Saturday, May 3, 2008

Introducing goslings

Rhonda in Northern California sent this photo of her African/Toulouse cross geese. She and her husband built the floating platform for them to live on in the pond on their property. They were concerned because they thought the geese were all females, so they didn't expect to get any goslings.
As geese often do, however, they surprised Rhonda and her family by hatching babies! Male and female geese are not sexually dimorphic, which means having different appearances, the way chickens do. Hens and roosters are easy to tell apart. Not so for geese.
This happy turn of events complicated life a bit, though. Rhonda had purchased some goslings that she intended to raise for four or five months, until they were big enough to take care of themselves, and then introduce them to the flock. With the new babies, she asked whether she could slip the newcomers into the family right away.
As Craig Russell, president of the SPPA says, "For geese, it's all about family." He was confident that even if the mated pair that hatched the goslings wasn't willing to take them in, one or more of the other adults would be happy to adopt them. Such adoptions are common among geese.
Rhonda said she would introduce the goslings to the flock. I'll post news as I hear from her.


Anonymous said...

I wouldn't mind having something similar to that floating platform in our pond for ducks. I'd love to have a few ducks just because, but I have no where to put them.

I'm intrigued by geese and may, at some point, order a pair. I've read that they make good watch dogs and lawn mowers!

Teresa Cherry-Reese said...

I have 2 sets of goslings. The older ones are about 3 weeks older than the younger. There's a big difference in size. I'm wondering how and if I can introduce them safely now, and can't find any information about this, as not many people in the states know about geese. I've read books and searched the internet, but the information is vague. Thank you for your suggestions.