After quarantining the new birds for four weeks, it will be time to integrate them into the flock. Thankfully, Reginald Appleyard (originator of the Appleyard duck breed), an experienced flock-keeper from the past, shared some great advice for handling goose introductions in his book, Geese: Breeding, Rearing, and Management, which was originally published in 1950. Take a "gander" at his suggestions:
Introducing a new gander (male goose) to his new gaggle of females:In most cases, it is not difficult to introduce a new gander to his geese, as long as he meets all the girls at the first introduction. Usually, there isn't any drama; they all get along fine, and he mates equally with all the females.
This handsome fella is a Sebastopol.
Introducing a new female to a new gander and his flock:Sometimes, introducing a new female to a male and his mated "set" of females can be difficult, especially in the case where a female has recently died. Goose mating pairs bond strongly with one another, and may only accept new mates after a period of mourning. In that situation, here are some tips to try:
- Take the gander away from his geese and separate the original females and the new bird into their own wire-enclosed area in a portion of their pen. This pen will need to be fairly small. Without the male and when more tightly enclosed, the females tend to acclimate to one another more quickly and with less fighting.
- Leave them in this area for 3-4 days, or until you see that everyone is getting along with one another and behaving as a flock.
- When you see that they are behaving peacefully, you can return them to their normal run or range area.
- Return the gander to the flock, preferably in the evening.