“Understanding how Geese imprint”

“Understanding how Geese imprint”

Blog written by “The girl in the green wellies!” 11/06/2016


“Understanding how Geese imprint”

I have always been completely in love with Geese as a species for many reasons, their beautiful appearance, loyalty and character; so last week I made the big decision to buy two baby goslings from A&J Poultry!

I always knew that Geese were loyal birds, however I wasn’t aware of their ability to imprint was so strong.

Baby Embden Goslings

As you may already know from my previous blog’s I have two ducks “Newton’s and Bo.” I have had them both since the day they hatched and despite regular handling and lots of love; they have grown up to be very independent birds! This is not to say they are not “close” to my partner, or me because we have a great bond with them and they are very well socialized with humans. The thing is they know by instinct, that we are a different species to them; and this is one of the things that are so different in Geese as regards to their ability to imprint and their natural instincts.

After finding out Geese were able to imprint so well, it made me question as to why? So I did some research and thought I would make it this week’s topic for the blog!

It is generally thought that Cats and Dogs are best suited to being a companion for us humans, so who would of thought that a Goose would be an even more fitting friend for man? This is due to the fact Geese hold the strongest ability to imprint, with ducks following in a close second!

Baby goslings will hatch from their eggs and will look to find the largest creature around them; from that point on, they know instinctively within them that they are that species and the imprinting process will start.

(Nobody is completely sure why this happens, but it is totally unique to these birds.)

For example, if a puppy is born without a dog mother, it will be very close to the human that raises it, but instinctively it will know it is not the same species; when it meets other dogs, as it grows older, it will know they are one of the same species by instinct.

Goslings do not have that instinct to know by intuition they are a Goose; if they were to see another goose after years of being reared by a human (having never seen another Goose before) they would see themselves as a human and not recognise that the Goose in front of them is the same species at it!


Goslings cannot normally tell the difference between an individual’s facial features until the end of the first week; they can however, recognise its “mother” by size & voice right away!

If you want your Goslings to imprint on you, you have to dedicate the time to spend with them so they realize that you are “Mum.”

Some of the things we have enjoyed doing the most, with our two new additions are:

  • Walking around the house and letting them follow us wherever we go (its so cute!)
  • Running into the lounge and hiding behind the sofa, then call their names and watch them run and try to find us, then when they have found us, we give them some yummy spinach!

These are great ways to start forming a tight bond with your Goslings.

Our two new little Goslings are called “Couscous”(a West of England) and “Noode” (a Embden.) When we first brought them home, both myself and my partner were in ore of how hardy these little baby creatures seemed (being only hours old.) They loved to be held and cuddled into our chest, in my case they liked to be cuddled up on my shoulders near my hair!



One thing I have heard so many people say is they thought Geese could be aggressive! They refer to bad experiences from when they were young like for example, being chased by an unfriendly gander!

Geese as a species are not naturally nasty creatures, however they are protective of their home and family (whether it be humans or birds!)

Like any animal, their behavior is all to do with how you train them to be.

We all must recognize that some animals are naturally wired to be more alert or on attack, but with lots of love and the right training they can be whatever you desire them to be; it’s a case of how much effort you want to put in, their behavior is in your hands entirely.

Geese can be fantastic birds to use as guard pets (if you wish to have your property protected!) They are also very economic to run, as they eat mostly grass when they are fully-grown (making them a very efficient law mower!)

Everyday we lie out a clean towel on the floor and cover it in yummy greens, like spinach, peas and grass; our two baby Goslings “Couscous” and “Noode” love eating their yummy greens, as well as having a run around the kitchen and making a bit of mess! From my experience so far I think Geese make great pets, each day they make us smile and laugh; these two little fluffy creatures have already made the biggest impact in our hearts.



The Green legged Partridge Fowl originated from Poland; Being Intelligent & very hardy animals, not to mention great layers, makes these birds a great breed! Did you know they normally lay between 140-180 eggs per year?

The Green Legged Partridge fowl (if reared for meat) is known for being low in fat & appears darker in colour than normal chicken! Not Silkie dark but darker than a Cornish Cross.

Having had a GLPF Cockerel I can talk from experience when saying that they are beautifully tempered birds! They are very relaxed around people (if given love and proper care) and make a great bird to have if you are a backyard chicken keeper, as they love attention, treats and being spoiled.

If you are looking for one to add to your small holding or farm, like I have already written above, they are very hardy birds and can cope well in most weather conditions and most environments.

My Cockerel was called “Carlos” he was very loving and his favourite food was sweet corn and left over cold cooked rice!

TOP FACT- Did you know that their green legs are just the simple visual effect of yellow skin being mixed with another set of pigment in the leg that subsequently makes it turn green? The same leg pigment on a white skinned Hen or Cockerel creates blue-legged chicken.


Blog written by “The girl in the green wellies!” 11/06/2016

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