geese lay eggs that do not hatch

pacmom23April 30, 2007

We have 3 geese that lay their eggs, and keep them in the same large nest. They take turns laying on the eggs, but they do not hatch. I assume they are sterile. I also have 2 resident ducks (brown in color), and a pair of Canadian geese that have been visiting us over the last 4 months. We would like additional ducks/geese, but I am unsure of the best method to go about introducing them. Can I purchase ducklings/goslings via the internet? Is it better to purchase them locally? I do not know of anyone who sells them in my area. It would be interesting and educational for my children if we could somehow obtain fertilized eggs and incubate them to hatching. I have read about some of the challenges in caring for a newly hatched gosling on this forum, and am leaning toward ducklings/goslings. Advice is greatly appreciated.

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patrick_nh(z4/5 NH)

The best education for both you and the children would be to get your hands on some good books about the basic care of waterfowl. If you do it before you attempt to incubate any eggs, it will probably increase your success, as well as save you all from possible dissapointment. Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks and the Book of Geese, both by Dave Holderread, as well as Domestic Duck, and Domestic Geese, both by Chris Ashton, are about the best books out there on domestic waterfowl.

Your inability to hatch is not caused by any infertility with your birds, it's your management. No domestic poultry or waterfowl will hatch eggs effectively in a communal nest like you have. The books explain why, and how to manage the birds so that they will have a better chance of hatching their own eggs.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 4:04PM
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Thank you for the redirect. I will educate myself and decide what is best after that. Thanks for the valuable book insight.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 8:03PM
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hotzcatz(Hamakua, Hawaii)

I've also heard that geese need a pond or swimable water source for fertile eggs. Don't know if that's true or not, though.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 5:49AM
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patrick_nh(z4/5 NH)

It's not.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 7:36AM
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Everyone is different and you can get different results. We have a nest of eggs with a duck, a turkey and a jersey giant chicken sitting on them, they've done this before and have hatched several different babybirds. You can also get an incubator to hatch out birds and you can order eggs online and baby birds themselves all over the internet. Just type in hatcheries. We have a bit of a funny farm here so we get different results from our birds than others do on theirs. There's book way, then there's the birds way they want to do it. Water is important for waterfowl-geese and ducks, if you dont have a pond, little kid pools are best and they love them, they'll get in and swim and take their bathes. Not required but makes them happier.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 10:42AM
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I have a goose that has hatched out 2 goslings. The other 5 eggs are NOT going to hatch. Can i just take them form her or wait until she gives them up??

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 2:16PM
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saffron_parasol(4a WI)

I'd remove the eggs that aren't going to hatch....have had this happen before and depending on how dedicated the mother bird is, it can be a real stress on her. She'll sit and sit and sit, only getting up and out to *maybe* eat, and her health will start to deteriorate. She needs to be out showing her babes to forage and have a good time.
As far as several geese sharing a nest and not having a good hatch, this is not always true. I've had 3 Pilgrim geese all sharing a large nest and many eggs hatch. One of them started laying later than the others in a different location, after the others had hatched, and those mother geese took turns sitting on her eggs. All of them, including the gander, shared in the "childcare".

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 12:20PM
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