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Pilgrims are the only domestic goose breed in which you can distinguish males from females at any age. As babies, the males are yellow and light gray with lighter colored bills, much like a day old Embden or Sebastopol. The day old female's down is a deeper gray/green with a darker bill like a Toulouse.
As adults, the males are white with a touch of gray on the rump or wings. The females are gray in color like a Toulouse but often with white on the head. They are a calm goose with a reputation of being excellent parents. The fertility of their eggs is low, however, in our experience. It averages about 60% over the complete season.
I've had Pilgrims for over 10 years and I love them. They're docile and intelligent, as well as good protectors of my chicken flock and a beautiful sight in the pasture.I bought some replacement ganders this spring, just to bring in a little fresh blood. They're gorgeous and have integrated with the flock seamlessly.Very eager to see their offspring next year!I'm super pleased with these birds. Thank you!
My pilgrim geese are almost 3 years old now and they have done quite well here on my northern Michigan farm. They handle the snow and cold of winter and the heat and rain of summer beautifully! I like their disposition. They are not aggressive like some other geese can be. This was my third try with a breed of geese trying to find what was just right for my small farm... and the Pilgrim is it.
My female pilgrim goose fits in well with my backyard chicken flock. Haven't lost any hens to a hawk since I got her back in 2020.
When I started making plans for my farm, I was pretty confident that I did not want geese. The only things I knew about them were that they were loud and mean, which I figured ruled them out for me. But I like to do my due diligence, so I started reading about keeping geese and kept being surprised by how nicely they lined up with my farm plans. Over the course of months of farm-planning, geese steadily moved from "almost certainly don't want them" at the beginning of research to "first priority on the farm" by the time I was ready to add livestock. I settled on Pilgrims because they're autosexing, they're supposed to be more docile and I wanted to support a heritage breed. And good gracious, I have not regretted a moment with these goslings! They are so charming that we call them "feather puppies" because they're curious, social, optimistic and just pleasant to be around. My competition sheepdog in training is just as smitten with them as I am. I was only able to get five goslings this first year and I am already planning to add more Pilgrims and some Buffs early next season because I have so thoroughly enjoyed raising these guys.