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As with the African goose, the Chinese goose originates in China from the wild Asiatic Swan goose. The most distinguishing feature of the Chinese and African geese is their raised knob. Interestingly, the wild Swan goose does not have this feature. It must have been developed after domestication. As the knob is soft skin and not scaly, it is warm to the touch. White Chinese are the most prolific egg laying geese and it is not unusual to have them lay in the fall or winter. Earlier records have egg production of 50-60 eggs per year, with exceptional birds laying 100 eggs. This is now extremely rare, with most Chinese geese laying from 30-45 eggs.
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The earliest record of Chinese geese in America is in the correspondence of George Washington. It discloses that in 1788 he received from Governor Morris two Chinese pigs and with them "a pair of white Chinese geese, which are really the foolishest geese I ever beheld; for they choose all times for setting but in the Spring and one of them is even now (November) actually engaged in that business." In 1850 Mr. Nolan wrote "It is a beautiful variety , next in size to the African and approaches nearest to the swan of any other goose. It is snow white, knobbed on the beak with orange legs, and truly ornamental on a sheet of water." The Brown Chinese goose is smaller than the white with identical coloring to the African goose.
Chinese geese, like Africans, are a more talkative breed of geese. Due to this characteristic, they are the best breed if you want to be alerted to intruders or other strange occurrences. They love to talk back to you - especially if you have raised them from babies. During the breeding season the ganders in a flock may sometimes get into contests and oftentimes the non-fighting geese will circle around, shouting their encouragement to their favorite combatant (at least that is what it looks like to me!).
Chinese geese, due to their smaller size and agility, may be the best for weeding purposes. As they love to eat grass, they have been used commercially to rid cotton, orchards, mint and other crops of grasses. If you want them to eat broad leaf weeds, you will need to train them by supplying them cuttings of the targeted weed starting at one week of age until you let them out. Otherwise they will eat the grass and leave the broad leaf plants unless they become very hungry. For more information on weeding, see Using Weeder Geese. In summary, White Chinese are very common due to several reasons: they lay large quantities of fertile eggs, they are excellent grazers and can get almost all their nutritional needs from green grass and are very pretty in their pure white feathers.
Our "Cleopatra" is a huge entertainer. She follows around 'her' dogs and 'her' people because she loves being around others. She is super-spoiled. I chose this particular breed because the description said they are good 'guard' geese. She definitely announces when something or someone comes around. Love her; ordering another.
I love our geese. We ordered 10 straight run, only one little guy didn't make it the first 3 days and Metzers refunded right away. We're down to 7 (one died because of a fall, the other was killed by a coyote) and we love them! 5 females and 2 males. The females started laying at 4 months old (!) when we thought they would take at least a year. They lay an egg about every 2 days. It's November (ordered them in March) and we already have little goslings hatching of our own! And yes, they are incredible weeders. Our yard is a desert now and we have had to fence all the gardens, but they can be trained to go up onto the hill where we need the most. They tend to leave the succulents alone in favor for grass, which is good since we have lots of ice plant that needs to be weeded. The only drawbacks are that they are very noisy, and they do eat a lot in the growing phase and required supplemental fed (which is understandable). The quality of the birds is pretty good I think - though we did have one female who had a teeny bit of black leakage under her wings and another who doesn't have very good type. Overall they are nice birds and we took one male to our local junior poultry fair where he was a big attraction :) Thank you Metzers for some awesome birds!
After struggling to find an actual good hatchery, I believe I have found one.
I received two Chinese goslings a week ago. They were born on Monday, I got them on Wednesday and on Thursday I had to take them with me on a trip because I didn't want to leave them alone. The first night at the hotel, I put them in the bathroom in a box with a heat lamp. However, they were making so much noise and didn't let me sleep so I got up at 2:00 am and took them to bed with me. Right away, they passed out. When I got up a few hours later, I put them on the floor because I had to go to the bathroom and they just followed me. They have been following me since them. I absolutely LOVE them. I take them to work every day and let them out of my truck every hour so they can eat grass around my office building.
I bought a male an female, they loved eating grass and weeds the moment I took them out of the box. They arrived in great shape I could not be happier and I would order from this company again!
Geese. if handled a lot can be wonderful friends, and lots of company. The two I purchased are no exception. They are sweet and always have something to say. Sometimes it's louder than I would like, but geese are fun animals! Jack and Lilly fit right in on the farm, they get along will the chickens and ducks.