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Broody Goose

 
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Hi, I have a Toulouse goose who has become terribly broody. She has been sitting on eggs, hers and any others who laid there before she took over the hut, for the past 5 days. We never saw her come off but provided her with food and water in hopes that she would come off to swim or forage around the property and we would collect the eggs. We have a total of 5 geese and 1 gander and do not wish for more. I ended up accidentally scaring her off the nest while trying to gently encourage her to leave and collected 3 eggs. She went right back on her best as soon as everyone was locked in for the night in the run and was still there this morning. Does anyone have suggestions on how to bring her out of this?
 
pollinator
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Location: Alekovo near Svishtov, Bulgaria
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dog duck chicken cooking pig wood heat
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We had a similar situation with one of our Saddleback geese.... this year we decided to keep collecting all the eggs to eat, and then one goose went broody on her empty nest - she made a full size nest, went stupid crazy aggressive when anyone went in the house. Without humanizing the critter, she was clearly in distress after 3 weeks sitting on an empty nest.  So we gave in and the next few eggs that were laid we put under her and she continued sitting for another month until all 3 eggs hatched, we lost one but she is now raising the other two.

My simple minded approach after only 3 years of having geese (and other critters too) and watching them closely is that they are designed to do 3 things.... eat, drink and procreate - some are more sensate than others, and most will revert to their basic genetically designed behaviours if they are allowed to. If any of these functions is missing the critter is likely to not "behave" as they were made to and not thrive.
 
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Hi Katie,

My suggestion is let her nest and sell, trade or give away the goslings once they are old enough. In permaculture it's best to work with nature, rather then fight against it, and in working with nature,, find a way that nature can be a benefit.

I'm sure someone my have tips on discouraging a broody goose, but rather then put the animal under more emotional distress, I say let her raise her offspring.

Just my thoughts on the subject.
 
Nick Truscott
pollinator
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Location: Alekovo near Svishtov, Bulgaria
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R. Steele wrote:... it's best to work with nature, rather then fight against it, and in working with nature,, find a way that nature can be a benefit.



Could not agree more - we are definitely not experts never having had anything other than domestic pets until 4 years ago.... but observing critters to see what they do "naturally" has been fascinating, humbling and incredibly beneficial to us as we learn about how we can raise high quality produce for our family and enjoy the experience AND not cost us an arm and a leg!!

R. Steele wrote:... I'm sure someone my have tips on discouraging a broody goose, but rather then put the animal under more emotional distress, I say let her raise her offspring.



Absolutely agree :-)
 
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Location: Europe - CZ, Pannonian / continental zone
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I must ask Katie: why do you keep 5 geese + 1 gander? Just like a pet, or for eggs to eat? Why you don´t want to have goslings? If you want some poultry for eggs, chickens or ducks are much better. Geese are usualy kept for goslings to feed and then to butcher for meet. Geese are not perfect eggs-layers. As Nick and R. Steele have written: let her do her "work".. If you want your goose to stop being broody, try some practices used in broody hens. I give broody hen into a cage with wired floor, I hang the cage somewhere in a shade and she is OK after some 3 days .. You can try.
 
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I’ve got two Toulouse Geese. One has gone absolutely broody while the second has become broody in the past week. I have NO gander. They’ve lost weight sitting on infertile eggs. What should I do? I found both of these geese walking down the road a few minutes this ago. They weren’t claimed and I know next to nothing about geese. I do enjoy them but want to care for them appropriately. Advice is needed please!
 
Nick Truscott
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Location: Alekovo near Svishtov, Bulgaria
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Danella Barnes wrote:I’ve got two Toulouse Geese. One has gone absolutely broody while the second has become broody in the past week. I have NO gander. They’ve lost weight sitting on infertile eggs. What should I do? I found both of these geese walking down the road a few minutes this ago. They weren’t claimed and I know next to nothing about geese. I do enjoy them but want to care for them appropriately. Advice is needed please!



Remember these critters are not as "sensate" as some of us might like, they are not "decision makers"..... we have come to our own conclusion that birds decide to sit when THEY decide they have laid enough eggs (some times on 4 eggs, sometimes on 23 eggs!!) - and that likely has nothing at all to do with whether or not their is a male or whether the eggs are fertile. Although no expert, I'd let the birds sit for 4-5 weeks, then remove the eggs and then see how the goose behaves.  

As to feeding....the only birds we've had that never bothered to look after itself with food and water was a female turkey who actually died sitting on 19 eggs.  I would keep putting food and water out as normal, but throw some succulent treats down within the gooses' reach (tomatoes, fruit, cucumber, lettuce) so they can nibble while sitting.
 
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