Strange look and behavior of 3weeks old gosling

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Strange look and behavior of 3weeks old gosling

Postby Spela » Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:19 pm

Hi,

one of our five goslings is looking and acting strange for the last week or so. Here are the symptoms, I hope someone can give me an idea of what could be the cause and how I can help the little fellow (there are no waterfowl veterinarians in our part of coutry, so I really depent on your help):

  • the lower part of its neck (from beak towards its tummy, approximately 3-4 cm long) is red and it has no down (feathers) there, just what seems to be an inflamed skin
  • the gosling is noticeably smaller than the other four
  • it is also much less active, seems to be unsure on its legs, eats less
  • it is overly calm and lacks the energy the others are showing
  • it seems really weak

All the goslings live together with their parents. They are three weeks old. They spend their days outside, around the house, grazing and swimming in the stream behind the house. During the night we close them in a secure enclosure. They mainly eat grass and salad. We also give them pressed corn and oats, soaked in water (a kind of mash they love).

The little fellow tries to keep up with his family (they are pretty active all day long), but takes every oportunity he can to rest. For the last couple of days I see him having more and more trouble keeping up. The father keeps calling to him because he's slow and always stays behind. He's also visibly diminishing. It's frustrating and sad to see him not be able to be with his family the way he is supposed to.

If anyone has an idea of what I'm looking at, I'd be forever grateful for your ideas and opinions.
Spela
I know it's silly, but here it is: Mr. and Mrs. Gossmann's FB page: https://www.facebook.com/GoskiGossmann :)
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Re: Strange look and behavior of 3weeks old gosling

Postby NEWTODUCKS » Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:32 pm

I have no experiance of geese but on reading the symptoms with the exception of the lack of feathers it would seem to be either heart defect-as he's getting bigger his heart is becoming less able to cope or possibly some gut problem and he is not absorbing his food properly. Either way without a vet listening to his heart and checking him out it would be impossible to predict his problem. Sorry but it doesn't look good for him.
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Re: Strange look and behavior of 3weeks old gosling

Postby dorsetduckowner » Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:02 pm

Sorry for the late response, how did this fella get on? Has he seen a vet yet?
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Re: Strange look and behavior of 3weeks old gosling

Postby Spela » Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:02 pm

Hello,

I apologize for the late update, too. There has been so much going on lately, I didn't manage to get to the computer.

The little one is still alive, he's a true fighter. Yesterday we've had pretty rough weather (the temperature dropped more than 20 degrees C and it rained heavily all day long). I found the little fellow on our front yard, on his back, barely moving his legs... He looked like he would pass away within minutes. I took him inside, wrapped him up in a warm towel and kept him warm and dry with a low-heat blowdrier. Once dry and warm I put him into a box with soft bedding and let him calm down in a warm and dark room.

After an hour or so, he began moving and calling for his family. I gave him some salad and water. I waited a couple hours more then I released him back to his family. He rushed to the food bowl, ate and drank, then grazed a little before they all went to sleep.

Today he is much better. He's been grazing and swimming with the other ones. I took him in to wash his bum (it remains sticky and sometimes crusty still, but I do see him pooping quite often) and released back out. He seems quite happy and keeps up with his family.

Geese are very rare where we live, so as far as the vets go they do know plenty about poultry, whereas waterfowl... not so much. I have been told there isn't much I can do besides give the little fellow optimal chances to make it and wait for the nature to take its course. He has all a goose can ask for - quality food, grass to graze on, clean water to swim in, his family, plenty of space, daily bum baths... I keep an eye on him all day long and really hope he makes it.

There's another thing, though. Yesterday I noticed a bunch of feathers just above his tail, that seem to be growing abnormally. It's as if a couple of feathers were growing out of the same opening. I really don't know how to describe it... Here are some photos, maybe they ring some bells...

Any help grately appreciated!

Image
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I know it's silly, but here it is: Mr. and Mrs. Gossmann's FB page: https://www.facebook.com/GoskiGossmann :)
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Re: Strange look and behavior of 3weeks old gosling

Postby Spela » Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:14 pm

Just to give you an idea of how small he is compared to others (they were all hatched on the same day, same nest, same parents, same food & living conditions)...

Image
I know it's silly, but here it is: Mr. and Mrs. Gossmann's FB page: https://www.facebook.com/GoskiGossmann :)
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Re: Strange look and behavior of 3weeks old gosling

Postby NEWTODUCKS » Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:39 pm

I'm so glad he's holding his own-obviously your tender loving care is helping his survival.
As to the area above his tail-although he is still quite young could this be the curl developing? male ducks and geese(just checked on the internet) do have curled tail feathers and females dont.
Keep us posted as to how he gets on
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Re: Strange look and behavior of 3weeks old gosling

Postby foxy » Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:01 pm

It looks like a preen gland, may be developing abnormally, hard to tell from the photos.
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Re: Strange look and behavior of 3weeks old gosling

Postby Spela » Tue Jun 25, 2013 6:32 pm

NEWTODUCKS wrote:I'm so glad he's holding his own-obviously your tender loving care is helping his survival.
As to the area above his tail-although he is still quite young could this be the curl developing? male ducks and geese(just checked on the internet) do have curled tail feathers and females dont.
Keep us posted as to how he gets on
Jo


Jo, thank you for your support :).

As for the strange above the tail thingie - after doing some reading I believe foxy could be right :).

foxy wrote:It looks like a preen gland, may be developing abnormally, hard to tell from the photos.


I am not sure whether it is abnormal, though, since the article on Wikipedia states that "In some species, the opening of the gland has a small tuft of feathers to provide a wick for the preen oil".

It's the little things like this that make me realise how little I actually know about these animals. I am happy and grateful for the kind, non-judgemental attitude the users on this forum have. I can't thank you all enough for your time and energy. You are helping me become a more educated and responsible goose keeper :).

I'll keep you posted on how the little fighter's story unfolds.
I know it's silly, but here it is: Mr. and Mrs. Gossmann's FB page: https://www.facebook.com/GoskiGossmann :)
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Re: Strange look and behavior of 3weeks old gosling

Postby Spela » Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:49 pm

Today, again, we have winter-like weather with low temperatures, wind and heavy rain. Palček, as we named him (it means "a little gnome") was out with his family all day long, grazing and keeping up with his siblings. An hour ago I noticed he's all wet and not moving much, so I took him in. He's now comfortably resting in my lap as I type this. He's dry and fuzzy again and I'll take him out in a minute so he can spend the night with his family and go about his business in the morning :).

Image
Image
Image
I know it's silly, but here it is: Mr. and Mrs. Gossmann's FB page: https://www.facebook.com/GoskiGossmann :)
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Spela
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Re: Strange look and behavior of 3weeks old gosling

Postby foxy » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:54 am

Bless him, that looks like one happy gosling! :D
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