Production of eggs, down, foie gras, consumption of their flesh, or even pets and guardians, there are many reasons for adopting geese. The number of different races is important and it can be difficult to navigate. Here is our selection of domestic geese as an overview.
The origins of domestic breeds
Geese are found all over the world because they are animals that adapt well to different climates. They are just as capable of withstanding cold or heat, provided they have access to shelter in the first case and shade in the second. The universe of domestic geese is vast. The color white dominates.
The work of selection and crossing carried out by men has led to the production of domestic strains generally larger than wild strains. We identify two main wild origins at the origin of the various existing races of geese: the wild greylag goose (Anser anser) and the wild swan goose (Anser cygnoides).
The Emden goose is the oldest and largest breed of German domestic goose. It bears, in Germany, the name of “goose-swan”, Schwanengans, because of the important length of its neck which gives it a lot of elegance. It is a goose with all white plumage, renowned for being an exceptional meadow goose. This means that it only needs the food present in a meadow to grow taller, reaching 8-10 kg after a year. However, this breed is threatened with extinction because it is preferred to hybrid breeds.
The Czech goose is native to Bohemia. It is a small to medium sized breed. Its plumage is entirely white. A gander of this breed can think 5.5-6.5 kg while for the goose, 5.5 kg is a maximum. A female of this breed lays between 15 and 20 eggs during the laying season.
The Italian goose has all-white plumage, like the two previous breeds. It is very popular in Europe where it is appreciated for its flesh. His neck is short. She lays a lot: between 45 and 50 eggs. Its growth is rapid because it can reach 4 kg in 2 months. Of all the breeds from the wild greylag goose, it is the one that produces the most eggs with a laying that can represent 70 eggs. They are also generally heavy: between 160 and 180 g.
Another extremely popular goose with breeders is the Kuban goose, which is highly regarded for the quality of its flesh. Coming from a Russian agricultural institute, it is perfectly suited to the harsh Russian weather conditions, particularly resistant to frost. It is not demanding, while having high productivity parameters. However, this productivity decreases year after year. These geese therefore generally do not stay more than 4 years in a farm. Their necks are long and curved. The head is large and has a bump on the forehead. The plumage is gray-brown above and white below. A brown band underlines the top of the neck and the head. The bill is dark gray.
Danube curly goose
The Danube curly goose is also called the Sebastopol goose. This breed was created in the middle of the 19th century. The shape of its plumage makes it a pleasure goose. It owes its name to very long white feathers whose rod is flexible and is divided into several thin filaments, giving it a very original curly appearance. This peculiarity prevents it from stealing. The gander weighs up to 6 kg and the goose one kg less.
The goose of the Marais poitevin
The goose of the Marais poitevin is a very rustic animal. Traditionally, it was raised in herds on the communal marshes. While it was close to disappearing, the regional natural park of the Marais poitevin is organizing its safeguard (since 1993). His character is lively, the male being particularly quick to defend his territory. The mantle feathers have a straight end, outlined by a white border. The belly is speckled with black dots and the rump is white. The top of the neck is covered with feathers which form prominent rows. A goose can weigh up to 4.5 kg and a male 5 kg.
The white goose of Bourbonnais
The white goose of Bourbonnais should not be confused with the snow goose which is a wild goose called white goose in Canada. This domestic goose is primarily intended for the production of flesh. Its weight can reach 7-8 kg for both sexes. The bird likes walking and roams meadows for food. For reproduction, it is better to supplement the diet. He’s a stocky-looking goose. Its plumage should be pure white and shiny. Yellow or gray subjects should be avoided.
The goose of Castres
The goose of Castres is also found under the name of crested goose of the Tarn. Its plumage is white variegated with brown patches. It is also characterized by a crest on the head. Initially bred for its flesh, it is today an ornamental goose that is quite difficult to find. It does not correspond to any approved standard and is not present in the catalog of geese breeds in France.
There are two kinds of Toulouse geese. They both have plumage
One of them is the so-called Toulouse goose with bib. It is a qualified industrial version of the animal, the selection work having resulted in making it one of the largest geese. The bib is a fold of skin located under the beak. This goose also has a double skin fold under the belly, called a panouille, which hangs down to the ground. The bird needs a lot of space.
The other is the goose of Toulouse is said without flank. However, it also has a double panouille, but this does not reach the ground. The bird was selected for its liver. It is a qualified agricultural version of the animal, lighter and more slender in appearance than the Toulouse goose with bib. This bird likes to roam large grassy paths for food. The male is a little different from the female, the neck being longer in the first, and shorter and slender in the second.
The gray goose of the Landes
The gray goose of the Landes is a beautiful goose, very decorative. Yet it is mainly intended for force-feeding. It is the result of a selection work carried out by INRA Toulouse in the 1960s, using the Toulouse goose in order to lighten the size of the latter, while improving the production and the quality of the goose. livers. The gander can weigh 7 kilos and the goose 6 kilos.
The white goose of Poitou
The Poitou white goose resembles the Emden goose. She was originally selected for her pure white plumage, leather and flesh. The development of synthetic materials has stopped the exploitation of this goose. The breed therefore survives today only thanks to the commitment of a few passionate breeders, supported by the Conservatory of Genetic Resources of the Center West Atlantic.
The Rhine goose is more present in eastern countries. It is characterized by high egg production and rapid development. This breed is often very well placed in international shows. Their plumage is a slightly silvery white that does not move, even during molting, or when changing weather or season. While these birds are able to withstand frost, they are sensitive to drafts.
The Norman goose corresponds to a farm breed. The plumage of the male is different from that of the female: the gander and the goose are white but the male entirely is, while the female has large gray-brown spots on the wings, flanks and neck.
If you want to adopt a pair of geese to decorate your garden, you must carefully choose the breed because the behavior varies from one species to another. Norman geese turn out to be well adapted to life in the garden in a family setting because they show very little aggression towards humans, even when they have young. It is a goose very easy to rear because of its great hardiness. But it is important to let it live in freedom, to let it move on a vast grassy ground. The number of eggs laid does not exceed 50, but she is versatile: her pulpit is very good, she is also a good incubator and a good mother.