Above: Quigley the gosling works hard.
He even makes art with his feet!
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Geese. The Poor Man's Swan.
Above: Quigley hitching a ride in the Goose Pack.
Above: Quigley lets little Ingrid rest on him.
For years, we had both Pilgrim and Sebastopol Geese.
We love beautiful, funny geese, and both breeds have been a pleasure to keep company with. A little info on them here:
All geese can be loud, but compared to African Geese, Pilgrims are downright mum. (Not quite, but believe me, they aree much quieter). Pilgrim Geese are not as aggressive as Africans and most other breeds.
Best of all.
Pilgrims are sexually dimorphic! (i.e. you can sex them by their colors)
For those of you who aren't familiar with geese, manual sexing involves the use of your fingers -- and results in a very affronted goose or gander.
I don't actually have first hand experience (no pun intended), because I do own Pilgrims, however, I have to add here that my geese become insulted if they are stroked the wrong way â€“ what in the world would they do if someone flipped them over and violated them? Luckily, Iâ€™ll never have to find out.
(Above: Goslings rest with Milo, the Jack Russell Terrier)
As adults, Ganders are a snowy white, with light blue eyes. Some of their primary feathers may have a slate gray tip or patch.
The Goose will be a soft beige color; not as dark as a Toulouse , and no dewlap or knob.
Goslings will be:
Olive Grey with dark, dark bills for Geese; Light and buttery yellow for Ganders.
"But they both have some yellow! And all of them have darker areas!"
Don't worry; you can tell the difference.
Why arenâ€™t they more popular? To tell you the truth, I just donâ€™t know. I know that Emdens, Toulouse , and Africans are the easiest breeds to obtain because they are considered good meat breeds. But Pilgrims are a medium size goose and give nearly as much meat â€“ but in my opinion, have so many more positive traits.
I had a heck of a time finding breeders; I go to animal swaps all the time, visit fairs to see what breeds of geese are available in the area, and I found two Pilgrim breeders. One was selling out of all her Pilgrims & the other is way, way, out of my area and Iâ€™ve never been able to reach him by email (I donâ€™t call.)
So here is my Pilgrim Breeder Page.
Iâ€™m going to collect all the Pilgrim Breeder Contact Info I can, all states, and hopefully it will make it easier for people to find this wonderful breed of goose.
***Note: I once had myself listed here, but we have had some very sad, very unexpected losses and no longer have Pilgrim geese pairs.
When I find another breeder, not only will I list them, I'll list myself again too!
Now! Onto the info on the gorgeous, blue eyed, feather-dressed wonders: SEBASTOPOL GEESE.
I love Pilgrims - they were and are my top-favorite geese for so many reasons.
But Sebs? Ah, they just stole my heart.
Males and females alike have long, curling, flowing feathers. It makes them look fancy and frilly and like they should be in front of some mystical castle with Unicorns and other pretty creatures.
They are quiet, primarily white (although they are now being crossed with other breeds to produce other colors and with Pilgrims for sex-linked offspring - I have Sebbie mixes and STILL like them better than other breeds.) birds with sapphire blue eyes to rival the prettiest jewel.
They are smart, thoughtful animals, and although that is the case for geese in general, we've noticed that our Sebs have that trait even more so than the Toulouse, Emden, and Pilgrims we've kept.
Above: Ingrid says "Wait for me!"
So get out their and get some geese!
Geese as Pets
Geese should really be more popular. With handling, socializing, and affection on the owners part, goslings can grow to be very sweet, for one thing.
(Above: Wobbles, a Grey Saddleback Pomeranian gosling takes a ride in her diaper from http://www.mypetgoose.com/ )
(And yes, before I get the emails from those that were chased by an angry flock of large, pinching waterfowl while visiting on their grandparent's farm as a wee thing --- I will say that *I* was also one of these children --- and yes, I was chased by that lead gander too. Yikes! I merely wanted to play with the kittens but he thought he was their mom and... well, at any rate, a well-handled animal as a gosling will grow to be a well-handled adult in most cases - it's that simple.
(Now BREEDING geese (and more importantly, GANDERS) can be an exception during Spring months).
Geese are also quick to alert the farm dogs when they spot trouble. They eat bugs and pests. They can be used for meat, (*Sniffle!*) their feathers for crafts and pillows, and their eggs for eating and crafts too!
PLUS - Geese also make good housepets.
The Top Three BEST Things to do with your House Goose:
Best Movie to watch together: Fly Away Home
Best Food: Bread slices
Best Outdoor Activity: SWIMMING!
Pet Geese, a House Goose â€“ same thing. It means you have a goose, a gander, or geese under your roof and living like a member of the pet family.
Geese actually make very good pets: they are very smart, very affectionate, and very loyal.
The bad news? First, geese are sassy. But we love sassy critters on this farm; and geese will talk back to you ("Did you just pull down my laundry from the clothesline?!", and they'll reply back with a series of head bobs and honks that basically sum up their thinking; "It's in MY yard, it's MY laundry!")
But their WORST drawback: They love water.
Above: Milo the Parson Jack Russell Terrier and Mindy the duckling
They love to splash in water. They will try to bathe, drink, dance, and swim in any body of water they may find. In the wild, this is a lake or a pond. In your house, this could be the dogâ€™s water dish. Standing water in your bathroom if you forget and leave the toilet cover up and the goose loose. A bottom-stand fish tank. Your ice tea.
The other bad news: You cannot housetrain a goose. Itâ€™s not possible â€“ sorry, nope, nada â€“ try to prove this wrong. Geese cannot control their bodily functions much. They poop in their own water *as* they are drinking and bathing in it â€“ does this sound like an animal that you want in the house?
After reading that, maybe not. BUT â€“ there are a few wonderfully talented people who can fashion a sort of butt-cover for the goose â€“ the goose will poop in it and the mess generally stays in the diaper and not on you, your floor, your car, and so on.
And trust me â€“ many have fallen for that adorable little honking gosling in the window and have kept them in the house. And found they make AWESOME pets!
(Above: Deirdre and Wobbles sit with Zepol, the Jack Russell Terrier)
So letâ€™s discuss ways to take care of those issues above. We already talked goose diapers â€“ and thatâ€™s really the best way to go about keeping your house goose-poop-free.
As for the water situation; geese donâ€™t need a lake of water. Sure, they love it. Yes, they *do* need to bathe â€“ but not every day.
You can set up a feeding/watering station. A goose loves to nibble on food, wet their bill down, drown their food in the water, spit the water into their food and generally make a big mess.
Use a small water dish, set inside a pan or larger-sided dish â€“ this will keep the water from splashing onto your floor. Maybe do the same for the food, too.
If you have dogs or cats in the house, the goose has no qualms about sampling the water their too. They donâ€™t mean to make it messy â€“ in fact, geese really prefer clean water to drink and bathe in. They like to mess it up themselves.
Your dog or cat will not appreciate this though â€“ if itâ€™s a cat, can you move their feeding/watering station up or to another room?
If itâ€™s a dog ---- well, change the water frequently if you canâ€™t move it to another goose-free room.
The poop issue? Diapers. I have tried some different ones and the seller I like best is at MyPetGoose.com. The diapers from there are so colorful, I just love them and the design is the easiest one to work with.
Q and A:
Q: Is it easier to get a gosling or an adult as a pet?
A: Gosling, hands down (or should it be 'wing tips'? ;)
A gosling does not need a mother goose from day one - sure, in the wild it would, but unlike a kitten or a puppy it doesn't nurse and YOU can be the mom figure it needs - you feed it, water it, care for it, and lather it with the affection it needs.
Basically, it will imprint on you.
Now you can get an adult goose, but just know that unless someone has done some handling with it, you may not get a house pet. A yard animal, sure. But if it's a 16 year old animal and all it's ever known is that the farmer brings it feed and changes its water.... well, it isn't going to want to live in your house with you. It wants to be a GOOSE.
And you can't fault it for that.
The contents of this page for Geese is still under construction. Please check back later!
-- The Duman's Ark Team
Sun, 05 Sep 2010 03:48:17 -0400