It is not easy to tell the difference between a goose and a gander, to the point that salespeople can quickly sell you for each other. As with many animal species, the morphological differences between male and female provide clues. Sexing through the cesspool remains the most reliable method, however.
Distinguish a goose from a gander
The male is generally higher on the legs and has a longer, thicker neck. Its cries are also deeper and harsher than those of the goose. But these differences may seem subtle to the uninitiated, and cesspool sexing is still the surest way to identify the sex of your goose.
The cloaca is the term for the pocket at the end of the intestinal tube. It is an orifice common to the intestinal, urinary and genital tracts. It is possible to observe this area from the age of 3 weeks. The manipulation aims to bring out the sex of the animal in order to be able to identify its color and shape.
Here’s how to do it:
- Sit down.
- Place the goose on its back so that the head and neck are facing you. In the case of an adult goose, it is better to have someone help you hold the head and the wings, because the animal will not let it go. By the way, the goose may try to pinch you for to defend oneself. Covering her head with a cloth can make her calmer. But don’t suffocate it! If it is a gosling, one person alone may be enough to hold the animal with the wings folded over the body. But if you don’t feel comfortable, it’s better to be two anyway.
- Squeeze the cesspool with your thumbs to release the penis. The male has a pink, comma-shaped reproductive system, while that of the female is red, more fleshy, with concentric folds.
The goose, this little-known animal
Geese are very social animals, able to mix harmoniously with other animals. They are very tight-knit groups.
You may have had the experience of being chased by a goose and hastily deduced that geese are aggressive animals. As you get to know them a little better, you will understand that geese are not evil birds because they don’t attack for no reason. Naturally needing a large territory, if they are kept in an enclosure that is too small, they will be all the more careful to limit intrusions by activating themselves to drive out invaders.
Moreover, the brooding is a delicate moment with which the gander does not joke: beware of those who approach a little too close to the nest! Even after the birth of the young, the male is always very present and remains very vigilant, quick to react to the slightest event posing a threat to his offspring. He is even able to attack animals stronger than himself.
Geese have an excellent memory. This is also why they make very good “watch dogs”, able to know who is who. This memory is particularly useful to them during the migrations of greylag geese nesting in Scandinavia and migrating to the south of Europe in autumn and returning in spring, and which one can frequently observe in the French sky during these periods. They can thus search for their food on their journey, remembering their stops in previous years.
In the wild, geese choose a mate that they usually keep for the rest of their lives. If the spouse dies, the survivor may remain single for several years or even permanently. In the domestic state, induced promiscuity makes the couple’s bonds more fragile and it is common for individuals to have several partners. A gander in love is astonishing in vitality and energy, showing more ease when taking off.
Decode the attitude of a goose
Geese communicate with each other through calls and postures of the head and neck. By learning to identify them you can avoid errors in judgment and better protect yourself from gander attacks.
The attitude of a calm goose is a bird standing on its hind legs or floating on the water, its neck forming an “S”. When it sleeps, its head is turned back, the beak slipped under the feathers. A goose in an aggressive stance has its neck stretched out, horizontally or towards the ground. At the same time she utters loud cries. It is only suspicious when the neck is stretched but vertically, the bill horizontal. On the other hand, if the beak is pointed towards the sky, it is because she is afraid.