Bold, brash, loud, and proud, geese are water birds that have long been hunted and farmed by humans. However, the goose is a truly fascinating beast – and in case you don’t believe us, check out a few of our favorite fun facts about geese below!
1. Long live geese!
Life expectancy for geese varies according to breed and living standards. Commercially farmed geese tend to have the shortest lifespan, averaging 2 to 5 years. Pet geese live up to an average of 20 years and many far beyond that. Wild geese generally live for between 15 and 30 years.
2. What’s the egg ratio?
Geese generally lay between one and three eggs at a time. Eggs take approximately one month to hatch.
3. Many seek out their eggs as tasty treats.
Predators such as foxes will steal eggs and hatchlings. Geese can mourn stolen eggs and particularly their babies! Unfertilized eggs can be eaten by humans too – often, they are approximately double the size of a chicken’s egg.
4. Goose eggs are pretty special.
Goose eggs are not only bigger than chicken and most duck eggs, they taste different too. Most people seem to think goose eggs have a slightly stronger taste than chicken eggs – the yolk and egg white ratio is about the same, though!
5. Geese make friends and partners.
Geese mate for life and mourn the disappearance and/or death of a partner. They make friends with other animals, especially those they are brought up with.
6. Geese will even support one another.
In-flight, and during migration, it has been known for a goose to discontinue its own flight when another in the formation tires and breaks away.
7. Geese can even get to know their owners well.
Geese form bonds with their owners. They learn to recognize voices and appearances! Astute owners will learn to recognize the difference between squawks of welcome and the squawks warning of an intruder. On hatching, geese bond with the first moving thing they see!
8. Never get on the bad side of a goose!
Geese don’t generally bite – though it has been known for them to use their strong beaks to deliver a snap! They have extremely powerful wings they use to batter aggressors. They have been known to break human noses and cause severe bruising too!
9. Geese flock to the water.
Geese do enjoy swimming, bathing and of course need clean water to drink too. Geese are known as waterfowl but unlike other waterfowl such as swans geese actually spend more time on land.
Though geese have heavy bodies they do have good-sized webbed feet for paddling. Their feathers and down aid their buoyancy.
10. There are many, many different types of goose out there!
There are 96 different breeds of goose. Seven different species reside in the UK alone!
11. The Romans held geese in high esteem.
Some geese are especially revered in Rome. History has it that thanks to the geese, sleeping Romans were alerted to the imminent invasion by the Galls, and Rome was saved!
12. Geese have a varied diet.
Geese are happy foraging for food and eat plants and berries as well as grains. Domesticated geese are often fed a diet of corn, nuts, and cereals. They also enjoy vegetables, peelings, and chopped-up fruits, especially apples and grapes.
13. Tastes like chicken?
Goose meat is similar to chicken. The flesh is pale or pinkish and is often carved from the skeleton when the bird is roasted whole. High in protein, goose meat is often served at festivals such as Christmas.
FAQs about Geese
What makes geese aggressive?
Geese are known for being fairly aggressive, and this is largely thanks to the fact that they are very territorial and can be extremely protective of their families.
Do goose bites actually hurt?
Yes - a goose bite or attack will normally leave a bruise! However, beyond that, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about long-term effects. That said, one swing of a wing could break bones!
Are geese intelligent?
Yes - on the whole, geese are very intelligent creatures! In fact, research suggests that they are smarter than many other birds and fowl.
Do you know any fun facts about geese? Share them in the comments below!