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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:43 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 1:17 pm
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Location: Kurwongbah/Brisbane QLD
We hatched out 3 goslings last Sunday and popped them in the brooder box we had set up (terracotta pot brooder lamp in a cardboard box in the living room). They were fine and happy little things, getting on well, until on Thursday, 2 had little wet patches on their backs and as I watched them, they were nibbling at each others downy fluff (not seeming to cause each other distress by it, but just nibbling it away). One of them now has a largish bald spot on its back, another is a bit 'worn' looking, and the 3rd (the big bully!) is all fine and fluffy still. They have a waterer thingy and chick starter available all the time, they are eating and drinking well - the box is farily large so they are definitely not cramped for space. Am I doing something wrong? How can I stop it? Is this a common thing in goslings?

On Friday I ended up separating them from each other because they were all doing it to some degree (had to make a second brooder lamp, and another box, plus a partition for the original box) and that has obviously taken care of things for the moment - but I'd really like to get them back in together for ease of care. This evening we have had another gosling hatch from the next batch, so I have set up a divider in the second box to keep the new one separate too. Am I going to have to keep them all separate for weeks until they start to feather up - or will a few days be enough for them to forget the behaviour? Should I do anything for the one with the bald patch - are they going to keep going for it like chicks would do? I have another batch of eggs in the incubator as well, due to hatch in a fortnight, so really need to get this sorted out before we have more of them (visions of wall to wall brooder boxes are flitting through my mind.... :shock: ). Help....please??!!


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 1:24 am 
I have never had this problem with waterfowl, but generally it is boredom, try some toys, plastic lids, balls, small cardboard boxs, etc

remember the bill is their hands and fingers, so like to feel new things

keep us informed!!


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 10:26 am 
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Proud Rooster
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Location: Kurwongbah/Brisbane QLD
Thanks for such a quick reply BB, I'll raid the kids toys and see what I can find. :lol: The kids each volunteered a fluffy stuffed animal for the goslings to cuddle up to since they were separated, so I am sure they won't mind checking out the toy box for other possibilities! I've been taking them out onto the grass in the afternoons too, in a sunny spot once it has warmed up outside - the gossies are loving that and seem to not do the pecking thing then because they are too busy with the grass. I'll let you know how we go!


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 2:25 pm 
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Phoenix
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I have hanging toys that way they move it around keeps them amused for awhile. :)


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