I started gathering information about each egg I collected and thankfully it has proved to be rather important in many ways. Not only has it shown me when geese laid the best but it also helps me to find out about how old a goose was when they first started laying. The laying cycles may depend on the region, seasons, weather, how the goose is raised, their ancestry, and what line they hail from. But hopefully the information may be enough for an approximate estimate of when geese lay their best and at least when geese from my stock will be likeliest to start laying.
There is information out there saying that geese take two years to start laying and this may indeed be true for certain geese or maybe even most geese but it is definitely not true for mine.
December 2019 - Sassafras
January 2020 - Sassafras
February 2020 - Siberian Elm, Gingko, and Common Fig
March 2020 - Siberian Elm, Gingko, Stansbury Cliffrose, Mockernut Hickory, and Rocky Mountain Juniper
April 2020 - Siberian Elm, Stansbury Cliffrose, Rocky Mountain Juniper, and Black Tupelo. Possibly at the very end of the month Mockernut Hickory laid
May 2020 - Siberian Elm, Rocky Mountain Juniper, and Mockernut Hickory
June 2020 - Mockernut Hickory, Rocky Mountain Juniper, Cinnamon, and Gingko
July 2020 - Cinnamon and Gingko
August 2020 - Cinnamon, Russian Olive, Gingko, and Black Tupelo
October 2020 - Gingko
November 2020 - Gingko, Southern Magnolia (White Chinese), and Chickasaw Plum (White Chinese)
December 2020 - Chickasaw Plum. Quite a few eggs most of which are unknown. One was 5.1 ounces suggested an experienced layer -- likely Gingko
How many months old a goose was when they first laid:
4 geese at 6 months
3 geese at 8 months
2 geese at 7 months
1 goose at 5 months
1 goose at 9 months
1 goose at 10 months
1 goose at 11 months
If all three of these eggs were hers she is already and amazing layer since this is her first time laying. Today, November 13, 2020, she went to her nest in the barn to lay. If she keeps up her laying she may became the best layer that I have ever had.
Currently her eggs are quite small but hopefully they will quite soon get bigger and bigger until they are hatching size.
This is quite an exciting milestone.
Many places refer to African and Chinese geese as separate breeds. I would consider the two not as breeds but as two lines of the same breed. Show quality African and Chinese geese are very different because they were selectively bred for different traits.
In show quality African geese they are very big, heavy geese very suitable for their meat. They also tend to have big dewlaps. Because of their size and heaviness they cannot walk that well. MetzerFarms Hatchery has these show quality geese defined as 'Super Africans' while the more simple geese who look similar to my geese are referred to as African geese.
The best of show quality Chinese geese are tall with very slender and long necks and very prominent knobs.
In African and Chinese geese that are not show quality they tend to look a lot like one other since they are of course, the same breed. It is simply the merging of two lines so that some geese lean towards the African line more while others lean towards the Chinese line more. Some may even have a balance of both of the lines.
I consider the geese of my flock who are even with the ground and are shorter with shorter necks to be more on the African side. While the geese who are more erect with longer necks and who tend to be smaller are more on the Chinese side. The Chinese line is not as strict with dewlaps so thanks to the line I can breed for geese without dewlaps.
Willow's Flock currently has twenty-five members. Some of which I had already mentioned in goose entries but I figured it would be too much to make entires for each individual goose. I have a few of the original flock left and one of two gray Chinese. And I later on added five White Chinese geese to my flock.
As usual Juniper was being bossed around. This time she was in a ring of rocks which inside the ring contained four trees and plenty of crispy, brown leaves covered the ground. She had made her way through the multitude of crispy leaves to drink out a blue water barrel when another goose who had already been in the ring chased her off quite viciously.
One goose named Elm saw this scene and felt sorry for the little goose who had been viciously chased. She decided she would go talk to the little goose. She started the conversation by saying to the little goose, "I am sorry about how that goose treated you. You have that happen to you a lot, I see. I would be happy to keep you company and fend off whoever I can." The little goose was surprised at being spoken to so nicely. "Well, that would be nice. You remind me of a friend of mine - Sugar Maple," said Juniper. "Oh. I am her daughter and happen to have striking resemblance in looks and voice," replied Elm. "In that case I would definitely want you to hang out with me. I would not want to refuse such an opportunity," said the little goose.
And from that day on, the two became good friends. Elm could not always fend off geese but with her help Juniper became a much more accepted goose in the flock.
The sun had risen quite high into the sky. It was about noon. The sky was blue with a few fluffy white clouds dotting its blueness. A decent portion of Willow's Flock was gathered around a white-flowered Crape myrtle. Despite it not being very big it had bloomed prolifically that year. This group consisted of three ganders: European Rowan, Ohio Buckeye, and Boxelder Maple. The majority of geese present around the young tree, however, were ladies. All five of the white geese were present. There was Japanese Zelkova, Hawaiian Hibiscus, Brazilian Rosewood, Nutmeg Hickory, and Green Ash.
Most of the ladies were still undecided about which gander they wanted to be with. The youngest of the ladies liked Boxelder Maple because of his lean, tall self and dark stripe running down from his head along the back of his neck. Some liked European Rowan because of his decent size and knob. And his voice and proud personality. But even more admired Ohio Buckeye because of his gentleness. Though he was big he was rather low in the gander's pecking order because he was gentle and shy and never wanted to pick a fight with another gander.
Because of this he had won some of the white geese to his side and Green Ash. Rowan often chased Buckeye in order to defend his ladies but eventually this would turn out to be a bad decision.
My last update on the white geese was when they were still fluffy little creamy yellow goslings with gray eyes. I had mentioned that I was not sure if they would have blue eyes or not. They do indeed have blue eyes. There is no uncertainty about that. I think it is especially amazing because it is not like the usual blue for animal coloring where it is a sort of gray that gives off a bluish appearance. This is a blue that is very obviously blue. White geese are lovely birds. They seem to be more into digging unfortunately and checking out plants to see if they like anything else. So more plant destruction. More destruction to the nice floor in the goose house... and more destruction in all the other buildings and the frontyard.. and also to little trees in the frontyard. But, at least, they are pretty. Their beaks are orange and their feathers are well, white.
My favorite is still Pompeia. But she along with most of the other white geese except for Biscuit have been re-named. As I had mentioned previously I was thinking of giving Biscuit to someone but I think I will be keeping her. Pompeia was re-named to Southern Magnolia. She is a beautiful goose. What I really like about her is she seems simple. She just looks like a goose. Which is what makes her so pretty to me. Blue Jacaranda who was previously Buttercream seems to be quite the troublemaker but since they are all troublemakers I cannot place what rank of troublemaker she is. Then there is American Snowbell who I think was Vanilla. She is the second prettiest of the white geese. She seems to be a little shier than the others but Biscuit still takes the place as the shiest. But Biscuit still is not all that shy because she will still come to me for food and eat out of my hand. Last of all, there is Chickasaw Plum who I think was Whipped Cream. I like all the white geese. They all look nice.
It will be fun when they finally start laying so that I can hatch fun colors from them. And I think they will lay quite well giving me a bunch of goslings. They hang out with three young ladies: Japanese Zelkova, Brazilian Rosewood, and Hawaiian Hibiscus. They also hang out with European Rowan, Ohio Buckeye, and Boxelder Maple which therefore means they sort of hang out with the ladies of that bunch - Green Ash and Nutmeg Hickory. They are a formidable force of loud, always wanting food, troublemakers.
Boxelder Maple was hatched on April 28, 2020. He was the third goose to hatch of Batch #011. His parents are believed to be Siberian Elm and Black Cherry. Siberian Elm is definite because the egg from which Boxelder hatched was marked with her name. Siberian Elm is believed to be the daughter of Baldcypress and Sugar Maple while Black Cherry is believed to be the son of Mimosa and White Ash. Both of Boxelder's parents were only a year old when he was hatched. Boxelder Maple struggled as a gosling. The reason for his struggles was unknown. I believe it was either because he did not get the necessary amount of grit or he got chilled. Due to his struggles it took a long time for him to catch up in size to the other geese. He was a super cute gosling and was quite friendly.
Siberian Elm's mother was a pure-blooded Chinese goose who passed away exactly a year before Boxelder was hatched. Boxelder Maple's name was given in honor of Sugar Maple. Because of his Chinese blood Boxelder is a tall and lean gander. He has a lovely brown stripe and strange white feathers under his eye which I mentioned in a previous post found under Traits. His eyes are brown. He has a little bit of orange on his beak and has the white feathers behind his knob. His back, side, and chest feathers are a lovely color.
He is proud but has never attacked me. He currently hangs out with the white geese of the flock and his three younger sisters: Japanese Zelkova, Brazilian Rosewood, and Hawaiian Hibiscus.
He caught up in size and is now somewhat bigger than his batch friend Willow Crenshaw. He became fully mature much faster than other ganders. But I tend to prefer ganders who take longer to mature.
As of the writing of this post Boxelder Maple is about five months old. Which means he is full size and is indeed fully feathered out. I successfully taught this gander to eat out of my hand. Previously, I had also taught him to stand on me without me having to keep him there when I was sitting down to feed the geese. I had even gotten him to follow the hand full of food onto me.
What Makes Geese Intelligent?
I do not mean every goose is intelligent. Some are just there for the food and never check stuff out. But I believe one of the most important things is that they peck at all kinds of things. They peck at trees and wood. They peck at my shoelaces. They peck at trailers. Not all of them do it so I believe the ones who are the most curious and are investigating everything in their environment by way of their beak are the more intelligent ones. They also apparently remember foods that they have not eaten in a while. When we decided to add milo into their diet most of them would not take it. But three of my geese who are two years old now and had been eating bird seed at one time which contains milo remembered it and ate it without slinging their beaks in disgust and being highly disappointed.
Rocky, #102, Batch #019. Hatched September 13, 2020.
Has a little knob. Bulky.
Mother is Black Tupelo. First recorded gosling of Tupelo. Father could be Eastern Redbud, Baldcypress, or Black Cherry.
Dragon, #103, Batch #019. Hatched September 14, 2020.
Darker markings than Rocky.
Mother is Gingko. First recorded son of Gingko. Father could Eastern Redbud, Baldcypress, or Black Cherry.
my name is Emily
I have a lot of geese. My goal is for geese to be everywhere. There are a few who can make the perfect guard goose. But most of them would be better as pets, weeders, and lords over all the other birds.