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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 4:31 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Hi, I just have a question and would love suggestions/answers as to why all my adult geese are fighting at the moment.

I have a pr of white ones that are about 2-3yrs old, and another pr that is a bit older, and another pair that is quite young. All the geese came from the same place except the 1pr of white ones.
They kinda have a peking order, that is the pair of young ones at the bottom, then the pr of whites the next up and then the oldest at the top. However, they don't seem to be content with where they all stand.

The 'alpha gander' goes everyone except his goose. He has pulled enough feathers out of all the geese that you could make a full doona and pillows!! He has made the youngest, weakest gander limp. The goose that goes with limping gander (we call him Nigel :? ) is trying to win over the head gander, but he just attacks her and pushes her away (she isn't satisfied with "Nigel"). So fighting going on there...
The other 2 white geese, were the 1st ones here, they have been pushed to 2nd down the ladder with major fighting. They stay away from the rest usually, but fight through the fence, and when they together, the head gander and his goose run after, and attack them viciously!
The 2 white ones attack the youngest pair too, (viciously).
Non of them seem to be getting along whatsoever!!! :evil: :(

So I had an :idea: to seperate some, (only have 2 paddocks). But when separated, they usually fly back over the fence, or stand at the fence wanting to get back. Get back together = fighting.
They fight at feeding time, so much so, some miss out on their daily feed, and starve.... (esp 'Nigel')

Other than selling all of them up outright, what do you suppose I do, and/or why do you think this is happening??
Is it because they are all around the same age?
Is it because it is still close to breeding season?
Is it because they are from different breeders originally and so putting them together makes them fight? Do they only like being with the ones they have reared themselves?
Do only xbred geese do this?

It is very annoying, upseting, and frustrating, I cant stand hearing it too! I would love to have a gaggle of geese just roaming around in harmony
(the majority of the time), and get an enjoyment out of seeing that.
They are turning me off geese!
What do you think would be my best?

Thanks for taking the time to read, and replying.
Cheers, :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 4:41 pm 
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Phoenix
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It is breeding session and geese that have lived in harmony or near to it for the other part of the year are now hell bent on killing one another.
Once the females start sitting fighting reduces until one invades the others territory.
What to do not much you can do it will change back to peaceful times soon once they work out the boundaries and who is with who it usually settles.
Am sure others will offer other sugestions :)


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 4:56 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Thanks for that macl27. What you said does make sense as to why they are acting this way. I suppose. It's just annoying and hard to watch and break up. Lets hope they all calm down soon!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 5:15 pm 
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Prime Pekin
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In Qld you should be well into breeding season by now and in fact the geese should be sitting or close to it . I don't think you mentioned if they were laying or had nests! It would be worth having a look around if you you are not aware of any . Should you find one/some hidden away would be best to enclose this once the goose is sitting . They will go back to one happy family soon .


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 8:07 pm 
it sounds to me that the pairs are not bonded and therefore are still fighting for mates.

I have 17 pairs/trios in separate pens and several pairs that are bonded free ranging, and I am not having any problems. Except when the spare ganders roam around looking for a mate and they have a talk to each gander in the pens (asking if they have a spare goose by chance ??) then they move on.

Each goose (pair) has been trained were they can lay and most (19 nests) are sitting (1 is not yet, but she was late to lay and is still laying) then the gander can guard her whilst she is sitting and there is enough distance between them, so no fights. There is a bit of noise when a sitting goose goes for a walk each day.

My advise is go to the tip, local hardware store any where you can get old pallets, us about 20 to make an enclosure, in each pen have some sort of nest, 200 litre drum, etc.

Then lock each pair in their pens and only let one pair out at a time, if you have the time once a day or rotate once every third day.

This will train them where their nest is and stop the fighting. The length of time varies between different people some say only a few months or until they have hatched a clutch, I am doing it for 12 months March to March. Remember this bonding can last 25 years, until either one dies, so by doing it correctly, you will never have a problem. A shorter time could still have a problem next year.

Once bonded, they can be mixed as a flock and if the parents are pure breed, you can mix the breed and still get pure goslings each year (o well 95% of the time) as boys will be boys


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:08 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Thanks BB. That sounds like what is happening here! What you explained does fit.
The only pair that have really 'paired up' is the old pair that rules the roost over everyone else. He won't even let another goose near him!

This afternoon I put the young pair that aren't interested in eachother, in the front paddock. That was fairly good, they hung around together a fair bit, but the goose was nearly always calling out for something...I think it's the Alpha Gander! But when she goes near him he chases her away!
I have noticed the pair that rule the roost, when the goose makes a honk, the gander quickly makes another honk/chatter straight after her. Like she goes HONK GONK....then he goes GONK HONK. Non of the other pairs do that...

So after I put those two in the front paddock, the 2-3yr old white pair (that were the 1st geese we owned) were left in the back paddock with the other pair that are at the top of the pecking order. I noticed that whenever the whites went near the other 2 to say hi or get a drink, the alpha gander and his goose ran after the white two and attacked them and chased them miles away.
No-one else fights with the alpha gander and goose so why does he keep having to make his point!
Non of them can eat or drink or hang around together civily.

At night, I have to lock them away, in pens with a shelter. That's when I put each pair seperate.

The xbred white pair have had 3 goslings out of 8 eggs, but I had to take them cause she was a poor mum!

And the king of the hill pair have had a few goslings and I had to take them too, due to reasons like poor mothering, others attacking their goslings, and some died, taken by fox etc. I have 2 of her goslings kept back at the house with me to hand rear so they won't be unfriendly and aggressive like the parents, and so I can get them calm and show them later on with ittle difficulty as they are Pilgrims.

So everyone has had their goslings, and so their behaviour can't be blamed on that. I just want them all to live in harmony and to get along and for the pr that are at the top to stop attcaking the others. When I look out their I either see feathers flying everywhere or I see one goose over her another over there, and the white pr way over there, and the pr that are at the top there at the water.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:37 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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I don't know weather to get rid of them all and just keep the pr of goslings that I'm hand rearing then breed them up and go on like that or just try and stick out all this mess that they are caring on with. :roll: :shock: :x

I need the Goose that is at the top of the pecking order, but alpha gander that goes with her has too much grey on her and is not the best gander I have. Nigel gander would be a much better fit to her colour and type wise. But he is at the bottom and she has paired off with the gander at the top. :roll: :?
So it's safe to say that yes even though I do have 2 pr of Pilgrims, (white gander grey and white goose, with a bit of white on her face, blue eyes in gander, hazel the goose and they have bought out the auto sexing goslings) they are all a mess at present as the real good goose has paired off with the not so good gander and the good gander needs to read a book on how to be a gander and he is slowly taken interest in a no so good goose. :roll: :?

I can't see how I am going to improve my pilgrims when it looks like they want to pair off with (what I feel) is the wrong gander for the right goose or other way around. Once they pair they pair for life don't they, so I will have no other choice than to have a good goose breed with a not so good gander and another pair with the opposite problem.
Then we have this pr of xbred white that we don't have the heart to get rid of cause they were the geese that got us into geese in the 1st place. :roll:

The whole thing just doesn't make sense! :? :shock: :) I have geese everywhere fighting and limping and being lonley, also pairing off not how I want or that would be ideal for showable goslings, so i suppose I am confused, upset and frustrated. I wonder if or when they will at least calm down and live in harmony. Then I might be able to do something about trying to put the right goose with the right gander that I want. Or Not. They aren't like ducks where you can just go "oh, that nice drake can go with that nice duck in that pen and breed".

Thanks again for those who have taken the time to read my little (I suppose big) goose problem :shock: . And thanks for the replys. :wink:

Cheers,
Kirk


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:30 pm 
this is my advice, get rid of the "alpha" male, he is no good for two reason, he aggressive and as you say not a good "type", then you will have a trio of Pilgrim. Nigel will be happy with two girls and it is early yet, you may get a second lay.

As for a nest I use old wooden fruit crates, they are about 1.2 metres square and about 700mm high. For the trio pens I have place a board down the centre and an anti egg rollout board and taken the bottom two planks out. The roof is two old sheets of iron.

I have my best gander and best goose and a pretty good goose (all pilgrim, the best goose won Best Opposite Sex Gander/Goose at Poultry 2008) all in one pen, they are bonded and currently sitting on two nests with 10 eggs each.

Yes they bond for life and I think it is cruel to break the bond. What I have done with a pair of African I got, he is great (got third at Poultry 2008) but his girlfriend of 10 years is a brown chinese. So to improve the goslings I have included a new mate a 10 month old African goose (my best young goose I had) he has accepted her and now they are a trio, eggs in nest, do not know whose, but he mates with both, neither are sitting at the moment.

Now for the original pair, two choices, let them mate/lay/hatch, then sell goslings or let them mate/lay/you swap eggs for Pilgrim/they hatch them.

I have a goose I hand raised 3 years ago, I have had geese come and go, but Doose stays, (the goose that thinks it is a duck, so therefore Doose). This year she is sitting on some eggs, I do not know whose they are, as all the goslings will be sold. I may give her some cross breed goslings to see if she is a good mum or not. So then in the future I can decided if she can look after the pure breed goslings or not.

I would love some photos of your Pilgrims, they are my first love in geese, to the point I wrote a submission to the Australian Poultry Standards committee requesting the name of the Pilgrim to be changed to Settler. I must put it on BYP one day.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:19 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Thanks heaps for that reply BB. Good idea/option. I might endevor to do that.
But another option that has come to mind is: Seeing as I have 2 goslings from the alpha male and the good goose he is with, maybe I should sell all the rest except those two goslings. That way when they grow up, I will have friendly geese, good for show. And, I will breed everything from those two so it's like no matter how many I get from them, it will be like one big family, instead of 1pr that's come from that breeder...that pr from another breeder and whatever....do you get me? Once they grow up, It's like I am bringing another pair into all this big equation and another pr to try and get along, unlike if I did the above. Also the little goslings, that I want to grow up to be friendly (calm for show pen) will hang around all the rest and catch their bad behaviour like aggression etc. And most possibly fight as usual. I don't want that.

I have fairly good housing for all the geese, ducks, chooks and peafowl here, so I don't feel that is a worry. But at breeding season, I would like to get to the stage of not worrying or whatever about who mates with what when and why and what problems that causes because I have one big family of happy content geese that know where and what they fit in with and knowing that with whatever happens, I will get out fairly content good typed goslings. Instead of what I have at the moment which is one big mess.
I would like them all to be able to sleep in the same pen and whatever, and I know that once the goose has laid and nested in a certain spot that she will always go back to that spot....and there is room for that, however, no room for fighting with anyone who goes near any nest area whatsoever!

Anyway, unfortuneately the 2 white geese have to go because they are xbred and will stuff up the Pilgrim situation and I does cost just as much to feed champs as it does unwanted birds, so bye-bye to them. But do you think I should get rid of all the other adults too and just start with the pair of goslings I have from the alpha gander and his goose (which will be fairly good and I will be able to show and improve. They aren't total duds). That way I can stat all over again with 2 goslings that will grow up to be friendly and they will breed and I will get a family from them. Maybe that will be the best way to sort all of this out.....??
See, from others that I've heard from, they don't have this problem because they started from just 2 or a trio then bred up. Not done what I've done stupidly by shoving everything together at this time of year and stuff...maybe that could be the problem and so just start over again with the two gosling I have in the brooder at present.......?...wouln't have a clue.
I have been in search for purebred geese for ages and then when I find a breed they say, just wait I'll let you know when I have goslings...I never hear from them again....I have been sold so called purebred geese only to turn out that Ive been had big time. Then I finally stumble across average Pilgrims and this mess all happens.
But what you are saying Trevor is helping...thanks, :wink: .
So they are called settlers are they originally??...never heard of that.
The place I got my Pilgrims from also had a West of England goose. No i'm not just saying that. If it's anyone who only calls a breed or colour that is almost identical to the standards, words and or pictures, it's me. I am VERY skeptical of people calling stuff breeds or colours when It may not be, It has to be really good. I don't just go around calling something that looks a bit like that a breed or colour because that is the way things get stuffed up with people knoing the breeds and colours and etc!.... So I assure you this was a west of england. Just like in a couple of books I've seen. It has been proven that the guy I got my pilgrims from has got pilgrims, Im soo happy....finally.... :roll: .....I didn't purchase (what I believe) was a west of england goose and gander due to them not being in the standards and the chances of someone believing me etc would be very minute. I know I don't know heaps and I am not the best but I do know my waterfowl and love breeding and presering geese and Indian Runners. I would like to become a w/fowl judge one day.....

You should be very proud of your geese BB, keep going and you and your birds will be fantastic! It's Great enjoyment/hooby.

I apprecite your feedback and look forward to what you have to say next. Anyway, better shut up now and get back to it.

Cheers, :wink:

P.S.- Yeah, I'll get photos as soon as I can. I'm a bit worried about being knocked for them etc.... :oops:


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:59 pm 
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You seem unhappy with the type etc of the others then get rid of the lot keep the two young ones that way you get confidence in their management if showing is the way you want to go then learn from the two young ones.After awhile and when you feel confident get what you want as far as type colour etc that your breeding needs .
There is no point stressing out with poultry and I get the feeling you really are not enjoying them like you want to :)
Enjoy your young ones when you are ready get ones that you need not what other people want to give you.
And yes we love photos remember in showing judges make decisions sometimes on there personal preferences not on what the standard says you need to take into account what they say but with your own dealings with these geese you will also become an expert along the way.
The objective is to enjoy yourself and have fun yep will get off soap box :)


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