Scientific name: Anser anser domesticus
The Shetland Islands of the coast of Scotland are known for their unique breeds such as the Shetland Pony and the Shetland Goose. In this harsh northern environment, Shetland Geese have evolved to be hardy birds. They have only been in the United States for a couple of decades and have yet to be accepted in the American Poultry Association.
Variety: Ganders are white, females are gray and white pied
Uses: Eggs, Meat, Ornamental, Weeding
Personality: Calm and curious, ganders can become aggressive during breeding season
Weight: 10 - 12 lbs
Parenting abilities: Excellent parents, very protective
Noise level: Below average
Capable of flight: Yes
Meat production: Good
Egg production: 30 per year
Egg color: White
What else you should know:
Shetland geese tend to mate in pairs, as ganders will rarely bond with more then one female.
Shetland geese are sexually dimorphic, and the males and females hatch different colors. Ganders will hatch a golden shade, and grow to be white. The female goose hatches gray and gold, and will grow to be gray and white pied or saddlebacked.
The Shetland goose is often confused with the Pilgrim goose. However, there are distinctions between the two breeds. The Shetland gander is solid white, while the Pilgrim gander has some gray. Also, the Shetland has an orange bill that turns pink near the nostrils, while the Pilgrim has a solid orange bill.
calm dispositions, lovely backyard geese, good parents
grey saddle, preferred marking, Shetland Islands, smaller adults
Charming and hardy little geese
Shetland geese are small and hardy. Their coloring is sex-linked, so the ganders are pure white while the (female) geese are white and grey (a grey saddle is the preferred marking). They are native to the Shetland Islands of Scotland, where animals tend to be smaller (adults weigh between 12 and 14 pounds). As you might expect from their heritage, they are very hardy, handle cold and snow well and are great at foraging for grass. I have been told that they make good parents, but ours never set on their eggs. They are a rare breed in America but there is at least one commercial breeder that sells Shetlands.
Our Shetlands had calm dispositions and got along well with our other geese and turkeys that roamed our backyard. The ganders were a bit suspicious of human contact, but did not act aggressive and contented themselves with warning hisses before submitting to whatever indignity we planned for them. The geese were mild-mannered girls. Unfortunately, we only had all four of them for a couple of years before we had a bad season for fox raiding and were down to one gander. He survived for years, however, and was very healthy (we finally gave him to another goose person when we had to move). All-around, Shetlands are lovely backyard geese..
From joannemclain Jun 10 2014 6:30PM