When can my baby geese swim?

Discussion in 'Geese' started by KenyannaDyer, Apr 29, 2014.

  1. KenyannaDyer

    KenyannaDyer Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello everyone. I have week old chicks and I was wondering when they can safely swim. I'd love it if someone could let me know! Thank you!
     
  2. lightchick

    lightchick Overrun With Chickens

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    It depends. If your goslings are raised with their mother, they can swim pretty much as soon as they are capable of walking.
    But if you are raising them on your own, they can't stay in the water very long and it must not be deep.They will get very wet and risk drowning. Also being soaked to the skin is not good for young birds, they can get sick. This is because normally the waterproofing oils on the mother's feathers rub off onto the babies, so they are waterproof too. Without the mother, babies are not waterproof and their oil gland will not start functioning until they start to grow feathers. Until they start growing feathers, you can let them swim in very shallow water, but must they be watched. Swimming is good from them, the preening they do afterwards will help activate their oil gland.
    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Speceider

    Speceider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    And that is all wrong...it is not the oils from the uropygial gland that makes either adults of gosling water resistant (not water proof). The oils help maintain feather structure which makes them water resistant...the contact angle helps bead the water off. Goslings in a brooder tend to have more down wear (really not a good idea to dry them...better for them to preen themselves dry). Let them swim, limit time, and relax and enjoy them.

    Clint
     
  4. lightchick

    lightchick Overrun With Chickens

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    Ok sorry, that's just what I've read.
     
  5. livininbrazil

    livininbrazil Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi lightchick. What you put is pretty well it, except that the oil gland does start to function fairly early on. On little yellow ones it´s easier to see the darker patch where the oil gland is working. And goslings with mum do get the protection from the oil on her feathers. You´ll see them out in the rain and the rain rolls off them for a little while. then she´ll settle and they´ll all get under her for warmth and to dry off. What geese do you have? [​IMG] Have you had a goose with her goslings? What breed?
    The golsings I had without a goose around were only allowed to go into water when it was warm and sunny and they´d dry off in the sunshine.
     
  6. KenyannaDyer

    KenyannaDyer Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2014
    I have sebastopol goslings. :) They are getting a bit dirty thanks to their food and now their neck feathers need cleaning (and there heads lol) I was making sure it was okay to put them in shallow water. I don't want them to drown! I'm guessing it won't be safe for the to swim in the pond until they grow out their adult feathers. :D
     
  7. livininbrazil

    livininbrazil Chillin' With My Peeps

    I put water in a cat litter tray for them in the warm part of the day. They have a great time and can dry off nicely in the heat of the day. They´re delightful to watch. What´s the midday temperature there?
     
  8. The goose girl

    The goose girl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Goslings are able to swim almost from day one. The essential thing is not to get them too cold - and they easily get cold when they're wet. Cold goslings can get tired/lethargic and drown.

    As livininbrazil says, a shallow tray on a warm day is great for them. Supervise them at first to make sure they're able to get out without trouble. Or let them play in the water for a short while, then take them back inside to dry off - if the weather's not quite warm enough. If it's warm enough for you to sit still in shorts and a t-shirt, it's usually warm enough for goslings to dry off after bathing.

    Regarding the water resistance issue: Konrad Lorenz, the Austrian ethologist who's famous for his studies of greylag geese, found that goslings became water resistant because of the static friction created by them rubbing against their parents' plumage. He recreated the effect by rubbing a gosling with a silk scarf. So, if you're really bored one day, you could try that [​IMG].
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. livininbrazil

    livininbrazil Chillin' With My Peeps

    Interesting post, Goosegirl.
     
  10. KenyannaDyer

    KenyannaDyer Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2014
    Wow thank you everyone for the great replies! I've learned quite a bit! Last night I bathe my goslings in the sink and blow dried them on low. :D

    The temperature here is around 60 degrees in the daytime.
     

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