Scientific name: Anser cygnoides domesticus
Other common names: L’oie Africaine
The African Goose is a very old breed that originated in China, and has remained popular throughout the west since the 1800s. The bred is a descendant of the Asian wild Swan Goose, and has no African heritage. To this day, no one is actually aware of why the breed is called the African. The African goose was introduced to Europe during the late 1700s, and the United States in the mid 1800s. Today, the breed is known and raised throughout the world.
Varieties: Brown/Gray, Buff, White
Uses: Guard, Meat, Ornamental, Weeding
Temperament: Docile amongst handlers, occasionally aggressive ganders
Weight: 18 - 22 lbs
Parenting abilities: Excellent
Noise Level: Boisterous breed
Capable of flight: No
Meat production: Excellent quality lean meat, premier roasting fowl
Egg production: 20 - 50 per year
Egg size: 5 - 8 oz
Egg color: White
What else you should know:
Depending on the bloodline of the African Goose, some birds will have a well-developed dewlap. These dewlaps can be very slow to grow in, and may take as long as 12 to 32 months to develop.
African Geese are a cold hardy breed. However, their knob on their head can become frostbitten. Therefore, many keepers of the African goose provide extra care in the winter to prevent this from occurring.
These birds have decent growth and maturity. Ganders should weigh around 16 to 18 pounds within 15 - 18 weeks, and the female goose should be capable of reproducing in their first year.
entertaining, friendly goose, Guard Goose, great weeders, beautiful breed
angry goose, aggressive chase, intimidation, foot fence, guard attack behavior
little quieter, education programs
I have not had geese for several years until the beginning of this year, when I acquired a flock of 6 African geese from my neighbor, who had given up on small-farm life. Not that I blame him though- he had arguably the most ecclectic collection of animals in all of SA, and the demands of looking after them all were beginning to get to his 90-year-old bones.
Nonetheless, my African geese fitted right in; the very moment they arrived they demanded, and received, lunch, which must have appeared to them as a license to stake their claim. Their first act was to evict the chickens from their coop, who perhaps understandaby, took grave exception. However, chickens being what they are, conceded an ungracious defeat after a few days, which pleased the interlopers no end, since it established the pecking order to their great satisfaction.
The emus on the other hand, were not so easily intimidated, and neither was Sarah, the donkey queen. While Sarah successfully resisted the take-over of her barn, the emus banded together, and for the first ten days or so, launched surprise attacks on the geese, which the ducks seemed to enjoy tremendously. Whenever the geese found themselves under attack from the emus, they would appear as if by magic, and judging by intensity of their hissing clearly sided with the emus, because had they never hissed at the emus until the geese arrived, which must mean something.
Sarah, on the other hand, prefers to merely ignore the geese until they get to within ten feet or so from her barn door, which is when she will start braying and stamping her hooves, which brings the ducks waddling up from the river, which will bring the emus running. At first, the geese tried to stand their ground, but they soon realized that the enemy forces were too strong, and not to be defied with impunity. Although no actual harm has ever been done to them, the geese have now learned to keep their distance from the barn, but the same cannot be said for the fish ponds, that are now covered with chicken wire to protect the fish.
What did strike me as strange though, was that the little flock never showed any intention to return home, which was only a mile or so away. Their previous employee had never trimmed their flight feathers, and in fact, he made it a condition that I do not trim their wings either, if I wanted them. Moreover, the geese have not yet taken on the role of guard dogs- which is strange; my experience with geese has been that nothing can move without them being aware of it, but my little flock seems not to have heard of this convention. But notwithstanding this, I have come to enjoy their company, and especially when they join me for my daily late afternoon walk.
There is something impossibly dignified, and royal about geese no matter their breed, and mine are no exception. Even at their tender age of about 18 months, they exhibit a degree of dignity born from their self-proclaimed superiority that is difficult not to admire, and based on my latest experience with geese, I cannot recomend them highly enough as pets. They are easy to keep, they eat almost anything, and are in my opinion at least, the most intelligent and loyal of all the poultry birds. If you have the space to keep a few geese, you will have the most pleasing of pets- for as long as you live..
From reinier1 Apr 16 2015 2:54PM
Sophie the African Goose
A few years ago, I bought a pair of African Geese at my local Farm & Fleet store. The little gander died suddenly two days later, for no apparent reason. Not wanting her to be lonely, I put the remaining little goose, Sophie, in the brooder with my baby chicks. Now, having grown up with chickens, she thinks she's a chicken.
During the summer, Sophie hangs out with the chickens in the shade of the tall grasses and weeds, or under the mulberry trees. She eats mainly grass and weeds, her favorite treat being dandelion greens. She likes to keep a good couple of feet of distance between us, but if I approach her with a bunch of dandelion greens she will eat them right out of my hand.
In the winter, Sophie sits just outside the door to the chicken house during the day – on the snow, with her feet tucked under her wings and if the cold is bitter enough, with her head tucked in there as well. Sophie does not like being cooped up. She will go in the chicken house to eat grain and drink water and then right back outside. I try to change out the water buckets twice a day, but if ice forms over the water in the bucket before then, Sophie will punch a hole through it with her beak to get at the water. She enjoys dunking her head in the water bucket and giving herself a “bath.”
Sophie is very vocal. Every evening, as I approach the chicken house to close them in for the night, Sophie will call out in a low tone. I respond by calling her name and she replies in a higher tone, relieved I'm not a predator. She knows her name and if I call out to her from my back door, she will respond. If a stranger approaches the pen, she will hiss at him or her and flap her wings. She has never bitten me, even when I've caught and carried her, but if she can break ice with her beak, I suspect it could be quite painful.
Beginning in late March or early April, Sophie makes a nest and starts laying eggs. They are about the size of two extra large eggs and they taste delicious. Even though they are obviously not fertilized, her mothering instinct is strong and she will go broody. She even nudges the chicken eggs into her nest and tries to hatch them. When the weather warms up, she stops laying.
I've read that geese can live to be in their 20s so I hope to build her a large enclosure, dig her a small pond and find her a mate to live out her life with..
From naturegirl Mar 7 2015 9:03PM
African Geese, not for me thanks!
I love geese. Honestly. I've had American Buff geese for many years and they are wonderful. African geese though, nope. Nope, no, and nada. We got them as hatchlings and they were so cute! Little fuzz balls who just peep around and eat a ton. As they grew I started to realize that they were very different. Around three months old my buff geese had begun to recognize me and the rest of the family and respond positively whether we had food or not. The African browns had no such breakthrough. As they grew older and older we started to have problems with them picking on each other and the other poultry. Eventually we ended up eating them all and not a single child seemed sad to see them go. They were our trial run for that breed and the result was a resounding no. Their meat was good but that was the only positive..
From MCEddyB Apr 16 2015 3:51PM