Introducing New Geese To The Flock

Introducing new geese to the flock can be difficult. Geese are intelligent animals and form a strong bond with others in their flock. If for example a goose is lost and you would like to introduce a replacement female, they will at first fight with one another and often the newcomer will be rejected by the flock. It is generally easier with younger geese.

When introducing chickens, it is often best to allow as much space as possible so the bird that is lower in the pecking order can escape but the reverse seems to be true of geese. The method of introducing a new goose to a flock that has been used for many years (I have read about this is Reginald Appleyard’s 1950’s reprint of his book on Geese, breeding and management):

Caution: Geese form very strong bonds, especially during the breeding season. They can cause damage to a newcomer very quickly. Always monitor introductions carefully and never introduce a new goose when the gander is present in the flock.

It is better to introduce a new goose during the summer or early winter so as not to disrupt the mating season. First, you must separate the gander from the flock. Place the females in a small area so that they cannot roam. A small building or shed is ideal. Introduce the new female at night. The next day, keep a close eye on them. They are forced to ‘rub shoulders’ with the new goose and will not be too happy at being confined but will get used to her presence. They should not fight as much in a smaller area and without the gander present.

Once they stop squabbling, they can be released again to roam as a group. It can take a week or more to reach this point. Once they are happily roaming as a group again, the gander can be re-introduced to the geese. Again, introduce him at night in their house / enclosure. He should accept his ‘wives’ happily and peace is restored.

Have you found any ganders that will simply just not get on? We would love to hear from your experiences of the different breeds of geese as well as other techniques for introducing new geese. So far, African / Chinese ganders seem to have a bit of a reputation between themselves. Please feel free to leave a comment below if you can offer further advice.

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Tim Daniels

Tim is the founder of the poultrykeeper website and lives in Herefordshire, UK. He keeps Cream Legbar chickens, Silver Sebright bantams and hybrid layers for eggs, Abacot Ranger ducks, Brecon Buff geese and some quail.
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