Geese make good watchdogs. They'll alert you any time a predator or stranger sets foot on your property. They'll also groom your garden, leaving your plants, flowers and vegetables while they pick away at unwanted weeds and pests. Add the lure of table eggs and meat that these geese provide and you have one of the most versatile birds enjoyed by backyard breeders. The birds reproduce easily. You can tell the boys from the girls at an early age.
Males Stand Tall
As young as 3 weeks old, male geese will tend to raise their heads high and point their beaks up, stretching their bodies into more vertical positions as they show dominance to females. The girls assume more horizontal postures, with necks arching gracefully.
Boys Are Bigmouths
Male goslings tend to grow faster than females and vocalize in loud, high-pitched tones. Females' vocalizations sound more like low-pitched "oinks" and are much quieter than males'.
Check Their Colors
Pilgrim, Shetland and west-of-England geese are three breeds naturally sex-linked, allowing you to tell girls from boys by the time they are 2 weeks old. Boys will start to sprout white feathers, while girls' feathers come in gray.
Where the Sun Doesn't Shine
You can positively identify a gosling's gender at 1 day old through vent sexing. Place the goose on its back and insert a gloved, lubricated finger in the goose's vent beneath the tail. Massage the opening in a circular fashion until the sphincter muscle relaxes. Press to both sides and below the vent; a male's corkscrew-shaped penis should become apparent.
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