Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary, 17 Barker Road, Lebanon, CT, 06249

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Is It A Goose or A Gander?

We do not vent sex the geese who come into our sanctuary. Vent sexing requires tipping the goose upside down and poking around, which is the last thing we want to do to a rescued animal. Instead, we do what the geese do. We learn to recognize the gender of our newcomers visually, vocally and by their behaviors.

No doubt, if you see a penis protruding--your goose is a gander!
--Photo donated by the Garey Family

Behavior Tells

Males will commonly initiate mating behavior and attempt to mount females on water. Males will often swim more frequently in small ponds while females will often stand on the shore and avoid going in because they know what will follow.

When a new goose is introduced to an existing gaggle, a newly introduced female will commonly run away from the approach of the existing alpha gander (although timid ganders may also run away). On the other hand, a newly introduced male will often engage in a brief dual with the existing alpha gander to vie for leadership and establish the pecking order.

Furthermore, an existing alpha gander is more likely to only approach a newly introduced female once in confrontation and ignore her after she runs off. On the other hand, an existing alpha gander will sometimes approach a newly introduced gander multiple times to reaffirm his leadership and authority.

Some females will instigate fights. Females are sometimes seen "cheering on" and coaxing their ganders to fight with a newly introduced gander. Females will get close to the action, but rarely participate in these confrontations.

Females lay eggs seasonally. Eggs tend to appear between February - June. First year and older females often do not lay eggs.

Here are some further gender "tells" that we've learned about a few of the more common breeds who have come into our sanctuary:

American Buff Geese

Here is a great full color guide available to help you

with the breed and gender identification of your geese:

Domestic Duck and Geese in Colour

Return to Sexing Ducks Page

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