Geese in East Malaysia are kept mainly as watchdogs, weed controllers, deterrents to snakes, as pets but rarely for their expensive meat. If they are kept for their meat then the breeding stock should be selected for their expected genetic ability to produce quick-growing, early-maturing goslings with compact meaty bodies. You don’t want to waste your time should only keep breeders that will be profitable are not too fat, select only healthy examples.
Keeping records will be very valuable when selecting for egg production either for the purpose of natural brooding or artificial means. From your records you will be able to select which should be slaughtered culled or sold off. From our records we have recorded an annual production of between 45 to 55 eggs from our Chinese Geese. Please make sure that your selected breeders are at least 1 year old before letting them do the wild thing mating. Geese can be kept for breeding until they are around 10 years of age, but male geese Ganders reach the limit of their fertility at around 6-8 years of age. The length of time breeders are kept depends on their libido performance. It may be necessary to replace birds after only four breeding seasons. With our Chinese Geese we use one male goose Gander to about five Geese.
Provide your Geese with swimming pool pond as they like prefer mating under in water. The swimming pool water is usually only necessary in the breeding season. It not improves the chances of a successful mating but helps in conditioning the geese and help keep them clean, which in turn helps to keep eggs clean.
Geese are choosy selective in choosing their mates and once successful matings have been established, will remain together for life. If the birds are allowed to select their mates, it is best to put more than the required number in a pen until the selections have been made. In the event of having to change mates, run the separated birds as far from each other as possible to prevent the birds fretting. Sometimes a male goose Gander will be a choosy fella not mate with one or two of the females, which mean fertility and the hatchability rate will be lowered.
If the male goose Gander shows equal love attention to all his mates then he is probably mating with them all. To test if the matings are successful, remove females from the gander one at a time to test his reaction. If he does not throw a hissing fit is contented and not concerned, then chances are he is not mating with that particular goose. If, however, the Gander appears that he wants to hiss you to death agitated then he is most probably mating with her.
Where it is desired to ‘force mate’ Geese, remove the male goose Gander from his ladies and add the new females to the ones he is already mating with, to enable all females to first accept each other. After a few days, reintroduce the male goose Gander to his ladies.
If flock matings are practiced, male geese Ganders will want to show who is boss may fight, but no serious damage will occur if they are evenly matched. Any continually subjected to bullying should be removed from the flock so too should Geese that wander around on their own as their eggs will be infertile. There will be less fighting if ganders selected for breeding have been reared together from young.
Because goose breeds will successfully do the wild thing mate with usually no more than three females plus being only seasonal breeders, you must consider the cost of maintaining a flock as it will be can be expensive when breeders eat you out of any profit consume a large amount of feed.
Overseas, AI techniques are now being used successfully. While AI naturally requires more additional work, it does do also mean that fewer male geese Ganders are needed in a flock, and semen and fertility can be easily evaluated. We know nuts have yet to experiment with any AI techniques hence are unable to provide any further information.
There are a number of breeds you can consider. Here in Sarawak we only have access to Chinese Geese. There are two colour varieties of this breed, the White Chinese and the Brown Chinese. Both originated in China and are smaller than the Toulouse or Emden (sometimes spelt as Embden). The Chinese is distinguishable from other geese by the knob or protuberance on its head.
Our breeding sheds are very cheapskate simple. A skillion roof provides shelter and we use large flower pots placed on the side for nesting boxes but it is essential that the yard be completely enclosed. For us it also avoids the Geese wandering about placing their shit ‘deposits’ everywhere on the concreted areas and also provides easier management when needing to catch them for examination.
A layer of wood shavings or padi husks on the floor will help maintain dry conditions. Geese tend to shit a lot foul their sleeping quarters, so damp and wet litter must be removed frequently, more so in tropical weather like ours. Yard size is determined by the amount of space available and the method of management and feeding. As a guide, a yard should allow each goose 2 m2 of ground space. The size of the yards will be governed to a large extent by the number of geese to each shed. Each breeding flock need not be confined to a separate shed and yard. Provide each shed with nest boxes, even though some geese will make their own nests in the litter on the floor.