To continue the generation of most breathing things, mating is inevitable. Various species, whether animals, insects, or birds, have their mating habits, rituals, and behavior. Learning and watching these patterns can be fascinating, especially when dealing with birds such as geese.
For the longest time, geese have been domesticated, majorly for their meat and eggs. Poultry farmers across the globe rely on these birds for their economic ventures. This makes geese mating a vital part of production and wealth creation. Here, we learn all there is about geese mating behavior.
Telling the Sexes Apart
One of the most challenging tasks you can have is trying to tell the sex of a goose. For most species, both the male and female geese have the same physical features. However, if you have invested or are just curious about these birds, a closer look at them can help you tell the sexes apart.
The main difference between the two is size. A male goose (gander) is generally bigger than a female goose. Additionally, the ganders usually have their head knobs upright, while the females are usually level or slightly tilted.
For critical observers, the gander possesses a corkscrew-shaped penis you can spot, while the female goose doesn’t. If you hear a higher-pitched voice, that is most likely a gander. Female geese have a slightly hoarse and noticeably lower-pitched voice.
Geese Mating Ritual Calls
During the mating and breeding season, the gander will spread its wings as if in a specific rhythm, stretch, and flap to win a goose. In some cases, depending on the geese species, the gander might peck his mate forcibly.
If the female goose “is interested,” she will take a dust bath, preen, or do anything to “freshen up”, just as humans do! When ready, the gander will mount on the goose and copulate. After forming a mating pair, the geese will copulate up to 5 times during the breeding season.
Where Do Geese Mate?
Geese mate anywhere! However, they prefer doing it in water because most of their breeding rituals and “stunts” are better performed there. Also, given that ganders are generally larger than geese, mating in water provides them a safe haven, unlike on land where injuries are prevalent.
Geese Mating Season
After hatching, goslings eat and learn from their parents for about 3 or 4 years before they are ready for mating. Depending on the type of geese species, the breeding season usually ranges between February and April. However, this is mainly dependent on the weather conditions.
Most geese species mate once every year. The goose usually lays a maximum of 8 eggs and incubates for 28-35 days before finally hatching the goslings.
How Long Do Geese Mate for?
When a goose finds a mating partner, they mate for life. Geese are one of the “most loyal” of the bird species – they record very low “divorce rates.” When picking their mates, the small geese pick larger ganders and vice versa.
What Do Geese Do When Their Mating Partner Dies?
As aforementioned, geese usually have one partner for life. However, when a mate dies, the remaining one finds another as the breeding season continues. This is after an intensive “mourning session.” Geese do not always “move on” swiftly.
For instance, if a mate is sick or injured, the healthy one will remain by their side even if the rest of the park is migrating. If the bird dies, its mate will morn solely and might remain “single” for the rest of their lives. This further shows how loyal these creatures are!
Do Male Geese Try to Mate with Chickens?
If you are raring chicken and geese, you might have a situation where the gander tries to mate with the hens. The problem is that the two birds’ reproductive systems are incompatible. This act usually leaves the hen with injuries and sometimes death.
Geese are related to ducks and swans, so they have no business messing with chickens. However, it’s not unusual to find ganders forget this!
Geese have very fascinating mating behavior. More commendably, they usually have one partner for life, so they are prominent for their loyalty. When the breeding season comes (usually between February and April), the goose chooses a mating partner with whom they create a territory.