If you are breeding geese, you just need to know how the gander differs from the goose. After all, gender differences between them are not as noticeable as is acceptable in chickens and roosters. Let's look at the main criteria for differences between small goslings and already adult individuals.
Significance of sex determination in geese
It is important to determine the sex of geese if you are faced with the task of raising them or selling, for example, the meat of these birds. In this case, it is necessary to competently approach the selection of geese, according to their gender.
Why do this:
- understanding who is who, it’s enough to select the best representatives of both sexes for reproduction, and let the rest be slaughtered;
- the process of pair formation for the removal of healthy offspring is facilitated, excluding the mixing of related bloods;
- separation of young animals, focusing on their gender, will avoid violent conflicts and clarify relationships in the pack, and will also make it possible to save on feed - geese spend less energy and mass increases faster with the same amount of food consumed;
- the correct ratio of gander and geese will give a good offspring, allowing you to breed birds in the right amount.
Some poultry farmers breed geese based on some of their selection criteria. For example, there is an opinion that gander is less sick, and by themselves they are larger than geese. And someone, on the contrary, loves “girls” because they are more calm, complaisant and do not seek to run away at the first opportunity.
The importance of selecting a herd by gender
A properly formed herd allows you to achieve optimal performance by the following criteria:
- receipt and subsequent sale of meat - for this, form a herd mainly of gander, as they are larger;
- egg laying - in this case, focus on breeding females, an overabundance of males will lead to a drop in this indicator;
- the birth of a strong and healthy offspring - leave only the strongest and most enduring males;
- breeding of chicks for sale - provide the correct information about the gender of the birds in order to find regular customers and clearly ensure the needs of the buyer without errors.
The optimal ratio in the herd is 4 geese per 1 gander. In this case, according to experts, one can expect an excellent level of egg production and at the same time get enough meat for sale.
Methods for determining sex in young geese
In the goose herd, it is precisely the “boys” that are formed more quickly. They become adults and ready to reproduce offspring in about 7 months. While females lag behind them in development by about 1-2 months.
At the same time, they can be distinguished from each other much earlier (even after only a day after hatching). The main methods for determining sex are considered scientific (anatomical), in size of goslings, their activity, as well as reactions to fright.
This method allows you to determine the sex of the caterpillar, examining its anatomical structure:
- put the caterpillar on the back so that its head is pointing slightly down (support it with the little finger), and the tail slightly lifted;
- study the anus (cloaca) of the chick in which its genitals are located - for this, pull the tail a little and slightly spread the cloaca with your fingers;
- if there is a small bent process, then the chick is a gander, if it is not there is a goose (they usually have evenly located folds between which there is a small tubercle).
This method is considered the most reliable, since it is based on the structure of the bird. You only need to have good eyesight in order to accurately examine the organs of the caterpillar or use additional magnifying devices. For example, a magnifying glass.
The most difficult to see anatomical discrepancies between the ages of 4 to 5 months. This is due to the fact that goslings instinctively clamp the back of the trunk. If the chick actively resists this procedure, it is better not to injure his psyche and postpone the experiment for a couple of days.
If you look at the behavior and activity of the chicks, it will become noticeable that the “noisiest” and most active are the “boys”. It was they who first examined their possessions and ran to the feeding place. In addition, while still being chicks, they already arrange among themselves small “wars” for the right to be a leader.
As for the females, they are completely non-aggressive. They show signs of anxiety only when there is any stress or a feeling of hunger.
You can determine the sex of a gosling by its size. Gander is usually larger than geese, and this is already visible in the incubator. In addition, they are distinguished by a gait. Males walk, proudly raising their heads and protruding breasts, they like to courting their possessions, and are quite curious by nature. While females lower their beak to the ground while walking.
It is possible to calculate gender by the behavior of goslings in a force majeure situation. Scare them with a sharp unexpected sound and watch the reaction. At the same time, males will extend their neck and raise their heads, evaluating what is happening. And the females, hiding, will cling to the ground.
Do not use this method too often. Since this subsequently negatively affects young individuals. They may develop a negative conditioned reflex that makes birds unduly shy and twitchy.
This method of determining sex is quite popular among the poultry farmers and is carried out as follows:
- gently, so as not to damage the legs of the caterpillar, grab the chick by the legs;
- flip it head down;
- sharply lower the chick, simulating a fall;
- look at the reaction - the gander will try to get its body or the hand of the person holding it with its beak, and the female will simply begin to turn its head in different directions.
This method is not as reliable as all the previous ones. It is based on statistical data on the characteristic behavior of gander and geese. However, each individual chick can react completely unexpectedly in a situation unusual for him. Therefore, rely only on "Tarzanka" is not worth it.
Methods for determining gender in adults
It is as realistic to distinguish between adult geese as small goslings. To some extent, this is even simpler, as some signs become pronounced. Let's look at the basic methods for determining sex in adult birds.
There are geese in the world whose gender differences are quite pronounced. For example, Kholmogorsk gander are distinguished by the presence of a characteristic cone on the beak of a reddish or pinkish tint with yellow. The goose of this breed does not have such a seal.
The methodology for performing this method is the same as in the case of goslings:
- lay the bird on its back;
- grasp the goose body with your feet;
- with one hand lift the tail, and with the other, open the cesspool;
- if the bird has a sexual organ in the form of a curl, then in front of you is a male;
- if you see seals in the form of small vesicles, the female (by the way, the female has a slightly flattened nipple in the cesspool, but it is very difficult to take it for the male genital organ).
Using this method, you can 100% determine the gender of the bird. However, keep in mind that adult geese can resist such actions. Males become especially aggressive. They can hiss and bite. To avoid injuries in this case, gently squeeze the bird between the knees.
There is also another way to hold the bird: sit with it on a chair and hold its wing, leaning slightly on it with your body (the neck should be an armpit). Hold the second wing with your elbow. In this position, it is convenient to inspect, as the hands become free.
Ideally, of course, you can use a special probe. Enter it in the cesspool of the bird and get a result that will be accurate to 98%. True, such a device costs money, but if you are purposefully engaged in breeding geese, then this acquisition will greatly facilitate your life.
It is generally accepted that geese for the most part have a white coloration of their feathers. This is true, but at the same time, the down of the gander has a slight yellowish tint, while the plumage of the geese is more gray than white.
True, keep in mind that there are such breeds of geese in which the color of females and males is practically indistinguishable. For example, Linda - this breed of birds and gander and geese have white plumage.
The more mature the birds become, the greater the differences in their size are striking. Males are heavier than females and weigh about 10% more on average. This is due to the fact that the gander, as a defender, needs a lot of strength and, accordingly, mass.
In addition, they have a large and long neck, which is constantly in tension. Geese are smaller than gander, and their neck is short and thin. The paws of the males are also larger, and the membranes between the fingers are wider than those of the females.
However, the size of the bird also does not give an exact guarantee of sex determination. The same breed of geese Linda (it is precisely it is most often planted by Russian farmers) and the males and females are approximately the same size. Therefore, distinguishing them on this basis is very problematic.
By the sounds made by the geese it is also possible to determine their gender:
- gander shout loudly, abruptly, with a slight hoarseness in his voice;
- geese shout loudly, and as if holding out a sound.
It’s more pleasant for a person to perceive the cries of geese. The sounds that gander reproduce often cause irritation in humans. In this case, keep in mind the features of the rocks. For example, Chinese males scream subtly and sharply, and females, on the contrary, low.
As for the head, the gander has a large and massive one. The beak is usually rough and also large, most often black. The head of females is inferior in size to the head of males and has softer, more gentle features. And their beak is usually graceful and thin, bright in color.
It is interesting to watch the geese during their mating season. Males, as a rule, are very aggressive and troubled at this time. They are fighting each other for leadership in the pack and the females that attracted them, whose behavior is just quiet and modest. Aggressive geese can only be during the hatching period, if there is any danger to future chicks.
The leader of the pack is easy to calculate. He always goes ahead of everyone, proudly sticking out his chest and holding his head high, showing with his whole appearance who is the boss. Also, leaders often go around the territory to control the situation.
The behavior of geese on the water will also help to understand who is who. Gander swim slowly and majestically, holding his head parallel to the water. And after swimming, they take a stand in place, intensively flapping their wings. Geese swimming, bowing their heads, as if making a bow.
As for stressful situations, the behavior of geese is the same as in childhood. Females squeeze into the ground with fear, and males are ready to repel danger, demonstrating aggression. They hiss, craning their neck, attacking.
In the video below, the breeder shares the experience of distinguishing a gander from a goose in terms of their behavior and appearance:
Determining the age of geese
Knowing the exact age of the geese is not necessary at all, but understanding the young bird in front of you or not is necessary. After all, the number of years lived affects the quality of meat (it loses its juiciness and taste), old gander cannot cater for the required number of females, and geese, in turn, carry few eggs or stop producing them at all.
To determine the age of the bird, pay attention to such signs:
- a young gander or a goose weighs up to 4 kg, while an old bird has a mass of more than 4.5 kg;
- the belly in young individuals is round, and in older ones it has transverse stretchings with deposits of fat;
- the paws of young females and males are usually shiny, smooth, with thin membranes, but the paws of old birds are covered with scales, and their membranes are already quite rough;
- the beak in young birds is usually yellow, without cracks and other injuries, and in old birds it is dark with a characteristic plummet under it, often there are cracks;
- the plumage of young gander and geese is rather dense, shiny, saturated in color, but old birds have a dull, dark shade, feathers are rather disheveled, and there are bald patches on the body;
- the young bird looks healthy, moves a lot, and the old one is more in one place, sleeps a lot.
True, keep in mind that if coughing, severe feather loss, lack of appetite, frequent and loose stools or scabies were added to the description of an elderly goose, the bird is not old, but sick. In this case, show the goose to a specialist - he will say what to do next and whether it makes sense to treat such a bird.
Start forming a family when the goslings are already six months old (about 6-8 months). Combine the birds themselves starting in mid-October. Chicks that hatch in late spring are best suited for this purpose.
You can get eggs starting from the period when the goose turns 10 months old. At the same time, up to 3 years, egg production will only increase. But then the recession begins. Therefore, if this indicator is important to you, do not keep the laying hen in the herd for more than 5 years. But the peak productivity of gander falls on the age of 2-4 years. Therefore, they are rarely left longer than 6 years of age.
It is better to kill geese at a young age, when their weight reaches about 4 kg. Long fattening (more than six months) is not recommended. This is due to the fact that the older the bird becomes, the more it forms sebaceous veins. And this affects the quality of meat and its price.
To maintain proper breeding of birds, keep the optimal ratio of young and older birds. Ideally, a goose herd should consist of 35% of young individuals, 30% of two-year-old birds, 25% of three-year-olds, and 10% of four-year-olds.
Tips & Tricks
To accurately determine the gender of a bird, use these tips:
- Use the most reliable way - scientific. Since it is based on the anatomical structure of the bird, you can see as accurately as possible what gender it belongs to. There are no hermaphroditic breeds in geese.
- For the accuracy of the result, use all methods in combination. This is how it is possible to most reliably determine the sexual identity of an individual. Because the more methods indicate a particular gender, the more likely it is. Any signs are important. At the same time, remember that there are breeds in which gander and geese visually almost do not differ from each other.
- Consult a professional if in doubt. If after applying all the methods for determining the gender of the bird you still have some doubts, contact a specialist who will help solve this problem. Please note that this procedure may be a paid service.
When breeding geese, observe their behavior. It may happen that one of the gander will be monogamous and will try to create a pair with some specific goose. It will be very difficult to lead him astray in this case, since he is guided by instincts based on the behavior of wild ancestors. Change such males to their more polygamous brethren.
Choose only strong and hardy males. Since it is they who lay the genetic foundations for healthy offspring. In this case, not so much depends on the female.
Make sure that a normal, friendly atmosphere reigns among the geese. It sometimes happens that geese organize baiting against a specific individual. This negatively affects its productive qualities. And if this is a female, then her egg production will decrease, and goslings may not appear at all.
There are many ways to determine the sex of geese. Use them all together to get the most accurate result. If in doubt of your decision - contact a professional who is guaranteed to determine the gender of the bird.