One of my farmingfriends forum members, Mama lives in France and has embden geese. Mama has kindly sent in some photos of her geese so we can see what embden geese look like as another one of our members, Michael was not sure if his geese are embden.
Here are Mama’s embden geese.
Embden Geese - This is Sid and Sally!
Embden Geese, Sid the Gander is in the middle!
Sid The Embden Gander
Mama is currently waiting for her two female geese to go broody as they have both been building nests and laying lots of goose eggs but still not sign of broodiness!
I have been asked about sexing toulouse geese. I don’t have geese myself so I have had to do some research to try to find the answer. I have read that geese are hard to sex.
Characteristics and features to look out for to help identify the difference between male and female toulouse geese.
Look at the size of the birds within the group (the males are generally bigger)
If the geese get into a huddle, its more than likely that it will be the ganders on the outside of the group.
The noise that they make - the ganders will make a hissing noise and stick their necks out whilst doing this.
Male geese can have longer necks and larger heads.
I also read that on the toulouse goose the beak on a maleis kind of greyish colour and on the female it is kind of a bright orangish colour.
You can also identify the gender of a goose by inspecting their vent but this can be hard to do.
I have been kindly sent some photos of an embden goose nest.
“My goose( Grace) has made a beautiful nest and has continued to lay. Would anyone like a pic of the nest? I have taken eggs from Sally my other goose to fill Grace’s nest, hoping to turn Grace broody. There are 9 in the nest as of today . They have laid about 12 eggs each so far and are still laying. We ate the first dozen which were delicious. Mama”
Sally The Embden Goose's Nest With Goose Eggs
Grace The Embden Goose's Nest With Goose Eggs
I thought it was interesting to see the embden goose eggs in their nest.
They are large birds with orange beaks.
They have pure white feathers.
Embden geese are a good meat breed.
They grow rapidly and mature early.
Egg production averages 35-40 eggs per bird.
Sid The Embden Gander
Embden geese are good egg setters.
They produce white eggs.
Embden geese are good foragers.
The white feathers are in demand for producing duvets and pillows with goose feathers inside.
Embden geese have an upright stance.
An article written by James Gulliver of Gulliver Geese on how buying goslings early in the season can save you money. Gulliver Geese are the largest producer of day old goslings in the UK and have goslings for sale from April through to August.
As Christmas looms on the horizon the last thing on goose producers minds are their intentions for next year’s goose production but early planning can help to save money and produce better quality birds.
Most producers in the UK don’t consider buying their goslings until the weather starts to warm up around the end of April and normally coincides with a drop in other seasonal farming activities. This is totally understandable but there is a fundamental problem with this approach.
Geese start laying eggs around the beginning of March and ramp up very quickly to production levels within a few short weeks. The first batches of eggs are ready to be incubated around the middle of March for a mid April hatch. The goose laying season continues through to August where a sudden drop in egg production then a complete stop within a couple of weeks.
Goose producers not considering buying geese until the beginning of April can only receive goslings a month later. This leaves the UK goose breeders with a surplus supply of goslings early in the season and a shortage towards the end. Inevitably this demand fluctuation is reflected in the price and the availability of goslings. After week 20, demand for goslings outstrips supply and the availability of the goslings is limited.
Goose producers buying goslings early in the goose breeding season benefit from a lower buy price and a reduced mortality rate as the geese don’t have to be pushed to meet the required weight before Christmas. Though the geese have to be fed for longer, they can be fed on grass for a period from the end of spring to early summer which will keep feed costs are low. In addition to this, geese that have had longer to grow achieve better weights and are considered to be tastier.
So in conclusion, those goose producers able to take goslings a few weeks early will reap the benefits and ensure availability.James Gulliver of Gulliver Geese, produce day old goslings from April to August for the UK goose production market. For more information about Gulliver Geese please visit the Gulliver Geese website.
Does anyone know if geese can incubate and hatch rhea eggs successfully as Rick would like to know?
Hello this is Rick from Wisconsin….I have three rheas for about three years… this is first year they are laying eggs good… I have two grey females and one 4 year old Male breeding with them…eggs in incubator look fertile and are developing….for a week i found no eggs and now found five of them under one of my Big White embem goose hen in her nest..the rhea was laying them next to the goose and goes in by the goose like they are friends…. do you think the goose will incubate those eggs or will the eggs get too Hot??? what do you think ..ever here of a goose hatching rhea or emu eggs??? just curious to leave them or put them in incubator,,, or will male take them over..he seems like hes protecting the shelter but has made no real nest…he kinda tried making a nest last week by moving straw around but now hes just protecting the gooses nest…what is your thoughts??? any one think they can help me feel better about her being on the eggs?? thank you
Thanks for visiting the farmingfriends website and getting in touch. I hope all is well with your rhea eggs and the goose and male rhea.
I have never heard of a goose incubating rhea eggs although I am sure it may occur. The temperature and humidity levels are different for goose and rhea eggs so this could be a cause for concern, particularly the humidity levels as the rhea eggs need a humidity of 35% until day 33 whilst goose eggs need a humidity of 55% until day 27. If the goose gets off the nest the male rhea may get on.
As you say that you have eggs in the incubator, I think if the eggs were mine I would leave the other eggs under the goose and see what happens. I know that the success rate for brrody hens hatching eggs is much better than eggs hatching in an incubator, so maybe it is the same for the goose.
I am sorry that I cannot be more helpful but I will post your question onto my website and if I get any advice I will let you know.
I would be interested to hear how the eggs get on.
Best of luck.
Sara @ farmingfriends
I am pleased to say that Rick emailed back;
Thank you…. my female rhea tried pulling eggs out from the gooses nest today but after 5 days under goose i wasnt going to let her so I confined the goose now so rhea cannot take eggs she is still laying more…In incubator it seems like 30 % are showing fertility… thank you for your reply i will keep you informed on ending.. thank you
If anyone has had any experience of geese incubating and hatching rhea eggs then please leave a comment.
An article written by James Gulliver of Gullliver Geese on the Growth of the UK market for Fresh Goose. Gulliver Geese are the largest producer of day old goslings in the UK and have goslings for sale from April through to August.
The Goose Market is Getting Fat
Historically Goose was eaten on special occasions such as Christmas and Michaelmas. The celebration of Michaelmas is seldom recognised and Christmas Goose has been sidelined by the American import, the turkey.
But goose is making a come back….
As Goose producers and members of the BGPA, the British Goose producing Association, Gulliver Geese are well placed to comment on the popularity of fresh goose at christmas. “We have seen a steady increase over the last ten years in the demand for day old goslings” says Martin Gulliver of Gulliver Geese “this increase is reflected in a recent report published by Defra.”
The increased demand is being driven by people becoming more food aware with food becoming a pastime as opposed to a necessity where quick preparation and ease of cooking is paramount. The evolution of the Celebrity Chef has helped to put goose back on the table due to its unique taste.
Goose related products are also becoming more popular, Goose fat is now firmly believed to be the best fat to roast your potatoes in. Sales of goose fat in 2007 outstripped supply leaving goose producers with a totally new problem,Not enough fat!
Michaelmas Goose is also making a come back with some restaurants pushing the Michaelmas or “Goose Day” very hard.
Michaelmas coincides with the autumn equinox, historically, the day of the year on which the serfs of the manor elected a reeve. The reeve was expected to ensure all other serfs started work on time and that no one was cheating the lord of the manor out of any money. This day was also recognised as the beginning of the farming year , the time for rents and debts to be paid to the lord of the manor. Many landlords would hold a goose feast for all tenants to supposedly protect against financial hardships.
Michaelmas is still celebrated in many European countries and Michaelmas goose is starting to gain popularity within the United Kingdom. Michaelmas goose is also known as the ‘green goose’ as they have been fed on stubble and grass as opposed to the Christmas goose which is finished on corn. Many restaurants and butchers have started to promote Michaelmas goose reviving old recipes and folklore surrounding Michaelmas
Look out at your local butchers and restaurants for Goose and give it a try, you won’t be disappointed. The Goose Market Is Getting Fat By James Gulliver from Gulliver Geese.
If you have a farming story, memory or farm visit that you would like to share or a farming issue that you would like to raise, then please send me your story or article and I will happily include it on a guest appearance post.