Raising Ducklings and Goslings


raising ducks and geese

My Observations in Handling Geese


I learned a little something else watching my husband and son try to handle our babies. I noticed that when they pick up my geese and they try to nip at their hands, my guys will move their hands away, but unfortunately their hands are dangling within sight of the geese! The guys will try to slowly move their hands back towards the birds again, but then they'll start nipping once more and of course they'll move their hands back away again. This seems to just irritate the birds. The guys aren't trying to irritate them, but what it amounts to is teasing. In their brains, what they see is an object approaching, backing away, approaching, backing away. My guys know they are to move slowly, but this behavior with the hands, although moving slowly, does NOT have a calming effect. When our birds communicate with us, they use their HEADS...Bowing their heads, dipping, but they never use their wings to communicate with us unless they are attacking. Perhaps when they see us using our hands and arms, they see this as aggressive behavior on our part. What works for me, especially if Buttons is trying to bite at my hand or arm, is to stoop down, bow my head in such a way that my face is protected, and my arms behind my back. With hands out of sight, he very quickly becomes involved in communicating with me, and forgets about "chasing my hand". If he is not totally enraged, this works well. I know it takes a measure of risk to refrain from using our hands, especially when we want to protect our face and I'm certainly not recommending that anyone risk their safety, but I've learned that I can always put my face in my arm, back up, stand up..... If he's in the grips of a hormonal episode, it's a little more tricky. I may just have to walk away, or scoop him up...whatever it takes to avoid injury. Mostly I can get by with simply walking away, as what he's trying to accomplish is to protect his space and he gets what he wants. Of course, this is just my observation.....

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