April 5, 2009

The supposed period for Geese laying their eggs is in the spring around the period of August to September but our Chinese Geese breeds lay all year long. Fertility will be up to 15% higher and hatchability up to 20% higher when you use mature female geese than with a matured 1-year-old male Gander.

Geese usually lay in the morning so don’t be a lazy goof collect eggs late in the morning to reduce the chance of egg breakages. Since most eggs are laid early in the morning it will be a good idea to not give your Geese access to swimming pool facilities until late in the morning, otherwise eggs may be mia lost in the pond/pool. Geese usually lay a clutch of 12–15 eggs and then go into a bad mood broody. When this happens look for somewhere you can keep her apart from the gang like in a pen.


To reduce the incidence of egg breakages, provide nest boxes and encourage their use for laying. Line them with suitable nesting material, such as wood shavings, dried grass, and allow one 50 cm × 50 cm nest box for every three geese in the flock. It is best to have nest boxes in the shed and throughout the yard if you have a large yard.

In our experience natural incubation produces the best percentage of Goslings hatched. But using Geese to hatch out their own goslings is expensive and wasteful as Geese are not laying more eggs while they are sitting on their own eggs. Turkeys and Muscovy ducks may be used satisfactorily to hatch out goslings with the best results obtained from Muscovy ducks (which are really geese). Goose eggs can be hatched artificially, but results are better if Muscovies are used.

Eggs should be collected at least twice (preferably four times) daily, and, as geese lay most of their eggs in the morning, the bulk of the eggs will be collected in the morning.You should store eggs for incubation in a cool room at 15°C. Turn eggs daily. The longer the eggs are kept over 7 days, the poorer the hatching results. Select only uncracked eggs weighing at least 140 g and no more than 200 g. Clean those eggs that are dirty by lightly rubbing with steel wool that you can swipe from the kitchen (don’t let the wife know) and wiping with a clean damp cloth again don’t let the wife know. Eggs will need to be handled and stored in this manner regardless of the method of incubation. Eggs can be disinfected by fumigating them immediately after collection. The actual period of incubation of goose eggs varies slightly with the breed. Some eggs from the lighter breeds may start pipping after 28 days, while eggs from the larger breeds may take 35 days. It may take up to 3 days for hatching to be completed.


Huge Difference in The Size, Goose & Chicken

Depending on the size of the bird, 4–6 eggs may be placed under a broody hen whilst a Muscovy duck may sit on 6–8 eggs. Since the eggs are too large for most hens to turn by themselves, you have to turn the eggs by hand daily when the hens leave the nest to eat and drink. After 15 days, eggs should be sprinkled with lukewarm water each time they are turned. Candling, that is, passing eggs under a bright electric light to view the contents, can be carried out on the 10th day and all infertile eggs removed. Where a Goose is to be used for hatching out the eggs, 10–15 eggs may be placed under her (the number of eggs depends on the size of the eggs and the size of the goose). If Geese have access to swimming facilities, the eggs need not be sprinkled with water.

Unless machines are properly managed, goose eggs do not hatch very well in artificial incubators. Hatches often are no better than 40% of the eggs set, even though fertility is about 90%. This is because of lazy fellows calling themselfs farmers poor management and because most incubators cheap skate homemade like mine available are not manufactured specifically for Geese.

With forced-draught machines, maintain a constant temperature of 37.5°C throughout the incubation period. The desired humidity will be obtained if the wet bulb thermometer is kept at a reading of 32.2°C to the 29th day. Then increase it to 34°C for the rest of the incubation time, using moisture trays and adjusting the ventilation. Incubators with a slow air movement over the eggs will hatch goose eggs better than those with a fast air movement. Slow air movement ensures complete distribution of air over all parts of the egg to maintain uniform and equal evaporation.


A Fully Automated Incubator/Hatcher On My Wishlist

Best results are obtained if eggs are turned over completely at least four times daily, that is, through an angle of 180° (as shown in the diagram at right) and not 90° as with chicken eggs. Best hatching results are obtained if eggs are set horizontally. Eggs must be spaced evenly throughout the incubator if the machine is not full. The temperature of the machine should be 0.2°C higher when the machine is less than 60% full. Because goose eggs require high humidity, they should be sprinkled daily with warm water. After the 15th day of incubation, eggs should be completely submerged every second day in water kept at a temperature of 37.5°C and then daily in the last week of incubation, for 1 minute. Alternatively, fine nozzles that spray water at 37.5°C when needed can be installed in the incubator.

Eggs should be transferred to the hatcher on the 27th day of incubation unless experience shows eggs are hatching at less than 30 days of age. Eggs should be dipped or sprinkled with water, as previously described, only once after they are transferred. Temperature in the hatching compartment should be kept at 37°C and relative humidity at about 80%. After the peak of the hatch, reduce to 36.5°C and 70% humidity. Leave goslings in the hatcher for 2–4 hours after the hatch is completed, then transfer them to the brooders.

The sex of day-old goslings can be identified in a similar manner to that used for chickens, by examining the vent. Day-old goslings can be identified by holding the legs firmly between the first and second fingers of the left hand, with the neck between the third and fourth fingers and the breast away from you. Then press gently with the left thumb on the abdomen while at the same time pressing down on the tail with the thumb and forefinger of the right hand. Do this quickly to remove the contents of the bowel, making examination easier. The vent is then everted by pressing gently down on the abdomen with the thumb of the left hand near the vent. Simultaneously place the first finger and thumb of the right hand close together on the opposite side of the vent and slowly separate with a gentle but firm pressing motion, stretching and everting the cloaca to expose the penis if the gosling is male.


Sexual Organ Of Matured Gander


Sexual Organ Of Mature Goose

Mature Geese (over the age of 7 months) can be identified by physical examination. The identification is made easier if two people are available. One method of exposing the penis is by pushing back the tail towards the head with one hand and exerting a steady downward pressure on the abdomen with the other. The vent will then be everted and the organ exposed. The penis, spiral shaped and white, is just over 1 cm long in immature birds but up to 4 cm long in mature ganders. The colour of the area inside the gander’s vent is pink and the surface is smooth. The illustrations of the exposed reproductive organs of an immature male, a mature male and a maturing female will assist in sex identification:

It is difficult to distinguish the sex of growing goslings and mature birds other than by examining for the presence of the male’s penis. These characteristics may also help you to distinguish sexes. The Gander has a high shrill voice, Slightly larger body, Slightly longer neck, Larger head, a Knob at base of top beak in Chinese geese and moves to outside when flock is approached. The Goose has a harsh, hoarse cry, Soft abdomen and wide pelvic bones in those layers.



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