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It Takes a Gaggle

After a torrid season, with goannas stealing most of the eggs, one of last year’s goslings has successfully hatched four little females.

But I love the way the whole gaggle of geese take on parenting.  They have been hanging around anxiously for weeks now, waiting.  Now the babies are hatched, hopefully they will go off and graze and we will occasionally get to sleep in of a morning!

 

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Fiona October 11, 2012, 3:23 pm

    Very cute Linda. How do you sex them?

  • Linda October 11, 2012, 3:31 pm

    With pilgrim geese, the males are always pure white (the goslings pure yellow) with blue eyes. The females are grey and white, the goslings grey and yellow. So we have four little girls.

  • Anonymous October 11, 2012, 3:50 pm

    also their beaks and feet are different colours ..females darker and males yellower. cool eh. Pilgrims are also smaller and LESS aggressive (if handled) than other breeds of geese.

  • Linda October 11, 2012, 4:15 pm

    Ours aren’t aggressive at all, just raucous.

  • Fiona October 11, 2012, 6:44 pm

    They are gorgeous! Lovely pic of all the adults circling the babies. Glad to hear the adults are not aggressive. I have (not fond!) childhood memories of geese in our chookyard chasing me and trying to nip my legs as I collected the eggs and shut the geese and chooks in their yard each evening. Maybe they weren’t Pilgrim geese, though yours do look similar.

  • Christine October 11, 2012, 7:31 pm

    Ohhh, how sweet, Linda! How lucky you are to be up close to this event.

    I was about to ask how noisy your geese are..until reading the comments..hopeful for sleep-ins and raucous behaviour? Probably not the best thing for us to consider adding along the fence line that backs onto our neighbours property 🙁 If it weren’t for their noise I would get some in a heartbeat. Do you find them efficient grass munchers?

  • Linda October 12, 2012, 7:12 am

    Hi Christine, very efficient grass mowers, and they don’t attack any of the fruit trees except the banana palms. But they are noisy.

  • Marianne October 13, 2012, 3:53 am

    Cute, cute! I just found your blog and am enjoying it, keep up the good work!

  • Renae November 6, 2012, 10:20 am

    Hi, just found your blog…great!
    I have got a little gaggle of 4 pilgrams, they are nearly 3 weeks old and doing great!
    I notice your post and ALL other info on pilgrams state that males always white with blue eyes etc etc…….well my gaggle come from a grey and white goose with blue eyes and a grey and white gander with brown eyes!!!!!!
    The whole clutch of babies where indistinguishable from each other, some had darker beaks than others, but all where the same shade of grey and yellow…………..I don’t care what sex, what mix in the breed cause we just love ’em, but interested on your thoughts???

  • Linda November 6, 2012, 11:18 am

    I’d guess they probably have a bit of mixed breed in there. One of our males has a grey feather in his tail too. There are some really interesting and vigorous discussions in permaculture circles about heritage and pure breeds. On the one hand, for both plants and animals, purebreds are the result of thousands of generations of selection by farmers for varieties that have good characteristics – Pilgrim geese are less aggressive, grow fast, brilliant parents, and autosexing is very handy if you are a farmer and want to keep more females. And we are in great danger of losing many heritage varieties and the result of all this research with the commercialisation of plant and animal breeding. On the other hand, purebreeds often have too little genetic diversity, too much inbreeding, and mongrels (plants and animals) often do better. But I couldn’t cull any of our geese either!

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