It is easy to bond with goslings! All it takes are plenty of cuddles and conversations.
Goslings love it when you pick them up and hold them close and allow them to snuggle up. They will climb up to your shoulder into your hair or hide in your jacket.
They also love conversations as do adults. They enjoy noises and repeated words. Certain geese enjoy certain words more than others. They will come to love a word that you repetitively tell them when you are raising them. My older geese are fans of honk while my younger geese do not care much for it.
It is not necessarily a bad sign when goslings or geese peck and chew on you or your clothes or things. It all depends on their behaviors such as body posture and expressions. Most of my goslings have meant it in a friendly manner. Some are more vicious (still friendly, just getting carried away) than others and do hurt. The more vicious they are though is a good indicator of how friendly they are. They enjoy grabbing your finger, pecking at your hands, clothes, hair, etc. They will also eat your hair.. The adults do the same things.
Particular favorites of goslings and geese are hair, shoelaces, buttons, and fingers.
When geese eat your finger it hurts. I typically do scold the geese for this but they do not appear to be affected by their scolding.
My geese - I assume all geese - love green stuff. They seem to have preferences about green stuff but those preferences will not stop them from eating the green stuff you offer. They typically seem a little setback by herbs but they will learn to eat them nonetheless. My geese will be on good terms with me if I offer a decent harvest of weeds. They also adore their food. It is fortunate that they do so that I can train them pretty well if they start refusing to eat out of my hand.
Training your geese to eat out of your hand works pretty well to keep them decently friendly even when you have a flock of twenty five geese! I spent plenty of time with them as goslings, of course, while teaching them to eat out of my hand and allowing them time to chew on clothes, hair, and shoelaces. Besides scolding them for eating my fingers I will scold geese and goslings alike if where they chew on me hurts. Of course, they do not seem to remember next time they are back to chewing or when they resume. They will spend a very decent amount of time chewing on you. It seems to be a sort of entertainment for the geese.
Geese get very excited when you pretend to be a goose and bow and honk and makes all kinds of other goose-like noises. Either they are mad or excited to see that you are actually a goose like they thought instead of a strange creature that they do not know the name of. Some of them will get extremely close during your outbreak of goose behaviors.. so close that you could almost break free of your goose behaviors and grab them despite them not liking being grabbed all that much.
Grabbing geese do make me lose progress with them. I hope to mostly de-sensitize them to being touched and then proceed to train them to let me pick them up. All of that will take a while to do. I had trained them at one point to stand on me when I was kneeling. Certain individuals came to the point of not immediately leaving in terror and would actually stay and eat out of my hand or stretch out their necks and eat out of the food bucket. Some of them having learned this would climb onto me when I was kneeling without being surprised when they realized they had just climbed onto me and off. Some would stay on me once climbing up which had been what I was training them for. I have not continued this practice so they do not do this now.
The summary is... lots of cuddles as goslings, hand-feeding, do not pick them up, and let them eat you!
my name is Emily
I have twenty-eight 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.