Twenty-five years ago, my parents bought an old log cabin in Maryland and restored it. The cabin sits high on a forested bluff, where one can see geese and other waterfowl. As a boy, I used to sit on a bench outside the cabin with my father, and I often asked him some childish questions about geese. “How old do geese lay eggs?” I would inquire. He said geese start laying eggs when they reach two years of age. He also told me that geese lay their eggs during spring.
My father has long been gone. But his thoughts about the geese still stick to my mind. Nowadays, I run a homestead with several geese and other livestock. I no longer ask questions about geese, for I learned the answers to many of my questions by experience. So, if you are just kickstarting your homestead and want to know how often geese would lay eggs, you can read through this article and learn more about the egg-laying habits of geese.
Table of Contents
- 1 Egg-laying Habits of Geese
- 2 Factors that Affect the Number of Eggs that Geese Lay
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
- 3.1 When Do Geese Lay Eggs?
- 3.2 How Often Would Geese Lay Eggs Every Year?
- 3.3 How Long Would It Take Geese to Lay Eggs After Mating?
- 3.4 Can Geese Lay Eggs without Mating with a Male?
- 3.5 Would Domestic Geese Lay Eggs Year-round?
- 3.6 How Many Eggs Can You Expect from Your Geese?
- 3.7 When Would Geese Stop Laying Eggs?
- 4 Conclusion
Egg-laying Habits of Geese
Geese start laying eggs when they reach the age of two. They also lay eggs every other day. This means they only produce an egg every forty-eight to seventy-two hours. Their egg laying also happens at a particular time, usually in the morning.
The typical geese will lay eggs five times per year every spring. Spring, of course, is anywhere between February and May. They generally lay eggs in a small batch of five eggs, though some species of geese may lay up to fifty eggs annually.
Geese also take care of their eggs by building nests. They guard these nests for a month till the eggs hatch. The male goose, on the other hand, forage for food to give to the female geese, allowing the female geese to remain in their nests.
Factors that Affect the Number of Eggs that Geese Lay
You may ask why the number of eggs laid by geese varies. Well, several factors affect the egg-laying habit and capacity of geese, and these factors include the following:
The Food They Eat
The number of eggs laid by geese varies depending on their diet. So, if you want to up the frequency of their egg laying, you should feed them nutritious food and provide them with ample fresh water and suitable living space. Sans these factors, they may fail to lay more eggs.
If you wish to have fertilized eggs from your geese, the geese should live with a gander. Besides, they should have access to a local pond. You should provide one gander for every four geese to ensure optimum mating and fertilization of eggs.
The Age of the Geese
Age can also be a determining factor in the frequency and number of eggs of geese. Moreover, you can expect five productive seasons for each goose. Once they’ve completed these five productive seasons, their number of eggs begins to dwindle.
However, the quality and size of eggs tend to be the same even if the goose is already old. Yet, the frequency and number of eggs per egg-laying season go down remarkably.
Furthermore, the egg’s fertility rate decreases, making it challenging to produce goslings from eggs. Older geese will have two to five eggs per laying season, while younger geese will lay five to ten eggs.
Habitat and Surroundings
Geese will love to inhabit a safe and private environment, devoid of impending dangers and heavy foot traffic. They need a safe and secluded environment to thrive and produce more eggs. It is imperative to provide them with a safe and private environment where they can freely and safely brood and lay eggs.
Some species of geese require seclusion during their egg-laying season. So, if you have such a geese species, it will be best to provide them ample privacy during their egg-laying season.
Species of Geese
As mentioned above, geese have varied species. Some species can produce only five eggs per year, while others can produce up to fifty eggs per year. The Embden Geese, for example, can produce up to thirty eggs annually. The record, however, with Embden Geese is at forty eggs per season.
On the other hand, the Chinese geese can lay up to sixty eggs during spring and summer. So, many farmers prefer these species, especially if they are after the eggs of the geese.
Frequently Asked Questions
Aside from knowing the factors that affect the laying of eggs of geese, it will also help if you are familiar with the following FAQs about geese, for they might also be the questions playing on in your mind:
When Do Geese Lay Eggs?
You might get perplexed by the egg-laying habits of geese because geese are quite secretive creatures. But geese, on average, lay eggs when they reach maturity. The age of maturity, however, varies from one species to another.
Some species, for example, reach maturity within nine months. Others only mature when they get to their fourth year of existence. Their average age of maturity, however, is two years old.
The good thing about geese is that they all have four to five years of peak egg-laying seasons. During these seasons, they could lay eggs that could hatch. Once they’ve completed these five seasons, their eggs will no longer get fertilized and hatch.
How Often Would Geese Lay Eggs Every Year?
Geese can lay as many as three eggs per year. Yet, on average, they only lay an egg once a year. Nevertheless, some species of geese can lay more eggs yearly, while others only lay eggs once every two years.
Furthermore, other factors mentioned above could affect the egg-laying frequency of geese. These factors include their diet, age, habitat, and species.
How Long Would It Take Geese to Lay Eggs After Mating?
Geese usually mature by the age of two. Once they mate, it will take twenty-eight to thirty-five days to lay eggs. The type of geese, however, will factor well in this aspect. Remember that some species produce eggs only once a year.
The red-necked geese are one example of these geese. These geese are smaller. On the other hand, larger geese species like the Ross and Snow Geese can lay eggs every two years.
Most geese would begin breeding when they reach two years of age. They usually complete their molting during spring and begin to court and mate.
Once a goose gets paired with a mate, they will engage in courtship rituals for a couple of weeks. Then, they would build their nests together. Once mated, geese will lay eggs anywhere from April to early June.
Can Geese Lay Eggs without Mating with a Male?
Geese, like ducks, don’t need gander to lay eggs. In fact, even without a gander, female geese will lay eggs. However, the eggs they lay without mating are unfertilized and will not hatch into goslings. Besides, the eggs will only contain egg white and yolk and are suitable only for eating.
Female geese will instinctively incubate the unfertilized eggs and stay with their eggs for a month. If they mated, however, the clutch of eggs will consist of unfertilized and fertilized eggs.
If the eggs don’t hatch, the geese will abandon them. Other wild animals might feast on unfertilized eggs once the geese leave the eggs.
Would Domestic Geese Lay Eggs Year-round?
If you intend to raise geese for their eggs, you might be wondering whether domestic geese will lay eggs year-round. Well, the answer is “no.” Domesticated geese came from wild geese. As such, they have the same egg-laying habits as their wild counterparts. Hence, they will not lay eggs as frequently as the chickens and ducks.
Geese lay eggs according to the season. As such, they lay eggs in the late winter up to early summer, and the laying of eggs usually starts in February.
You can’t expect a lot of eggs from geese. But you can expect geese to lay at least two to ten eggs annually, depending on the clutch’s size. The clutch refers to how many eggs get laid in a brood by nesting geese.
How Many Eggs Can You Expect from Your Geese?
As mentioned above, geese can lay from two to ten eggs per clutch. Besides, they would lay eggs alternately every other day. Thus, you can’t expect an egg from your goose every day. Wild geese will usually lay a single clutch of eggs every year. Once they’ve completed a clutch, they would no longer produce any egg that year.
The average age of wild geese is from ten to fifteen years, and the female will only reproduce eggs for four to five years. After five years, they will no longer produce many eggs. But they will still lay eggs. These eggs, however, will remain unfertilized.
When Would Geese Stop Laying Eggs?
You can expect female geese to lay eggs for many years. They could lay eggs for around ten years or more. However, they will no longer produce goslings when they have completed their peak seasons. The peak seasons usually consist of five breeding seasons.
As the geese grow old, they will lay fewer eggs, only two to five eggs per season. Once a full clutch was laid, they would stop laying eggs and only produce them the next breeding season.
If you are breeding ducks and chickens for their eggs, you might become curious too about whether you can raise geese for their eggs. Of course, you can, but you can’t expect geese to lay eggs like the ducks and chickens. As mentioned above, geese are not prolific layers of eggs, and they have peak seasons, after which they will no longer produce more eggs.
The modern domestic breeds of geese developed from Greyland and Swan Goose. These two species evolved many geese species that homesteaders keep for their eggs, meat, and feathers. Breeders are still trying to develop geese that could lay eggs more often, and maybe in the future, we can expect geese that frequently lay eggs like chickens and ducks.