Dogbane and William are from Batch #032 which was set on May 11, 2021.
A total of nine eggs were set but only two eggs made it to lockdown on June 6, 2021. Fortunately, both of those eggs hatched.
Dogbane hatched first on June 11, 2021 so that he is #190.
William hatched two days later on June 13 so that he is #191.
I am assuming that Dogbane is a male while William is a female (unfortunately). Neither are sexed.
I had been waiting on two White Chinese goslings to arrive. They at last arrived on June 9. These two White Chinese goslings were from MetzerFarms hatchery where I got my 5 White Chinese female geese. I loved how all of my females turned out and really wanted to get my next group from MetzerFarms hatchery. So I did. These two are both males and will hopefully one day be two handsome white ganders. I hope for them to get along with the 5 white female geese so that there will be white goslings. I have been getting banded goslings from my white geese but no white goslings yet.
These two goslings are named Hawthorn #188 and Sycamore #189. They are already rather friendly and very energetic. I hope they will stay sweet as they grow.
They had no problems after being shipped from states away fortunately. They quickly started drinking and now they are eating.
Sycamore is more of a golden yellow in color with a rounder head while Hawthorn has a more square head and is a lighter yellow. Hawthorn is the more outgoing of the two but Sycamore gets in a pretty good mood when he is on an adventure outside and will get up in my business.
Before Beebalm hatched (the gosling with the obvious spot) I could only assume that perhaps there were spots. The previous goslings had spots sort of but they had gray hairs mixed with their yellow hairs making it hard to determine whether they were truly spotted or not. One other gosling in the batch with Beebalm may have had a solid hairs for his spot maybe at least in certain areas of his spot. His spot was smaller and not as obvious.
Solid hair spot trait - Beebalm & one other
Mixed hair spot trait - Previous goslings
I hope to learn what Beebalm's spot will look like when he matures.
Believed to be the offspring of Gray African Gander (all of my geese have Chinese in them) x White Chinese Goose
Anyone who owns waterfowl likely knows about their hobby of digging. As to why geese do it I am not completely certain but my assumption is that they are doing it for two reasons. One of those reasons is because it is simply fun to do so. Geese often do things that seem quite enjoyable to them but also offers them food. Such as pecking at tree bark or digging up grass so that they can get the roots.
So while they are digging a hole that might eventually hold some water which is very practical in itself they may also be finding things. The likeliest thing that they are finding are bugs.
If where they are digging is very moist such as around a pool or around their water bucket they can make pretty sizable holes. If they see a puddle of water they are often attracted to it to dig it even larger. They really enjoy getting mud all over themselves and destroying the ground!
They also seem rather persistent in digging holes along the edges of buildings. On the inside it makes sense because they want to get out of the building as geese do not enjoy being trapped in a building but they have dug along the outside of the building. Perhaps they want to get in? Sometimes their favorite nesting place is taken from them. But I believe that is not always the case and they still dig alongside the outside part of the building even if they have access to their nesting spot. Maybe they know that I do not want them to dig there. I suppose if once they start digging somewhere they like to continue their work there.
As aforementioned, I am not certain about why they dig. Usually it seems like it is simply for enjoyment.
My geese since they are in the woods will dig in the leaf litter and eat plenty of things, usually the leaf litter, but perhaps other things are being eaten by them? But while working for that food they are certainly enjoying it!
My white geese have quickly proved themselves to be my best layers.
They are all gorgeous geese.
They are the most addicted geese to grass. With their obnoxious behavior they are also the geese who get most of the grass because no one can stand in their way.
They have always been rather willing to try new plants.
They often quarrel about ganders.
They will challenge a gander and even get into a fight with one!
They have already given me exciting goslings such as full banded goslings, half banded goslings, and goslings with a spot on their back (Batch #030 had a very obvious one!)
The white geese who were always very curious and bossy desired to know what Cliffrose was talking about. Part of the group consisting of Jacaranda, Snowbell, and Tulip marched to Cliffrose to ask her. Cliffrose was scared of the three white geese as they were not on very good terms with the older group.
So off when Cliffrose leaving the three white geese indignant at her flight. They decided to send the two youngest of the group, Rosewood and Hibiscus. Once again when Cliffrose was approached she was scared and she fled. The two geese although being rather small were still a force to be reckoned with and that force was one that Cliffrose was not going to face alone.
Crescent Trait (Gosling Trait) - a marking that looks like a crescent. It is a marking that I think is always present in a gosling. It is around each of the gosling's eyes. It typically is bolder in color around one eye than the other on the same, individual gosling. I believe it is present on all goslings because depending on the shade of gray and where the gray is located I think it may blend in sometimes giving the gosling the appearance of not having it at all. But when you look closely for it you will likely find it!
Artist's Touch (Goose Trait) - this refers to the orange spotting on the feet of goslings that are descended from a White Chinese goose or a banded goose. It usually a trait that goes alongside orange spotting on the lower beak and a white band. I believe that adult geese that had this as goslings likely retain orange on their feet.
Full Band and Half Band (Goose Trait) - A full band and half band both start from the chest and go up the sides. The full band will go along the top as well while the half band stops. The band is located after the wings and before the neck. This traits is also common with Artist's Touch and the spotting on the beak. Adults so far have a band although my banded goose after her last molt barely has one.
Spotting on the Beak (Goose Trait) - This is orange spotting is present on the lower part of the beak. It varies greatly how the spotting is and therefore makes the goose unique especially when they also have the Artist's Touch and either the Full Band or Half Band. When the goose grows up the orange may appear in other areas of the beak and also the knob. I have never kept a gosling like this so I am not completely certain.
Knobs - Knobs vary greatly. Some can be big and make the goose look like it will fall over head first while others are barely present at all! Some are very round while others are kind of square-like. Typically ganders will have a more pronounced knob but females can sometimes too! There is a lot of variation in this.
Ash Eye-Color (Goose Trait) - A while back I was trying to name the eye-colors in a way that was not confusing and inconsistent. I decided that there should only be two eye-colors one which is Ash while the other is Brown. Ash is a very, very light brown. I named it after one of my geese who was a very good example of the ash-eye color but also after the trunk of an ash tree because that tree's trunk is a lighter color than most of the trees I know of.
Brown Eye-Color (Goose Trait) - Brown is a group of varying shades of brown. There is a light brown but it is not like the Ash eye-color at all. Somehow it seems to be redder in color. Also in the brown group as well is.. brown! There is an even darker shade that makes geese look like they have black eyes. If the sun is shining you can see their pupils, however. I originally grouped the black eyes as a separate color but because they are actually brown and at times the goose looks like it has brown eyes instead I decided it was rather inconsistent and removed that eye-color.
Blue Eye-Color (Goose Trait) - The White Chinese have blue eyes. I have noticed that their blues are not all the same shade of blue but that would be far too complicated to separate as different colors.
The Stripes (Goose Trait) - Stripes vary greatly. Because of all that variation I cannot really classify them. There are light stripes, gray stripes, brown stripes, reddish-brown stripes, and all kinds of shades! The shape of the stripe varies to! Some geese have a thin stripe on their head while others have a thick one. How it curves from the neck to the head varies as well!
The Headshapes (Goose Trait) - This is also hard to decide. Some geese have rather square heads while others have rather round ones. But there are in betweens and some that are impossible to describe! I typically dislike a square head in a female because it tends to make them look far too masculine.
Tongue Spots (Goose Trait) - Not all geese have a completely pink tongue! This is a thing I notice when they are hissing at me or moving a piece of corn to swallow it. I have noticed that a few have a gray spot on their tongue. I do not know what that suggests or if it even does!
Claw Color (Goose Trait) - Gray African/Chinese geese will have black claws. As goslings they are gray with a bit of pink showing at the end. I assume their claws as goslings are not as thick as they will be! White Chinese geese have white claws. The white claws show up in goslings with Artist's Touch. I do not know if the first banded goslings who also had Artist's Touch had white claws. It makes me wonder if all of the Artist's Touch goslings have to have white claws or if some of them can have gray claws like their gray gosling friends.
Beak Color (Goose Trait) - Gray African/Chinese geese have a black beak while White Chinese geese have an orange beak with pinkish shades.
Foot Color (Goose Trait) - Both the Gray African/Chinese and White Chinese geese have orange feet. As goslings the Gray Aftican/Chinese have black, gray, or even slate feet. The White Chinese goslings have pink feet.
Size (Goose Trait) - Size varies greatly when you have an African/Chinese flock! Some are very probably about 10 pounds while others are 20 pounds.
The Neck (Goose Trait) - If a goose picked up the Chinese side of traits than they will have a slender neck that may even be longer than the other geese' neck. If he picked up the African side than his neck will likely be shorter and thicker.
As I keep researching (mainly traits of goslings) I may have traits to add to this list.
get a name. I have had quite a few other goslings who I thought might possibly have a spot on their back but sometimes when I looked to see the spot on those goslings I could not find it. I could really only see it in bright light. You do not need to put Beebalm in bright light! The spot is much clearer I believe because there is less mixing of the gray which blended out the yellow hairs which made up the previous goslings' spots. Beebalm only has yellow hair in his spot so that it is very clear.
I assuming that the other goslings had a spot but maybe they did not? Maybe I just found something because I was looking. I am not sure. But apparently a spot can happen!
I am wondering how that would turn out when Beebalm grows up?
I also mentioned briefly that Willow Crenshaw was one-eyed. She hatched this way and I do not believe it is genetic. Rather it does seem to be due to bad conditions for incubation which did not completely jeopardize Willow Crenshaw's development.
We did not know what to do with Willow Crenshaw. We decided we would keep her and keep her as happy as we could. We did not really expect her to live to be a year old but here we are! On Tuesday Willow will be a year old!
Willow Crenshaw does not act like she is only one-eyed. When she was first hatched she had a lot of trouble navigating. But being in a pen she has gotten very familiar with her surroundings and navigates pretty well. It just means she does not always get the other geese' warnings and it makes her hesitate a lot more to do things such as climbing into the water tub or leaving the coop through the coop door.
None of the geese treat her like she only has one eye. When I had Quaking Aspen who passed away in January last year she was treated poorly for whatever reason. It certainly was not because she had a hard time navigating because Willow does too.
Willow Crenshaw is treated so much so like another goose and acts so much like another goose that I think she might even be laying or considering too. And as previously mentioned Willow Crenshaw's defect does not appear to be genetic but rather due to bad incubation.
Willow Crenshaw has been a relief compared to all the struggles that I faced with Quaking Aspen and my younger goose Terebinth. She is a rather shy goose due to her natural personality and probably also her single eye. Her mother is Rocky Moutain Juniper who passed along that naturally shy personality. She also passed along a small, long-necked body to her daughter Willow.
Oftentimes a fluffy gosling will look up at me with adorable eyes. I have seen the adults sometimes look at me. I never really thought about why they would be doing this and I am still not all that certain. I assume they are saying the same thing they would say to another goose if they looked at them with their adorable eyes. At one point when I was watching my geese I got to see something quite cool that expressed that geese are doing much more than charging and screaming.
Redbud who is currently the leader of the flock was standing by the water container overseeing the ladies when Boxelder, a small and - I will be honest - annoying gander came over. Redbud simply made eye contact with Boxelder and Boxelder thought better of approaching.
I assume that a lot of that happens and I simply do not notice it. I need to keep an eye on that and see what other instances of eye contact occur and how geese typically use it.
I believe that when they vibrate their heads they are also perhaps employing the use of eye contact as well to tell the other goose things. It may be that the eyes decide who will be walking away from whatever the two have had a disagreement about.
My geese often make eye contact with me especially Redbud who is shown in the picture above. I believe that this can be employed in friendly means or simply to assess the individual and see what they are thinking and what they are up to. It seems to be rather important in goose communication now that I have come to think about it. They often will look at me and they do not seem to always be trying to tell me the same things. Some seem to make eye contact when they are requesting food, others when they want to see if it is safe to come and eat my clothes, and perhaps as a part of ganders courting geese. And of course, as a challenge.
I have much more to learn! And perhaps on a sunny day I will sit down with a notebook and see what behaviors my geese show me.
my name is Emily
I have twenty-six geese. I hatch a bunch of goslings because I want a lot of people to have geese. I do not see them everywhere but I want to! The goslings are the sweetest baby birds I know! The adult males are proud and can be cranky but have their sweet moments while the females are shy and sweet all at the same time.