Age Of Maturity Of Male Birds

The age of maturity of male birds will differ between species of birds. The maturity refers to the age at which the males reach sexual maturity and will start breeding with their female partners.

Quail = about 60 days old.

Hen = about 6-8 months old.

Partridges = male grey partridges mature from about 10-12 months old.

Pheasants = about 6-7 months old.

Guinea fowl = about 8-10 months old.

Ducks = about 8 months old.

Turkeys = about 8 months old.

Geese = about 8 months old.

If you would like a book on keeping any of the birds mentioned in this article then visit the farmingfriends book shop to browse through our collection of books on sale.

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Age Of Maturity Of Female Birds

The age of maturity of female birds will differ between species of birds. The maturity refers to the age at which the females reach sexual maturity and will start laying eggs and breeding with their male partners.

Quail = about 50 days old (I have observed that female Japanese quail will start to lay eggs from about 6-8 weeks old.)

Hen =  about 6-8 months old.

Partridges = female grey partridges mature from about 10-12 months old.

Pheasants = about 6-7 months old.

Guinea fowl = about 8-10 months old, however female guinea fowl can start to lay as early as from 16 weeks old.

Ducks = about 4 months old, generally domestic ducks will start to lay from 21 to 26 weeks of age. My khaki campbell ducks started to lay from about 20 weeks old.

Turkeys = about 7 months old.

Geese = about 7 months old.

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Male To Female Ratio For Keeping Different Varieties Of Poultry

Here is a rough guide to the male to female ratio for keeping different varieties of poultry together.

Quail = 1 male to every 3-4 females.

Hen = 1 males to every 6-10 females. (The Domestic Fowl Trust normally recommend 1 male to 6 females for breeding chickens.)

Partridges = 1 male to 1 female.

Pheasants = 1 male to every 6-7 females.

Guinea fowl = 1 male to every 2-3 females. Although best paired up.

Ducks = 1 male to every 4-6 females. (Debbie at South Yeo Farm normally puts 1 drake with min of 6 ducks and she says, “but some are more rampant than others!” I too have 1 drake to 6 ducks.)

Turkeys = 1 male to every 10 females.

Geese = 1 male to every 4 females.

If you would like a book on keeping any of the birds mentioned in this article then visit the farmingfriends book shop.

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Embden Geese Photographs

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 - This is Sid and Sally!

Embden Geese, Sid the Gander is in the middle!

Embden Geese, Sid the Gander is in the middle!

Sid The Embden Gander

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!

Useful books for a new goose owner are Starting With Geese by Katie Thear and Ducks & Geese At Home by Michael Roberts.

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Difference Between Male And Female Toulouse Geese

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.

If you know how to tell the difference between male and female toulouse geese then please leave a comment.
Useful books for a new goose owner are Starting With Geese by Katie Thear and Ducks & Geese At Home by Michael Roberts.

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Embden Goose Nest

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

Sally The Embden Goose's Nest With Goose Eggs

Grace 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.

Useful books for a new goose owner are Starting With Geese by Katie Thear and Ducks & Geese At Home by Michael Roberts.

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Embden Geese

Embden geese are a heavy breed of goose.

Embden Geese - This is Sid and Sally!

Embden Geese - This is Sid and Sally!

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

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.

Useful books for a new goose owner are Starting With Geese by Katie Thear and Ducks & Geese At Home by Michael Roberts.

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Geese Breeds For Meat Production

There are different breeds of geese for egg and meat production.

The most popular breeds of geese for meat production include:

  • Toulouse,
  • Embden
  • African
  • Useful books for a new goose owner are Starting With Geese by Katie Thear and Ducks & Geese At Home by Michael Roberts.

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    The Early Bird Gets The Goose By James Gulliver – Guest Appearance

    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.

    Useful books for a new goose owner are Starting With Geese by Katie Thear and Ducks & Geese At Home by Michael Roberts.

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    Can Geese Incubate & Hatch Rhea Eggs Successfully?

    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

    Hi Rick,

    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.
    Kind regards
    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
    Rick

    If anyone has had any experience of geese incubating and hatching rhea eggs then please leave a comment.

    Useful books for a goose owner are Starting With Geese by Katie Thear and Ducks & Geese At Home by Michael Roberts.

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    If you keep geese or are thinking of keeping geese then join the free farmingfriends geese forum for the latest chat, advice and questions about geese and geese related issues.

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