Embden Geese

Uses: Utility – meat. Eggs: 10 to 30 white eggs per year.
Northern Germany.
Weight: Gander: 12 – 15 Kg. Goose:  10 – 13 Kg.
Colours: White.
Useful to Know: Embden Geese are one of the main breeds used in commercial Goose production.
Photo: An Embden Gander at the Hannover Show 2009.

Embden Geese are a white goose that is sometimes called the Emden (without the ‘b’) or the Bremen (usually in America). Embdens have an orange bill and legs and have blue eyes. Embdens are quite tall compared to other geese, although the Embdens in the UK tend to be a little shorter and stockier than those found in Europe and heavier than those found in North America.

The Embden is thought to originate from the North part of Germany. The town of Emden used to be spelt with a ‘b’ and the goose has retained this in its name in the UK. Some early publications suggest it might have some of its origins in Holland but some of the more respected Authors of the day, such as Lewis Right believed the breed to have been created in Emden, North Germany.

Embden geese do not lay very many eggs in a season, typically only 20 eggs. They will often go broody and are good sitters. Ganders can be aggressive whilst protecting the sitting goose or young goslings. Some grey feathers can be found in young first year females, typically on their back or rump but eventually, they should end up as pure white.

The Embden is called L’oie d’Emden in France and Emder Gans in Germany. They have been a popular bird to use to generate a hybrid cross for meat production across Europe. In the UK, the largest supplier of Embden Crosses is in Norfolk – Goslings from Gulliver Geese. Typically, Embdens can be crossed with Toulouse Geese or other large Geese if you want to create a good utility hybrid.

During the last century, the emphasis was always on improving the goose’s weight and many of the early poultry shows judged birds on their dead weight. In America, the standard weights have always been lower (currently 26lb for an Old Gander) compared to the British Waterfowl Standard (currently 28 to 34lb for Ganders).

The Embden goose entered the British Poultry Standard in 1865 and the American Standard of Perfection in 1874.



The following books are available. Links take you to the Amazon or other sellers’ pages for the books.


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