Italian geese are graceful if you are interested in poultry farming - an article for you. What is special about the external features of the breed, how to maintain and provide proper care, and how breeding takes place. You can answer these and other questions. Reviews from real people will help you.
The history of the geese of the Italian breed
The breed originates in the 19th century. Italian breeders had more than a little experience in their work, and their plans included the crossing of native birds, which were white, and geese brought from China.
When the Chinese breed was added to the breed, it improved significantly, and from there came the breed of Italian geese.
This country is not little known, and by tradition, is often visited. Tourists, geese were exported from Italy to neighboring countries - France and Austria. After people received them with open arms, geese spread around the world. Now they are firmly rooted in our land, they are bred on small plots of land, in huge poultry farms.
Italian geese - seemingly the most common breed of geese. They are not decorated with anything, their coloring does not surprise at all, and the body does not emit beautiful plumage - everything is standard. After you have presented such a being, understand - this is the Italian goose.
Below is a detailed description of the appearance of the Italian geese.
As already mentioned, geese do not stand out in any way, but even this does not turn people away from them. Their body, in proportion to the rest of the body, is slightly elongated and raised in front - in the stomach. The stomach itself, by the way, is round, and has no fat folds. The wings are densely pressed down to the body, long and high. The tail is also pressed to the body, short, and almost imperceptible. Geese of this breed have powerful, strong legs.
The back is easily arched, developed and behind - in the side of the tail, slightly lowers down. A not-so-long, graceful neck moves from there. A standard-looking head, only geese sometimes have a crest. A long flat beak of light orange color. It is not distinguished by the characteristic bulges that distinguish geese by sex and breed. The eyes are usually dark blue and the eyelids orange.
The plumage is hard, and not too large; the downy layer is very small. The color is completely white, but sometimes gray feathers are found - this is considered a minus, albeit insignificant.
Any deviation from these characteristics is a flaw and a defect.
They do not have an outstanding appearance, but they still look attractive, for their grace and physique.
Italian geese are very active - this explains the complete absence of fat folds, and a strong physique. They are also completely independent of people and are real defenders of their family. Gusaks are very kind to their family, trying with all their might to preserve it. They can easily quarrel with geese of other breeds. Most conflicts occur because of this.
This very aggressive gander is considered a lack of breed. With such conditions, it will not be possible to keep two breeds close to each other.
Geese show the ability to lay eggs closer to one year of life. Unlike other breeds, Italian have only one period of laying. Although there are ways to make more periods, more eggs, the period is basically one.
In a year, they lay up to 50-60 eggs, large (150 g), pure white, to the color of the color.
There are ways to arrange a second period, in the fall, but the goose will only hatch eggs in the spring. Therefore, for the second period you will need an incubator. With him, a goose will be able to lay as many as 90 eggs a year! 8-10 years - the good and successful egg production of the goose lasts so long, and then some problems may appear.
Fertilization of eggs is up to 75%. If they ripen in a good incubator - 100%.
Geese are valued by farmers for their excellent qualities in weight gain and height. You can get to know them below:
- Males up to 9 kg.
- Females up to 7 kg.
Usually, geese reach their final weight by 5-6 months, therefore, purely economically, at this age they are sold. Commodity size is reached by 9 weeks of life.
The meat is very tasty, and in addition, it has many other qualities, such as fattening for fatty liver. The famous foie gras dish comes out exactly from the liver of Italian geese.
Using fattening, you can get no more than 600 g of the liver. From the total weight of the goose, this is quite a bit. But remember that you can start fattening only after reaching 4.5 kg of goose weight, if you are using young animals, or just an adult goose.
Also, to obtain larger carcasses, geese are mated with heavy breed. But this method is used very rarely, because fertility is very small, and could not be compared with the level of Italian geese. But even so, the method is appreciated, and it is definitely attributed to the merits of this breed.
Maintenance and care
Another of the positive qualities is complete unpretentiousness. Geese need only a prepared room, timely cleaning and vaccination against diseases.
The size will require 1.5 square meters. m per individual. You can add a little on top, because the geese are very active, and maybe they will need a little more space. It is not advisable to keep them next to other domestic birds, or with geese of another breed. For example, Italian geese need high humidity. Not that they are needed, they love to splash in the water, and therefore moisture. In general, they need complete isolation from other birds.
Regarding lighting, geese have enough natural room color, they do not need lighting, such as chickens. If a window is installed in the room, then it should not be more than 15% of the floor area. It is clear that there should not be a large brightness.
Also, the room should not have drafts and wind. The room must be protected from pests, rodents and portable diseases. If, nevertheless, pests have already divorced in the room, be sure to carry out sanitary procedures.
The air should be humid - 70%. In this case, the room should often be ventilated to remove harmful bacteria from the room.
Litter in the room plays a hygienic role, cleansing the room of dirt, absorbing it into itself. The second role is insulating. In summer, it should be very small and the best option would be needles. In winter, more - 15 cm thick. A litter made of peat or straw, always dry, will serve perfectly.
About the temperature, so the geese do not care. Though living in cold weather, even in hot weather, it does not matter; they are not threatened by frost diseases. But if you are going to fatten the geese, keep the temperature at 10-15 degrees. It is in this interval that the geese will eat more food, as their appetite will be increased.
Geese of the Italian breed need a timely walk, and sitting in enclosed spaces for a long time is not their nature. They are a large accumulator, and huge streams of energy are always knocked out of their body.
Therefore, the courtyard should be large enough and fit in the whole population, based on their energetic movements.
Access to water
Geese of this breed can do without a pond, they practically do not need it. This again proves their unpretentiousness. Ponds can only be used for washing, which will take place daily.
There is another reason why water is needed. Water has a buoyancy and geese that swim in it, gain ease and a sense of freedom, it helps them a lot before mating. The geese soak eggs in it before landing.
The ratio of geese to water is exactly equated with the pluses of the breed, not everyone has a reservoir in the area. This greatly simplifies the content.
The feeders will fit the most ordinary and standard, oblong shapes, in the form of a rectangle. It is not necessary to spend money on something expensive, because it is not difficult to do it yourself by nailing a couple of boards to each other. Drinking bowls will look similar. Just use high-quality boards for this and never use infected ones.
From various diseases, geese are vaccinated at the age of 4-6 days, as well as 10. Yes, vaccination takes place once, and at an early age, to ensure health. At a young age, they will save, because then the immune system is susceptible to attack and is very weak. And for adult geese, the procedures will not be allowed to become infected with the same diseases that the youngsters are worried about.
Do not use the vaccine if the goose is already not healthy, because the vaccine is a weak virus. If the body is already sick, then there will be almost no methods for treatment. In most methods, they do not act humanely at all - they hammer with sticks and burn carcasses, carefully destroying all viral residues.
Vaccination should be carried out exclusively by a specialist. Then, when the procedure is carried out on the entire livestock, they are almost not in danger and the temporary danger is eliminated.
Geese nutrition consists of a very special diet system. There are several of them. Below we want to describe the features of this food itself, its composition, tips and much more on this topic.
The food of the goose is exactly the same as that of young animals, adults. Italian geese are unpretentious in many ways, as well as in nutrition. They do not require much from the owner. Vegetables, minerals, animal products, nutritious feeds and greens. All this makes up the diet of the bird.
Only during oviposition can there be exceptions. Then, the goose needs more vitamins and nutrients in order to reproduce quality offspring. You can use more greens and a little more chalk - it also contains minerals. During the same period, the goose is inactive and in several cases will consume less food.
Naturally, to get more meat, you have to feed more geese. And even though they have hyperactivity, food is needed many times more. There is a method called fattening for fatty liver. It is used just to get a delicacy in big weight. So, for example, for 7 kg of goose there are 600 g of liver.
We’ll have to upset, because this method is completely unacceptable for geese of the Italian breed, so let's consider others.
Fresh and clean water should always be present in the diet, this is also a part. You can see the most balanced list of food below:
- Fresh seaweed, grass and greens.
- The remains of vegetables, root crops, vegetable tops.
- Balanced feed (dry, wet).
- Chalk, as an additive.
- Cereals (rice, corn, oats).
It is also possible and even necessary to add eggs and other products of animal origin to the diet. Dairy products also have a place to be. Do not forget that geese should always have unlimited access to drinking water.
As for grasses, ordinary green ones, you are not obliged to give it to a goose when your whole yard is dotted with it. When it is needed, the animal itself will get the right portion.
In general, farmers begin to fill up chicks with food right after hatching. This is a mistake, and in no case do not repeat it. After birth, a certain proportion of nutrients remained in the chick's stomach, which will provide it for a while. Additional food will become a burden for him. Therefore, postpone the first meal for 8-9 hours.
Feeding takes place over the course of the age of the chick, and then the goose. By smooth standards, it will fit the normal diet of adults. The diet will include:
- Dry animal feed.
- Dairy products.
Each week, the amount of food will increase by about half, until it reaches 60 days. Then you should start adding adult food to the diet. After the incident of these days, reduce protein and fat products, because at that moment, the chick will gain its mass, and the rest of the food taken will go into fat. And it certainly will not affect the carcass qualitatively.
More about feeding goslings is written in the next article .
Subject to all breeding rules , as well as some help for this, the survival rate of the offspring may be the highest - 100%. Geese of the Italian breed are one of the strongest breeds.
Temperature and humidity in the incubator
You will need eggs that are no more than a week old, the maximum can be 10 days. Select from them the highest quality, not dirty, without cracks and other damage. Gently clean it and place it in the incubator, where you have to set the desired temperature.
The incubation period lasts a month, and for this you will need to change the temperature several times. At some time, it is needed lower, and at some - higher. This is the rule that will significantly increase survival.
In the first 16 days, the temperature will be approximately 38 degrees (at the same time, turn off the flipping mode). In the remaining time, after 16 days, the eggs are necessarily cooled and slightly sprayed with warm water, leaving an open hole (door) for 10 minutes. Over time, you can leave open until 20.
Breeding stock formation
If you are interested in obtaining eggs, you need to collect the breeding stock. How to do this?
3 geese fall on the gander, and make up relationships once, and for the rest of their lives. To do this, choose the best geese. Those that are already ripe, which in their body contain a lot of meat and whose health is at their best. Exclude from the list of bullies, because they will not go for copulation.
When keeping the breeding stock, all the same rules are taken into account, in which a room suitable for living is created. Unless, you need a little lighting.
Immediately after birth, let the gosling dry out and do not drag it before. After 8 hours, the first serving of food is given. Below you can find step-by-step instructions for a certain period of care:
- After 1 day, it will be easy to calculate the number of females and males in the pack. This is very useful, because then it will become much more difficult. In addition to the pronounced yellow color of the fluff, males will also have a yellow spot on their backs. Females, for the most part, are grayish in color and have no yellow spots on their backs.
- The chicks are placed in a cardboard box, stacked underneath with rammed soft hay, a few centimeters thick. Only 15 chicks per square meter can be kept. m, no more, they can’t get along together. They should always be under the brooder llama. Observe the temperature regime - in the first week to 32 degrees, and then, until the 20th day, gradually lower to 18 degrees.
- For 15 days, the lamp does not turn off, and room temperature is subject to standards. Food is held 8 times a day, its composition you can read above.
- During the periods of care for young animals, various vaccinations are also given. One of the main ones is the salmonellosis vaccine, which is administered 4 days after hatching. In the third week you can provide the family with protection against enteritis, cholera. But remember that vaccination is carried out only under the supervision of a specialist. Or under his actions.
Advantages and disadvantages
Before summing up, it is worth adding up the information that was submitted above, and still comprehend what are the advantages of the Italian geese? But what are their disadvantages?
Among the advantages:
- The percentage of fertility, ease and effectiveness in the incubation period and certainly excellent survival rate of young animals.
- The ability to mate the female with other breeds of geese to get a larger and more fat carcass.
- Fast weight gain.
- High quality meat.
- High quality down.
- Egg production.
- Not obligatory presence of a reservoir near the house.
- Attractiveness and beauty in appearance.
If you look at the list of pluses and compare it with the disadvantages, you can easily understand that the advantages exceed. Cons below:
- Fairly weak impact of the survival instinct in geese.
- Aggressiveness of gander in relation to geese of other breeds. Their character does not combine with cohabitation with other breeds, as well as birds.
After reading the two lists, it is easy to conclude about the Italian geese.
Italian Goose Reviews
Read a few reviews of real people about the breed to finally get acquainted with the breed.
Larisa, 60 years old, poultry breeder, Elektrogorsk,
hello, a few years ago, on a very successful, as I understand now, occasion, was able to buy a couple of Italian geese, and just fell in love with them! All in one rumor they say that it is necessary to take the Kholmogoryans, but I assert with confidence that mine are no worse, and maybe even better. With them, and beauty and become. The best feeling.
Marina, 44, a farmer, Lesozavodsk,
has long been looking for geese for her yard. So that they were small, white, and the carcass was easily placed in the oven, tasty meat and excellent egg laying. In the spring, my quest was over, and was able to acquire 10 Italian goslings. What can I say, they definitely did not disappoint me, they pleased me. Now everything is preserved, growing rapidly and not getting sick. My very calm and peaceful, and maybe it seems to me after past breeds. I think this is a very optimal option for breeding.
Now that you know almost everything about the Italian geese, it's time to take stock. The breed is very high quality in content, productivity. Geese are very unpretentious, and do not require high costs. Egg production is striking, as it can reach 100%. Young growth perfectly survives, persists. And by their precocity and weight gain there is nothing to say - a miracle.