Goose attack

silver2(Vt.)April 26, 2009


My son had a pair of geese, we thought a male and female. Last fall one came up missing, he thinks someone came in and took it, as there was no sign of fowl play. The remaining goose/gander has become very territorial. He charges, hisses and has one mean bite, as he will not let go. He/she was not like that, that I recall when there were two, but now that he is the only goose, he is on heavy attack duty. He is part of a flock, chickens, duck and goats. And they all get along fine. But it is tiresome to have to carry a rake or something to hit the ground in front of him to fend off attacks.

He really goes after my son, which puzzles me, as he is the one that feeds them, gives them treats, and takes care of them. I was going to suggest getting a mate for the current one, but as I am not sure of gender, or goose habits, and the thought of having two geese that try to waylay you is not a good one. The other thought I had, was perhaps getting some sort of squirt pistol and maybe some white vinegar and squirting him a couple of times to see if that would change his mind about attacking?

Update on abused goat. I posted here last fall on a poor billy goat that my son adopted. The goat is in good health now, has been neutered, hooves trimmed, horns trimmed and on a good goat diet. He is still a full grown billy and likes to butt, but seems much happier. I don't think he will ever be a goat you can go in and pet, but he tolerates my son handling him. He was so isolated from other goats and humans that his healing process is slow. My son is going to try to socialize him with his doe, by putting them in runs side by side. As the billy was aggressive with the doe. He hopes that someday he will be able to pasture them together as goats are very social.

Any tips on the goose would be much appreciated.


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My daughter raised geese from babies and they became very aggressive.I had warned her that they are.She had to put them in a pen and warned the kids to stay out but her son did get in and the geese layed him out flat on the ground screaming for help.They got gone to a stock auction.If you must keep them,I would try a plastic bat or the vinegar but it could injure its eyes.Posy Pet

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 3:52PM
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Maggie_J(z5 Ontario)

It's mating season, and even though this goose is alone, the hormones are probably raging. I had a gander like that a few years ago... horrible!

Some breeds of geese are more mellow than others. I find my Pilgrim geese very friendly and laid back. The odd hiss is all I get from them during mating season. They are sex-linked too... the males are white with blue eyes and the females are grey with dark eyes. So you know who is who.

American Buffs are another very nice breed. But any geese can become rather aggressive during mating season and while raising their goslings. It is better if young children do not visit them alone.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 4:35PM
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goldenpond((Vero.Beach FL 9b))

My male pekin would chase me and I would carry a stick around in the yard and place it behind me,never swiging it.That was enough to have him leave me alone. But then it got to where I would just turn around and chase him and he in turn would chase me. I would laugh so hard. I felt like a kid again . Every day we played this game of chase until one day a bobcat attacked him.I miss the game of chase and my sweet duck.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 11:31AM
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awwwww how sad!!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 7:14PM
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I concur with Maggie. May be likely due to Spring and mating season. THe goose would be happier with a mate, better yet - two! Oh, the behavior will be the same come breeding season, but all birds prefer to be a part of a flock.

Did you mention the breed? I believe Embdens (white geese, blue eyes) are above average with aggressivness...but individual character really makes a diff too!

We have brown chinese. I think we're in our third year. If it helps to know, here's a couple of things: The first year, our gander REALLY charged us around. If you were to visit our property in April, you'd see a stick strategically leaning against various points. I asked our vet - even she said it would probably get no better. Now three years old, our gander makes half attempts to even charge. He's really mellowed with age - and his son (third generation) takes a cue and barely tries.

Second, an old homesteader who visited our farmstead had no fear. He just made an aggressive move right back with his body and feet to let the gander know who's who and believed sternly that that was the trick. Sometimes they're a big bluff. This will probably not help your son, and again, individual birds will vary - but hopefully things will settle out as summer approaches.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 2:56AM
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i thought id chime in, i too was a child with a bad goose experiance. when i was younger maybe 6-7-8 i dont know i would be walking around the barn yard and eventually was cornerd by a gander and his pals. well they were just (pinching) the heck out of my arms legs etc i was streaming bloody hell, and eventually got out of the corner, but i was all "afraid" of geese since then. these were Chinas..... a very aggressive breed!

now later in life ive relised how perfect of a bird geese could be on the homestead, so im getting back into it from all my research buff geese and pilgrims are a good size medium bird very well temperd and lay a decent amount. im going with pilgrims because i like the fact that they auto sex. plus it looks like i have two differnat kinds rather then just one.

the only time i would worry a little bit would be around breeding time

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 3:30PM
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Yes I had swans they do this ,nice at first but once she started laying on eggs look out thats how he ended up dead,he flew into sons truck fell down got run over.He just slammed into truck.Fox probably got her.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 5:10PM
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I have 10 chinese and none of them bother me, they all flee from me. I thought I was going to lose another one about 3 days ago. she was floundering and could barely walk. Then yesterday she was bloody and a second female was being haressed by the gander so I removed 2 ganders to a second pen and today the females were up walking around as if nothing had been wrong. Some really rough sex! Now the ganders are really skidish.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 12:30AM
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oregonwoodsmoke(5 OR Sunset 1A)

The geese who go bad all seem to be geese raised as pets.

I never have any trouble with my geese. They are similar to dogs in that they need firm rules that are evenly enforced and they need a strong leader. Which should be the human, but if the human doesn't do the job, one of the geese will take over.

Spoiling them and raising them as lap pets merely confuses them and muddies their understanding of who they are, who you are, and what everybody's status is in the flock.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 5:43PM
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I used to have geese including Ganders. From the time I got them I made sure they knew who was boss. ME!! Never once was I threatened. My friend got some at the same time and her girl made pets out of them when they were little and later they became absolute terrors in the yard. When she wanted to take them in to be butchered I had to go catch them . Never tried anything with me. They are smart and know what they can get away with.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 9:54AM
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bruglover(Gulf States)

Take an open umbrella out with you, and use it as a shield. They don't come around it after you, in my experience. It baffles them.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 10:52PM
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