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 Post subject: Frustrated geese?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 8:39 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Location: SE QLD
I'm looking for some advice, I'm hoping someone has some pearls of wisdom for a newbie goose owner!

Over the past week or so our pair of young geese have started plucking their breast feathers, starting to produce bald patches. :cry: :? I can't see any creepy crawlies in amongst the feathers, and they're pretty healthy otherwise. They spend 2/3 of the day shut in their shed (fairly large, 3m x 7m, iron roof, netting walls, woodshavings and some straw on the floor) while we're at work, and they're out for a few hours each afternoon grazing and bathing in their paddling pool. They have corn and greens to eat while they're shut inside.

They're inseperable and usually pretty harmonious, though there have been a few arguments in their pool lately.

I'm wondering if the feather plucking is a stress/frustration thing at being locked up through the day? Is is a pre-nesting behaviour? :?: :? :?: They're not doing any real nesting yet, though they are moving bits of twig and leaf around the yard very industriously.

Over the next few weeks we'll be dog-proofing a large area of yard and they'll be able to roam, but I'm hoping the habit doesn't become too ingrained in the meantime.
Any help much appreciated!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 8:58 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Someone more knowledgeable on the subject may be able to help you further, but I have a pair of young muscovy ducks who have started pulling each other's feathers out and eating them. I rang a bird vet and they suggested diet...some sort of deficiency. It could also depend on the sex of the birds. Males may pull out the females’ feathers. Boredom is possible. But for our pair, it seems they are just going through their yearly moult and helping the process by pulling them out. The feathers were ready to come out anyway. Guess it's less messy this way...they eat up all the stray feathers! You can tell if it's a moult by seeing if any new feathers are coming through underneath. On the ducks it was quite obvious. Hope your geese are ok!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 10:10 pm 
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Wise Wyandotte
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with geese, vitamin deficiencies are very rare, as they can very hapily live of grass and nothing else.

It sounds like if you are having tiffs in the bath that you have 2 males who are trying to mate each other, and yea are pulling feathers to prove who is dominant ect...

You may want to vent sex them if you do a search you will find pleanty of information on it, it may take 2 people.

If you do have 2 males you will need to get 2 girls, then the fighting will stop and they will pick a girl each and be happy.

If you have a pair, she may be laying and hiding her eggs and is getting ready to sit - geese line thier nests with feathers - as do most waterfowl.

Regards

Honk

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If you can keep chooks, geese will be a BREEZE!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 10:54 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Thanks Renee and Honk...

We've just assumed they are a male and female as they do a lot of pair-bonding stuff, but looks like we'll be getting a bit more friendly with their nether regions soon :shock: ....Oh well, if it's got to be done, it's got to be done.

I haven't seen any pin feathers growing through on the bald patches yet so I'm not sure on the moulting thing, and we keep an eye on them most of the time they're out of the shed so I don't think there's any laying going on.... :( :(

We'll have a go at sexing on the weekend. Thanks, and wish us luck!


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 9:39 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Well, we managed to sex the geese this evening, much to their indignation...and discovered that yep, we have two ganders :(. A bit disappointing but hubby is quite pleased he can justify getting more geese to keep these 2 happy :lol: :lol: .

He's now busy building a new improved Goose Residence for the lucky new wives, and we're in the market for some white female geese :) ....anyone in SE QLD looking at selling any at the moment?


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 9:51 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Anna wrote:
A bit disappointing but hubby is quite pleased he can justify getting more geese to keep these 2 happy :lol: :lol: .


The more the merrier, I say!
Oh, and well done at tackling the vent sexing.
I have never tried and I admire anyone who has.

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1 God, 1 husband, 2 Teens, 2 Dogs, 7 Sussex, 3 Wyandottes, 11 Silkies, 1 Barnevelder, 3 Budgies & 3 Goats


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 3:33 pm 
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Wise Wyandotte
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WELL DONE!!!!

I occasionally have trouble with my big breeds, they get a bit grumpy.

I do not know of any geese out that way, mabey try a wanted add on farmstock.com and on the BYP notice board. You will need to act relatively fast as breeding season is now upon us.

Regards

Tim

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If you can keep chooks, geese will be a BREEZE!


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