Will ganders hurt each other?

Discussion in 'Geese' started by Sunny Side Up, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    There's discord in Gooseville. We have a nice gaggle of 6 Embden geese, 2 ganders & 4 girls. Up until now they've always stayed together in the yard, parading around like visiting royalty. There is the original pair, Elmer & Gertrude (she is the one in my avatar). The next year we hatched their eggs and kept 1 gander, Edward, and 3 geese, Emily, Gracie, and Gladys. Last year they went through breeding season with little to no problems, mating with each other seemingly at random.

    But starting last week the son, Edward, has been hassling his father Elmer. Often Elmer can be found off by himself, or with just his original mate, Gertrude. Sometimes we've seen Edward chasing Elmer off by running at him with wings outstretched and biting at his neck.

    They all stay in a closed pen overnight, but we've been concerned that Edward & Elmer could fight and we'd find one or both of them bloody or dead in the morning. Do ganders try to hurt each other that badly, the way roosters will?

    For the past few nights we've been keeping Elmer in a big plastic dog crate placed right next to the fence of the goose pen, with the wire front against the wire fence. So they can see each other all night, but cannot touch.
    Is this necessary?
    Should I sometimes put Edward in the crate and leave Elmer in the pen with the girl geese?
    Will we be able to keep them all together again after the breeding season ends?

    Thank you for your imput!
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    I haven't had discord in gooseville yet. I have never heard of geese actually seriously hurting each other, but I can understand that you hate that Elmer is getting hassled. It would be sad if Edward kept Elmer from Gertrude.

    I bet the discord will calm down after mating season.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    I think in off season there will be a truce of sorts, but hormones are starting to run amuck and them youngsters are feeling pretty cocky right now, I only have 1 gander and an Emden too but I have 2 Muscovy drakes and I can say the first couple of years the oldest drake and gander got into some pretty heated battles bloodied up their wings pretty good mostly because they don't care where they fight and did alot of damage to their wings on the fencing. but it wasn't pleasant at all. now they can live closely as long as the Drake stays away from the gooses mama/wife. [yes my Muscovy duck hatched out this gander] I would try to find a place where Elmer and Grutrude could be together with out being hassled by Edward. Geese don't like to be separated from their loved one. Surely you could put up somekind of temp fencing for these 2 so they could be together. I did end up separating mine till that first breeding season was over. Now the drake knows his place and stays clear of the goose. All the goose has to do is lower his head and the drake high tails it out out of there. lol
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  4. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Always trouble during mating season. Probably ganders that are penned could hurt each other. Mine have always free ranged and the aggressor chases the other off. Roles seem to change every few days, though. I would pen them seperately at night, or whenever they are penned............Pop
  5. roboboy

    roboboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2009
    Central Wisconsin
    I usually keep more than one gander with multiple hens within the same pen. I have never had a gander severly injure the other. Usually the worst that I've had is hurt, drooping wings which usually heal up just fine. Once they've decided who's boss the dominant gander will usually chase the other away when he gets to close until the breeding season is over. There just needs to be enough space that the gander on the bottom of the pecking order can get away from the other.
  6. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Thank you all for this imput, please add any more bits of helpful wisdom. There was one night when I put Elmer & Gertrude together in a pen on the other side of the yard and throughout the night & early morning the whole gaggle was honking to each other. Since we've been keeping Elmer in the separate crate right next to the pen with the others it remains nice & quiet.

    I think that we'll keep it like this throughout the breeding season, praying that they'll all settle down afterwards. I haven't found any eggs yet, nor even seen them mating. Edward seems to be hassling Elmer when they're all trying to do something together, such as swim in the pool or come to the porch for treats. And no blood has been shed, he only chases him and nips his neck or back. Elmer just honks & runs away.

    But I fear there could be worse injury if they were kept confined to their sleeping pen together where Elmer couldn't get away from an angry Edward. We love our geese so much, they're so personable as to be almost human, and would be heartbroken if any of them were hurt or killed.
  7. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sunny, if you've never had geese with goslings, you're in for a real treat. All of them contribute to raising the little ones. It pulls every heart string you've got. It's the most endearing thing about geese and there are many.......Pop

  8. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I hope that at least one of the girls will go broody in their pen. I worry about predators bothering them if they go broody out in the yard. Maybe something wouldn't hurt them, but they could be hurt trying to defend their egglings from a raccoon or opossum. But we have hatched goslings under our broody chickens, it's been fun to watch that.

    Tonight we put Elmer in the covered bantam pen next to the goose pen, so he'll have more room than being stuck in that crate. It's just for the night, he will be let out before I open the bantams' house.
  9. duck&chickencrazy

    duck&chickencrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 2, 2008
    I have 3 boys with only 2 girls and I have never seen my geese fight. They stick together and are never more than 5 feet from each other. They are a very close nit group. I started out with just the 2 ganders (brown chinese and a toulouse) and had just the 2 for about a year and half before I got a female toulouse for my gander. And I got her when she was about a month and a half old. Both ganders protected and watched over her, it was just so sweet. Then I got my 2 white chinese as adults a year ago and they fit in perfectly with the other 3. Just the normal fighting when they were introduced, trying to figure out who is dominate. And they will nip each other if one is doing something the other doesnt want them to...They fight to figure out who is the top goose and then when that is figured out they dont fight anymore...normally...My top goose is my brown chinese and its very obvious that he is...so just let them figure out who is the boss between the 2 ganders and after that is decided they shouldnt fight anymore.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012
  10. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    It's a circus at my house right now. All I hear is flapping and honking and honking and flapping. I do my best to break them up but it's no use. They fight until wee hours in the morning. I give up. :barnie

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