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Lonely goose!

 
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Hi all, I'm brand new to this forum, and really excited that it exists

I have a year old female (at least, that was what i was told when I got her) Embden goose that I've had for a couple of months now. I purchased her to act as a "guardian" for my small flock of 5 ducks (4 hens and a drake--I didn't expect her to be able to do much, but I was hoping her large size would persuade the hawks to look for meals elsewhere). I did quite a bit of reading on the topic of guardian geese, and the consensus seemed to be to only have one goose present, so that they will be more likely to stick close to the ducks. The problem is my Appleyard drake refuses to let her near the ducks, and chases her off. So she spends her days alone, which is sad to see. As well, just today she started to be really cozy with me, standing on my feet and looking up at me (this is brand new behaviour--I couldn't get anywhere near her yesterday and before). I'm not sure if that just a result of it being almost mating season, or if she's just desperate and lonely.

I'm looking to get her a goose friend. Adults seem hard to come by (unless they are purchased as a mated pair), and gosling season doesn't start until late March- April. I'm just wondering if anyone has advice on what I should be getting for her. Is a gosling a good bet? Can I get a female, or would it be better for her to have a male (I'm a bit concerned about male aggression, so I would prefer another female)?

Thanks in advance!
 
gardener
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Aaaawwwwwww! That's so sad! Following with interest.
 
pollinator
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I haven't been in your exact situation, but I do have a drake that did at one time pick on one of my five ducks. After some research, this is common drake behavior, especially in spring/mating season. It is hard to break, but sometimes the drake just stops, and finally accepts the member of the flock he was previously bullying.

Our drake was still bullying one duck after two weeks, so we removed the drake from the ducks and put him in with our pigs for a few hours, until he escaped to try to return to his flock. We let him back in with the ducks, and he did a lot less bullying. He completely stopped bullying within a  few days. Today, knock on wood, he isn't bullying any of the ducks.

In hindsight, the duck that was bullied was our youngest duck, and we think she was denying his advances, because she wasn't ready for romance yet. She no longer rejects his affections.

Might be you have a drake problem and not a goose problem 😉
 
Lara Kirk
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Update: thanks for all the advice and for the replies! I separated my naughty drake and my goose for a few days and it seems to have solved the problem! He’s not harassing her anymore, and  she’s spending her days hanging out with the ducks again. Everyone seems happy once more
 
pollinator
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I'm so glad you found a solution!!

I had a the same problem reversed once. My female goose died and the male was lonely. It turned out to be impossible to find a replacement female for him. If it had been the other way round I think it would have been a lot easier. I couldn't even get hatching eggs at that time. The male goose did join the chicken herd and was good friends with the cockerel It was so funny when the cockerel was about one sixth of his side and yet they were buddies Still, the male goose seemed lonely and spent hours every day looking at himself in any mirror-like surface, like our car door...trying to take care of the other goose. It broke our hearts...  so we decided to let him join his mate in goose heaven. Maybe things would've got better over time and who knows, we might have found hatching eggs later on. At that time though it seemed like the best solution.

Every animal & situation is unique. I'm very happy you found a solution that works for your goose!

Male geese are aggressive at breeding time. We had to wear protective clothing when we took care of them in Janurary-March. But ours was not very aggressive at other times. I've heard other kind of stories too: they can be a problem especially if you have young children.
 
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