2015-02-11 / Farm & Ranch

Grace Heritage Ranch Embden Geese

Well it’s THAT time of year again. Almost. OK, close enough for our geese anyway. Time to start a family! Here at GHR we have a gander and two female geese. They are a breed called Embden - a beautiful white goose with a bright orange bill and feet and iceblue eyes. This breed originated in Germany and came to America in the 1800s.

Even though the weather has been much colder than last year, our geese have decided it’s time to start their nest building. This is a little difficult for us since the geese don’t have a breeding coop of their own yet, so their nest is au natural out in the grass. The first thing we as caretakers need to do is find the nest. This isn’t too difficult; just walk around and see where the normally friendly geese have set up their ambushing point.

Geese will lay one egg a day until they get around a dozen or more in total. They don’t sleep on the nest at night, since those hours of warmth would start the incubation process inside the egg. Because the nest is then left unguarded, we need to pull the eggs and bring them inside once the mamma goes to bed. In the morning we put them back outside before we let her out.

Once she’s done laying, we have to put the eggs in the incubator since it’s not safe for the mamma goose to sleep out of the coop on her nest. Twenty-eight to thirty days later, little grey and yellow puffballs will be flopping all over inside the incubator! I say “ little”, but really the goslings are quite large, and just one will fill your entire hand. After a few weeks, they will be a little bigger and feathered out enough to go outside and learn how to forage for food.

To learn even more and get hands-on experience, join us at Grace Heritage Ranch for our Saturday morning tours. We are located just 30 minutes northeast of Harlingen, TX near Santa Monica. Please visit us at www.GraceHeritageRanch.com or www.Facebook.com/ VisitGHR . For a recorded message, please call 1-855- 447- 8687. We offer both public and private tours.

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