Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sebastopol geese

Dave Kozakiewicz of Hindsight Farms in Ann Arbor, Michigan sent these beautiful photos of his Sebastopol geese for use with the article in the April/May issue of Backyard Poultry. There wasn't space for all of his photos in the magazine, so I post some here for your enjoyment:

 Dave calls these Sunset on the Tundra:


Sebastopol geese look as if someone curled their feathers. Their soft, flowing ruffles give them the appearance of fantastic dream birds. Their feathers are as much as four times as long as normal feathers, with flexible shafts that spiral, draping down to the ground. Traditionally white, their fanciers are experimenting with breeding them in buff, blue, gray, and saddleback color varieties. Konecny calls them “the Silkies of the goose world.”

Despite their decorative appearance, they are an ancient utility breed, hardy and respectable egg layers of 25-35 eggs a year. The breed is associated with Eastern Europe, around the Danube River and the Black Sea.

Sebastopols’ unusual appearance attracts owners who are inclined to keep them as ornamental birds and as companion birds. Keep docile Sebastopols away from aggressive birds. They enjoy bathing those lovely feathers in clean water. They aren’t good flyers, with those long, soft feathers. Their loose feathers make them appreciate protection when it’s especially cold, wet and windy.

Those long feathers may interfere with successful breeding. Feathers around the vent can be clipped to improve nature’s chances.

Their popularity sometimes pressures breeders to misrepresent less desirable birds. Unscrupulous exhibitors may pull straight feathers, an exhibition defect, from their birds.

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