Will ganders kill or seriously injure one another?

Discussion in 'Geese' started by Shiloh Acres, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. Shiloh Acres

    Shiloh Acres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2010
    I have three ganders in my little flock that are starting to escalate their behavior. Two are Emdens and one is a Pilgrim. I had intended to separate out the Pilgrim gander with his goose (I have only a pair of them) but I didn't do it in time and so I've left everyone together.

    They are all last year's goslings, btw, hatched around the beginning of May. All raised together, all cooped together at night.

    The Pilgrim is the most aggressive defender, but one of the Emdens is the boss, and the other Emden gander is his back-up buddy and doesn't try to breed. I wasn't even sure he WAS a gander for a while. The Pilgrim gander wants badly to breed, but the females reject him.

    They had a pretty serious-looking fight today, with the Emden gripping the Pilgrim and flogging him while kicking him as well. The Pilgrim finally gave up but the Emden wouldn't release him.

    So far I believe two or three of the geese are laying. One laid about a half-dozen eggs then stopped, and she MAY be the one that laid today's new egg. Another started laying about 4 days ago ... It might be the Pilgrim goose. She still looks too much like Toulouse from a distance and I don't get close to the nesting area because they FINALLY chose an area I greatly approve of (easy to protect them) and I don't want to do anything to discourage the choice, since so far two geese are laying in there.

    Mostly I'm wondering if my Pilgrim gander will be ok. It will be difficult, but if he's in danger I can try to set him up in a coop and yard of his own. I have a few eggs that might need to find an incubator soon or they will be too old. If I get any goslings I could give them to him.

    But it's not going to be easy to set him up, and I don't want to if he's not in danger. He's my favorite though and I don't want him injured or killed either.

    My Africans and Chinese had only the tiniest scuffles ... Sigh, these guys are teaching me at least. Any help appreciated!!!
  2. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

    Jan 18, 2008
    Newman Lake, WA
    Yes, they can get very serious. I had to give away a juvenile sebastopol a couple years ago, just to protect him from one of the older ganders after he bloodied him up and wouldn't stop beating him.
  3. feathersandfluff

    feathersandfluff Chillin' With My Peeps

    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011
  4. Cottage Rose

    Cottage Rose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 24, 2008
    Mid west Michigan
    Yes, and they will even kill each other.
  5. Mrs. Turbo

    Mrs. Turbo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2009
    Quote:yup....had to split all mine up last week. They were playing out Westside story with their switch blades.
  6. Shiloh Acres

    Shiloh Acres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2010
    Thanks, everyone.

    It's been very calm since then, so that MIGHT have been the fight that worked it out. I'm going to look at putting together a way to separate him anyway so I can do it easily if necessary. I have a separate yard I can put him in, with the other rabbit hutches just no coop for him there yet.

    Thanks so much!
  7. goosedragon

    goosedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    Quote:You did say you had a Pilgrim goose also? Why not move them both in together, It is the only way you are going to get any Pilgrim goslings. The poor fellow is way out of his weight class, I can't tell from here if he is causing the other ganders to beat on him because he just won't quit trying. Or if the boss gander is just a Killer boss. I had one of them once, an American Buff that beat the former African gander, The african stepped down but the Buff would try to kill him on sight. The Buff came to learn the hard way that the African GOOSE was the real boss. He tried to rape her and she left him down and bleeding, thought I was going to loose him. When he recovered he left both Africans alone and the poor old African gander started to beleive he was boss again but he always backed down from his mate. LOL reminds me of some humans I know.
  8. Shiloh Acres

    Shiloh Acres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2010
    Wow, GD, sounds like a soap opera!

    My intent was to separate that pair, but they started breeding earlier than I expected (and with several other unexpected things that have come up, my "extra" structures right now are housing other animals and money is much tighter than it was supposed to be -- I have a yard for them but no coop yet).

    I was afraid if that goose was already breeding (and she may be one of the ones laying) that if I DO move the pair out together, she may not continue to breed, lay, or brood? I don't want to lose HER opportunity to breed this year?

    So I was thinking, if I DO move him out, it will have to be by himself? I will move him if I have to, to keep him safe. He's so protective (LOL the only one who's bitten me!) that I think I will give him any goslings if I do have to incubate some eggs and manage to get any.

    Next year I'll be SURE to separate them early, as a pair. I should have marked the dates, but the got snippy with the goats defending their space in the pasture by January, and started breeding by mid-January.

    If I could separate them now as a pair, I'd get something for a coop and do it. I'm just afraid it can't be done to the goose now?
  9. goosedragon

    goosedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    Quote:Since you left a ? Let me say that I would try it as long as she hasn't started to brood. They lose eggs all the time, predators or humans steal them. Lots of times if they come back to an empty nest they will go elsewhere to start a new nest ( I had a Silly that insisted in nesting in the only entrance to the coop. I moved each egg as soon as I found it to a nice quiet corner where I wanted her to nest. Three times she watched me move her newest egg, when I went back the 4th time there was a new egg in the corner and she was working on a proper nest. I walked in while she was working on the nest and I just eyeballed it from a distance and left.) She layed and hatched in that corner for 3 more years untill a huge black snake found it and then she moved out.
    BTW some of my geese would not use the coop to nest. they got three bales of straw placed around the nest and a simple cap made in wide "A frame" over the top for shelter some would share with their mate others wouldn't.
  10. Shiloh Acres

    Shiloh Acres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2010
    Thanks, Goosedragon.

    I wanted Pilgrim goslings of course, but I AM trying to get some table birds as well, so I thought I'd let mixed-breeds go that way.

    If she's likely to accept him as a mate and keep breeding, I'll do it. LOL as I type that I'm waffling, because I have a nice shed/porch area about 8' square they finally decided to nest in and I think she's the goose that started it. I SO hate to discourage such a secure nest location when before they seemed determined to nest in the open near a gate.

    I've got to get another round bale this weekend, so thanks for the reminder of your bale setup. I trade for my hay so I can probably get some square bales. The property came with a bunch of rooster cages -- I can set one on top of the bales for a roof/enclosure, then I need only make a door. And stay home nights till breeding season is over in case coyotes get into that yard. Should protect against coons (long enough for me to get out there!) and foxes.

    I think that's do-able.

    I'm up at 1am listening to coyotes, about a half mile away now.

    I just really wanted to get a certain number of birds this year to give me a few more breeders and, if possible, enough for the freezer for a year. I'm not finding chicken very economical to raise, and while I didn't expect my little farm to HAVE to provide for me just yet, that's how it's worked out, so I feel I'm walking a tightrope with decisions sometimes.

    Thanks so much for the suggestions. And I'm hoping if I do get purebred Pilgrims from them, I might sell a few, though they have all turned out to be maybe lesser quality stock than I'd hoped for. Though my Pilgrim gander IS quite large and a couple of the Emdens maybe aren't too bad. [​IMG]

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