Geese.desperate for advice

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Geese.desperate for advice

Postby Allister » Sat Jun 28, 2014 2:44 pm

Hi
My goose has been sitting on a nest with 11eggs for about seven weeks. I am not convinced the eggs are fertile as I have never seen her mating.
I am concerned for her health she only eats very little (wheat in water). Should I remove her and destroy the nest and eggs?
What can I feed her on so she regains weight.
I feel desperately sorry for her and her mate who stands guard wihout complaining.
Really appreciate advice
Allister
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Re: Geese.desperate for advice

Postby Marigold » Sat Jun 28, 2014 2:53 pm

It will certainly do her no good at all to stay sitting on eggs which are obviously not going to hatch. You would be best to remove the eggs, destroy the nest and hope her hormones will soon return to normal. She will have lost weight whilst sitting for so long without proper food, and should recover if you can take away the cause of her 'ailment.'
Do you normally feed them anything else other than wheat? What access do they have to good grass and other natural food such as they might find from free ranging? Here is a link to the main Poultrykeeper website about feeding geese, which may be helpful.
http://poultrykeeper.com/keeping-geese- ... ding-geese
Lastly, when did you last worm them both with Flubenvet? If you can be sure she's free from a worm burden it will help her get back to normal more quickly.
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Re: Geese.desperate for advice

Postby Allister » Sat Jun 28, 2014 5:34 pm

Thank you so much for your reply.
I bought the geese as a pair in March this year and they have a lage meadow and pond which is not secure from foxes but if the geese and ducks are on the water the seem to be ok. No mink as far as i know. I have fenced the pond in but the ducks just fly over but always return at night.
The goose started to lay in May and i remove the pair to a secure large run with sunken bath and a duck house and lots of grass. The run is 25 x15 metres with chicken wire undergroud apron. Completely secure.(I will put pics up hen I learn how to do that!)
She laid in the duck house in a nest of grass. Later she used her feathers in the nest ( I think that ths would be lockdown?) that was 7-8weeks ago
I gave wheat and layers pellets nearly daily which she sometimes ate plus grass. I am not experienced ith geese but have no trouble with chicens and ducks. I have never seen the geese mating or if the signs are the same in ducks ( female necks being plucked) then I would say that she not mated and the eggs were infertile. I have not wormed the pair yet ( see post in early May)
I really feel so sorry for her. I have asked round to see if I could buy goslings so she could rear them but I could only get 6 week old ones which I was told would not do.
I will take her out and put her on the pond with her mate. After I have remove the eggs and nest how long should I keep them out of the run? I want them to stay lock up in the run at night.
Thank you for your reply
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Re: Geese.desperate for advice

Postby Marigold » Sat Jun 28, 2014 6:23 pm

Hi Allister, I must confess I've never kept geese myself, so have no personal experience to offer, but I'm sure you're right about locking them up at night. How far is the pond from the run and house? Would it be possible to train them to be herded from pond to run in the evening, and back again next morning? Do geese respond if you shake a box of corn and follow you, like chickens do? I see that in the articles on keeping geese on Poultrykeeper, Tim suggests its possible to herd them around once they have got the idea. Alternatively, us there any possibility of making an island with a shelter on it, out in the pond?
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Re: Geese.desperate for advice

Postby Allister » Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:25 pm

Hi Marigold
Before the goose was laying I used to walk the geese into the secure run ( it is like a galvanised poly tunnel but with chicken wire, sold as chicken run in chicken mags.)
I want to have them in at night but how soon should I do that.
I carried her out to the pond and got the gander to join her a coupleo hours ago. I removed the eggs and nest and closed the duck house.
They had a good swim and bath ate some grass had a look around (the goose,s feet are very pale compared to the gander) after about an hour they returned to the run but could not get in. Now they are back on the meadow near the pond and look quite calm.
I hope to herd them into the run tonight but I will not let them into the duck house incase she wants to build a nest.

I bought a plastic dog kennel in one of the pound type shops for one of my dogs who said" You must be joking" so I fixed it to a pallet and hope to launch it when I can secure it to the middle of the pond so it wont drift to the side of the pond.
Doris, the head chicken, said you would not have these problems if you just had chickens!
Geese seem less upset than me!
Thanks for your advice
Allister
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Re: Geese.desperate for advice

Postby Marigold » Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:34 pm

I would love some video of all these goings on, especially your dog's opinion of the kennel! Maybe you could instal a pile of those heavy double building blocks on the pond floor and fix the pallet to them? Sounds like a nice cooling summer activity, I don't know what the weathers like in W. Lothian.
Evidently they will be better in the run, and as its secure you won't have to worry about them. I get my hens off broody by not letting them back into the coop uk roost at night, so maybe this will help a goose as well. Can't do her any harm anyway. With hens its exposure to the light as much ax anything that alters their hormones back off broody, so maybe being out and about during the day, plus the slight stress of not going to bed in the shed as usual, will do the trick. Even the most determined bird must surely be ready you give up after 7 weeks!
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Re: Geese.desperate for advice

Postby Icemaiden » Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:51 pm

I've absolutely no idea what the normal incubation period is for goose eggs, but is it worth cracking one open before destroying the nest, just to be sure?
Chickens are a girl's best friend (though diamonds would be nice too!)
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Re: Geese.desperate for advice

Postby Marigold » Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:30 am

Incubation for geese is 30 days, so if she sat for 7 weeks there's no chance they will hatch now. But an autopsy would be worth while, just to find out if any development took place or whether they were infertile. But be careful where you crack them open as they may be pretty smelly.
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