Rearing geese for meat, eggs, or beautiful feathers is much easier than keeping chicken or other poultry birds. Geese are self-sufficient, meaning you won’t have to spend a lot of time caring for them. But like chicken or ducks, they also have some challenges that you will have to deal with.
Some of those challenges include the goose abandoning its eggs. However, this is very rare as most of the goose make better mothers than even hens. But why do geese abandon their eggs? Continue reading to find out why.
1. In A Search For Food And Water
Just like hens and other brooders, a goose can abandon its eggs when it’s hungry and needs something to eat or drink. This is very important as the goose may suffocate and become weak. Actually, some geese are stubborn and won’t leave their nest unless you force them.
Food and water are vital for the goose to replenish her body condition. To prevent the goose from staying out for long, you should ensure that it has food and water close-by.
2. Geese Mothering Instinct
One of the main reasons why goose abandons their eggs is that they know every leg they lay has to start developing on the same day. As a result, they leave the eggs that they lay to be exposed to the environment’s temperature. But once the goose has laid a sizeable clutch of eggs, it will start to sit on them.
Geese usually sit on 7 to 10 eggs. Typically, geese lay between 12 and 15 eggs before going broody. So, if your goose has just started laying eggs and it’s abandoning them, there’s no need to panic.
It’s also important to note that geese lay an egg after one and a half to two days. Additionally, they love laying eggs in the morning.
When the goose feels the eggs are enough, it will start hatching them. It does this to allow the goslings to hatch at almost the same time.
3. Spoilt Eggs
A goose may also abandon its eggs because most of the eggs are spoilt. This is normal for most poultry, with hens and ducks included. If the broody goose realizes that most of its eggs are bad, it will walk away from its nest.
The best thing to do if the geese abandon their eggs because they are bad is to inspect all of them. This will help you to save some good eggs and even transfer the eggs that are about to hatch to the incubator.
Note that geese can also lay unfertilized eggs, which she will abandon after hatching the good eggs. An unfertilized egg only contains the geese genetic material; thus, a gosling can never hatch from it.
4. Trained And Conditioned
Some geese have been trained to leave their eggs after laying them. This is very common with geese being kept for their eggs and not for hatching. As a result, some geese have become conditioned. Therefore, they abandon their eggs after laying them.
So, if you have just bought a goose and want it to hatch eggs, it’s essential to make a follow-up with the past owner. If the goose was trained to lay eggs and leave, it would be hard for it to hatch them.
5. Disturbance From Humans Or Predators
Another reason that may cause the geese to abandon their eggs is disturbance from humans and predators. A broody goose usually prefers a safe, peaceful, and quiet nesting area. If the geese feel disturbed or unsafe, they may have to abandon their eggs.
So, if you have a cat or a rat that’s disturbing the goose, get rid of it quickly. Alternatively, you can create a safe and secure nesting area for your goose. Besides, you should also avoid tempering with the goose eggs as it will sense after some time. Don’t remove the goose eggs unless you’re rearing the goose for its eggs and not for its goslings.
Apart from disturbance from humans and predators, the goose can also be disturbed by its fellow goose. If you have another goose that has also gone broody, you should separate them as one of the geese may decide to abandon its eggs.
When two geese go broody and are in the same area, they may swap nests, steal each other’s eggs, and even sit on the same nest at the same time. This is a recipe for disaster as they may end up destroying one clutch of eggs. Moreover, one of the broody geese may abandon its eggs to find peace.
6. Hormonal Changes
Just like a pregnant woman, a broody goose can also have hormonal changes. When this happens, it throws them off their broody nature. Because of the changes, the broody goose abandons its eggs as it longer feels like being a mother. Even though this is rare, it still happens.
So, if you have a goose that has abandoned its eggs, you should watch it closely and see if it has some behavioral change. The good thing is that hormonal changes don’t last long. But if the issue prolongs, you should incubate the eggs so that they can hatch. Leaving the eggs exposed to the outside environment for long may cause them to spoil.
7. After Hatching Their First Goslings
It’s also common for geese to abandon their eggs after the first goslings become active and start wandering around. It does this to start teaching the new hungry goslings how to feed. However, it ends up abandoning unhatched eggs, but you should inspect them and take the good eggs into an incubator.
Now that you know why your geese are abandoning their eggs, you should try your best to create a conducive environment for these poultry birds. Make sure their nest is safe and away from predators.
Additionally, you should not remove its eggs often as it may distract the goose. Finally, ensure that the goose has enough water and food so that it does not have to go far away from its nesting area.
With these practices, your goose will not easily abandon its nest until it has hatched most of its eggs. We hope that you have found this post helpful! All the best as you try to rear geese on your farm.