Facts About Raising and Breeding the Female Goose
Raising and breeding the male and female goose takes some expertise; it not really a job for everyone. Geese are raised in various regions around the United States, though they do no account for a very high percentage of the poultry population.
The various breeds of geese that are raised include the Emden and Toulouse, as well as the White Chinese and African geese. Due to the fact that the different breeds of geese vary widely in characteristics it’s important that you know which breed will best fit your purpose. Some geese are better suited to be kept for the production of eggs and breeding while others are better for breeding strictly for meat consumption.
You will need a building in order to breed geese. For very large flocks you will need a building that is dedicated to the flock, but if you are only breeding a few geese, a small building will work fine. Whatever building you choose for breeding your geese should be well lit and not be prone to drafts and wind.
To start with you will want to cover the floor of the building with some type of absorbent material, such as peat moss or straw. You will occasionally have to clean this floor covering and add additional dry cover. This will provide a safe and clean environment for breeding the male and female goose.
You will have to ensure that the building stays warm; if you are only breeding a small flock of geese a heat lamp should be sufficient. The temperature of the building should be approximately 85F, especially when the goslings come. When you have goslings you can then begin to reduce the temperature in the building by about 10F each week until you have brought the temperature down to 70F.
When you are breeding geese it is okay to pair up your males and females about one month before breeding season begins. In larger flocks where there are more females than males you can breed two to three females to each male. A male will often stick with the same female goose for each breeding season.
Geese do not thrive if they are kept closed up so it is best to keep your geese outdoors and only use the building in case of storms or for breeding purposes.
Feeding your geese is an important factor in how well they will breed. When there is not enough natural pasture food available you can opt to give them feed that has been developed especially for geese. Keep in mind that you will not want your geese to get too fat as this will cause problem when you go to breed them. When geese get too fat it tends to influence their fertility, and the rate at which you get eggs that hatch.
The incubation period for a female goose egg is approximately 29 to 31 days. Not all females will probably incubate their eggs and turn them, as they should be turned; in this case these eggs should be turned by hand at least twice a day.
Once the goslings begin to hatch you will have to remove them from the nest. Not all of the eggs will hatch in the same time period, and as a result the goose may leave her nest with her new babies leaving the rest of the eggs un-hatched. Taking the goslings from the nest can help to prevent this.
If the female goose does fail to stay with her nest you can opt to place them in an incubator. You can use both the forced air or still air incubators. For best results you will want to ensure that read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for using the incubator. With proper use an incubator should give you several hatched goslings.