Bonding help

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Honk
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Bonding help

Post by Honk » Mon Oct 19, 2015 3:47 pm

Firstly, hello. My name's Mark, I live in Wiltshire and recently adopted three geese that a friend found forlorn in a layby. They were exhausted and filthy and one, who's since been put down, could barely walk. I'm now very fond of the two we've got, Puddle (left) and Jemima (right).
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But, we wanted to make it a threesome again (maybe a foursome) and went and bought a young Toulouse goose, this year's model (we've no idea how old Puddle and Jemima are). So, they're all female, we're not after breeding any. We've shut them in the shed as recommended by Tim Daniels article on PoultryKeeper.com and by heck it's been hard work and we're only into day 3. I'm writing this from the shed as we're really having to keep tabs on Puddle. Margot (the new girl) only has to make a noise and Puddle's got her by the neck and laying in left and right hooks with her wings. I've never seen anything like it. Obviously in the shed Margot's got nowhere to get away and I'm regularly wading in and pulling Puddle off though she usually stops now if I shout. Before all of this we were on beak rubbing terms so it's a shock she's turned into a she-devil.

The first night we put them all in their house together and they were quiet until it got light and I legged it down to make sure everything was OK. Yesterday, we put them in the shed all day and the violence ensued. They were separated from each other by a fence last night which I removed this morning, only for Puddle to start up the beatings again. It turns out, though we didn't realise this until there was a new girl, that Jemima's boss. She'll give Puddle a good peck and get in between her and Margot if she's on the ball but if Puddle gets the red mist, there's no stopping her.

My questions then are

1. Is this all normal behaviour?
2. Am I wrong to be intervening all the time?
3. Should we be giving them a bit of free time to roam as Margot can't eat or drink without getting flattened?
4. Will they just bond anyway without the enforced confinement?

We let them out for a few hours this morning to have a bath and some grass. Margot keeps a 5m distance but otherwise is wandering with them. Any help much appreciated.

Mark
Honk
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Re: Bonding help

Post by Honk » Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:11 pm

Thankfully, they've calmed down today and are definitely on the road to friendship.
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Marigold
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Re: Bonding help

Post by Marigold » Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:07 pm

That's good. I'm sorry nobody answered your post, Mark, I think most of us on here are chicken keepers, and so know little about geese. Anyway, welcome to the Forum, and I hope the geese will now have settled down and made friends.
Honk
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Re: Bonding help

Post by Honk » Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:23 pm

Thank you, and so far, it's all quiet outside; they're not separated tonight but hopefully I'll get a good night's sleep.
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Marigold
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Re: Bonding help

Post by Marigold » Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:15 am

Do let us know how you get in, they look lovely birds. A pic of all three would be lovely. I'm moving your thread to the General Waterfowl section, as I think it may not have been seen in Other Poultry.
Honk
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Re: Bonding help

Post by Honk » Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:42 am

Thankyou. I wasn't certain where to put it. Photos to follow.
Honk
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Re: Bonding help

Post by Honk » Thu Oct 22, 2015 12:47 pm

Here's a picture of Margot. She's more nervous than me than the other ladies now.
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Marigold
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Re: Bonding help

Post by Marigold » Fri Oct 23, 2015 1:37 pm

What a beautiful lady. I'm glad she's settling in OK.
dorsetduckowner
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Re: Bonding help

Post by dorsetduckowner » Sun Nov 22, 2015 9:27 pm

Hiya, sorry I missed your post. I have to be honest I'm not great at goose behaviour at all, even though I have geese! Glad to hear they are getting on. Maybe you can offer advice to others in this situation now ;)
Zo
Honk
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Re: Bonding help

Post by Honk » Sun Nov 22, 2015 10:32 pm

I certainly will where I'm able. They're all good mates now though Margot, the new one, still won't eat from my hand. Early days.

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