August 16, 2013 by janem213
[At the end of last year I tried to incubate some giant geese eggs when I’d managed to get 4 eggs very cheaply. Only one of the 4 was fertile and this egg had been damaged in the post and didn’t make it. Not a success, and I didn’t bother mentioning it here, but hoped to have another go when the weather would be better too. This is that second go and a highlight of the year…!]
Giant Exhibition Dewlap Toulouse are one of the largest and heaviest breeds of geese. These are show birds. They, and their cousins the Utility Toulouse which are bred for meat, were both developed from wild Greylag geese. (All geese are derived from wild geese breeds; as all ducks apart from Muscovy ducks come from the Mallard).
This time I wanted to incubate 6 or 8 eggs – whereas with chickens you might get 9 hatch from 10 eggs, with GEDT geese only half will hatch on average. (Must stop doing breeds that are hard to hatch!!!) I got 4 eggs from one source and 2 from another, both were collected by car rather than risk them being posted. I would have had liked more but it was already the end of the season(!) Lucky I didn’t wait any longer; these geese only lay about 30 a year…
So, only 6 eggs… I hoped for at least two happy & healthy goslings, any more would be a bonus.
In the incy 24th May. One egg removed at 3 weeks. Of the remaining 5, on 22-23 June all hatched!!! Hurrah!
2 went to their new home at just over a week old, the other 3 stayed longer. They were just as I had read about in my books – taking longer to develop than ducklings but more sentient. They were so lovely and I do miss them… but by almost 3 weeks old the 3 rapidly growing goslings with their huge appetites for grass had nearly grazed the whole lawn!
Here are a few photos:
Giant goslings soon to hatch!
First photo of the two oldest in the brooder, a day old
From a very young age, mad about dandelion leaves!
A week old
All five, a week old
The same day
2 weeks old. Three who stayed longer having their first swim.
2.5 weeks. Still mad about dandelion leaves!!
The day they left, 3 weeks old
From giant geese… to miniature chickens! 29 Serama chicken eggs in the incy, due to hatch mid July…