Will Geese Keep Laying if They Adopt Goslings?

Discussion in 'Geese' started by Omniskies, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. Omniskies

    Omniskies Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,064
    18
    191
    Mar 7, 2008
    Missouri
    I have a pair of geese who started laying, well, today. Yesterday I put six three week old goslings in with them and the male immediately adopted the little devils. The female followed in suit and today the happy family wandered the yard.

    I'm really glad all the geese get along together, but I'd really like some eggs out of the goose. Will she keep laying while bonding with these goslings or do I need to separate them out? I have another pen to keep the goslings in if need be.

    Thanks.
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I would assume she'd keep laying since she didn't go broody and expend all her energy heating eggs for a month.. but I don't really know. I don't have experience with geese.
     
  3. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,921
    27
    213
    Mar 30, 2008
    ND
    I wouldn't be surprised if she stopped laying until the goslings are older. If she thinks these are hers, she won't want to sit so has no reason to lay. Most birds lay until they feel they have a full clutch, then they stop, hatch out their brood, and raise them. If you keep taking the eggs or their nest or brood gets destroyed, they lay more eggs and start over if it isn't too late in the season. I guess only time will tell...
     
  4. SueNH

    SueNH Chillin' With My Peeps

    296
    1
    151
    Feb 24, 2007
    I did that last summer with my geese. The goose did quit laying.

    Neat little story really...
    I didn't want more geese so I was taking the eggs from her. She changed her nesting spot to another barn and I didn't notice until she had a couple there. Was kind of in a rotten mood and just lobbed the eggs out of the barn into the field. The eggs broke. Done. Noticed the goose sitting next to the broken eggs all day. Had to chase her off to lock her up at night. Next day she was right back at the shells. I raked up the shells and put them in the woods. She sat at the place where the eggs broke and would just look depressed. This went on for several days. I really started feeling terrible.
    Went to the local livestock auction and there were newly hatched goslings there. Took six home and put them with my ducklings and chicks in a baby pen. The goose moved immediately to the pen and sat outside all day. I finally let her in and watched to make sure no harm was done. She immediately started mothering the goslings. Took a couple days before they knew to follow her but she was good and would keep coming back for them.

    The gander was the skeptic. I think he kind of resented the attention the goose was giving the goslings. He didn't harm them but he would try and move the goose away. She wouldn't have it. Gander gave up and decided to become a daddy about a week later.

    No more eggs out of her for the rest of the year but it did do my heart some good seeing how happy those babies made her.
     
  5. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,921
    27
    213
    Mar 30, 2008
    ND
    I read somewhere that when the game and fish dept is trying to control populations (I think of swans and geese?) they don't destroy a nest because the birds would just start another nest elsewhere. If I recall correctly, they get the eggs and shake them up to kill the embryo, then put them back. The poor mother keeps sitting, waiting for her eggs to hatch.
     
  6. Omniskies

    Omniskies Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,064
    18
    191
    Mar 7, 2008
    Missouri
    That's what I was afraid of. I guess I'll separate these guys out and hope they don't become too distraught. The goslings are just fine with being away from the pair - it's the adults I'm worried about.
     
  7. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

    4,889
    16
    261
    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    They will not keep laying. I would be very surpised if they suddently started a nest once they have goslings to care for.
     
  8. SueNH

    SueNH Chillin' With My Peeps

    296
    1
    151
    Feb 24, 2007
    If you separate them keep watch. Some geese will go into a funk so deep they will not eat or drink and die. This often happens when you loose one of a mated pair too.

    My goose that adopted the gosling had quit eating and I was getting nervous.
     
  9. Omniskies

    Omniskies Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,064
    18
    191
    Mar 7, 2008
    Missouri
    Yesterday morning I let the goslings out of the pen to forage and kept the adults locked up. The goslings couldn't have cared less and happily gorged themselves, at times in sight of the pair.

    Last night I rounded the gosilings up and moved them out of sight in an entirely separate pen. The geese didn't seem happy, but they didn't start screaming, which I took as a good sign.

    Today everyone looks ok. I'll keep an eye on the pair to see how they do. Hopefully they weren't together long enough to form that sort of relationship with the little guys. And hopefully being partially separated for a whole day helped.

    I'll let everyone know if/when the goose starts laying again. Fingers crossed.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by