He must have smelled worse than fifty geese together. It's odd, because we did treat him for parasites and even protozoa, although the vet said she saw nothing when she looked under the microscope... Ah, well. [​IMG] I guess I may never know.
     

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